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Central Valley Methodist Minute
posted on March 31
Methodist Minute: March 31
Diana Bulls, CVD Lay Leader
I don’t know about you, but I feel my life has suddenly gone out of control. My usual routine is gone. I have trouble concentrating. I’m distracted with the news. In truth, I feel like I am in a B-rated Sci-Fi movie. Everything is totally out of control.
Even before the “shelter in place” directive, people were rushing about, standing in long lines to stockpile supplies. It was amazing…and totally out of control. On social media, rumors run the gamut from ridiculous to downright frightening. Even friends, who I consider to be sensible in the worst of times, are surprising me with their concerns and the things they are worrying about. I’m surprising myself. Maybe I really do need to have 72 rolls of toilet paper stashed in the cupboard.
It is very easy to become totally focused on events that impact our lives, especially when everything is out of control.
When Paul was writing to the Philippians from prison, there were a lot of things worrying his congregation there. They were probably worried about his wellbeing in prison and if he was going to be put to death, but they were also having their own problems with discord between leaders, people trying to convince the faithful to go back to the old ways and persecution because of their faith. For Philippians, at that time, things were out of control.
But Paul offered the Philippians hope and clear instructions on how to achieve peace from worry and anxiety.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
Notice he doesn’t just write “Do not be anxious,” but says “Do not be anxious about anything.” When things are totally out of control, the only solution is to give it to God. Turn off or shut out all your distractions. Focus your thoughts on God and thank Him for being with you in all things. Just take a few deep breaths and sit quietly.
Is COVID-19 going to go away immediately? Probably not, because God doesn’t promise to change the circumstances. Jesus still died on the cross. God does promise to give us strength and peace and the ability to face our concerns and fears.
Don’t be anxious or worry. Pray. We are not in control. God is