So, it's been a weird year again so far, huh?
I mean, I kind of expected a lot of people to be unhappy about the election results. Didn't expect them to turn out en masse to demonstrate that, but last year taught us that demonstrations, peaceful or not, get a lot of attention, so I should have seen that coming.
I didn't expect Big Tech to start literally censoring those they disagree with. But "cancel culture" has presaged that, so it's not a big surprise either.
My blogs and website are hosted by Google-owned Blogger. Might they pull the plug on them at some point because of my religious beliefs? Could be. I would be sad. And angry. Might not be surprised, though, by that point. Shutting someone up online is popular these days. Then again, I'm a pretty small fish, so who knows.
I've been battling a lot of anxiousness the last week or two. Haven't been writing much as a result, because my creative juices have been at a low ebb. When current events begin to severely damage my calm, that does happen. I've spent a lot of time in prayer, reading the Bible, and thinking.
This morning, I decided I was done losing sleep and calm over this.
It's one thing to know that the world is not ever going to love Christians, and another to face encroaching persecution. Mentally, I know the world does't love Christ and doesn't love his followers. Spiritually, I know that Got will work all things for the best of those who love him, and that he says "the best" doesn't equal "an easy life," but rather "a home in heaven."
But it's hard to focus on God's promises when you're afraid. I keep coming back to that image of Peter walking on the water just fine as long as he focuses on Jesus, but as soon as he looks at the scary world around him, fear pushes its way to the forefront and he starts to sink. But remember how that story ends? Peter doesn't think, "Oh, crap, I am sinking, guess I'll drown." He cries out to Jesus for help. Jesus instantly helps.
I've done a lot of crying out to the Lord for help. For mental and emotional calm. This morning, I searched my heart and mind to figure out exactly what is bothering me the most about the recent events. And I realized that it comes down to two of the things that I have struggled with all my life: change and uncertainty about what happens next. Lack of a plan. Lack of control.
I hate change. I get things the way I like them, and I want them to stay that way even if change would make things better. I like having a plan. Even if the plan has to get revised, I like having it. Plans make me feel secure. I like being the one to make the plan, especially, because I want control. Control makes me feel safe.
Hey, guess what? I have never been in control of my life. Ever. I can delude myself that I have been, and I've done a great job of that. But none of us is promised tomorrow. None of us is promised the next minute. God says he knows the plans that HE HAS for us. Not the plans we have for ourselves. Not the plans we want to make. Not the plans we've already made and are really looking forward to. His plans.
And once I faced that, once I prayed to God and said, "Lord, take my fear of change and my enthusiasm for control, and replace them with trust in you," you know what happened?
I smiled. And then, I laughed.
And part of Proverbs 31:25 came into my mind:
She laughs without fear of the future.
And I realized, this was it! This was the sinful source of my fear and doubt and anxiety and anguish. Me holding onto my desire to control them and freaking out because I can't control what's happening. And once I repented of that, there was room for more of God's peace that passes all understanding.
Christ's words in John 16:33 has been on my mind and heart a lot these last couple weeks, so I'll leave you with them:
"In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."
(HAVE overcome. Past tense. Done; finished; accomplished. The end.)