I won't lie to you. Today, I woke up in the dark hours of early morning, my mind instantly alert and fighting off what I can only describe as the creeping tentacles of fear. Maybe it is that the beginning of a new year is supposed to be filled with thoughts of better things to come and new potential; yet, everything I see and hear is telling me the exact opposite.
Normally, I am strong and resilient, always able to see and understand my purpose in these times. I have become adept at fighting off the doubt and stoically resuming my state of readiness. But there are times that I let those defenses down, and revert to what we all are ... vulnerable people in a distorted and unhealthy world.
I imagine that I am like many of you ... up to speed on the economy, as well as national and global security issues; and fully knowledgable about the threats to our healthcare, our faith, and all the rights guaranteed to us by the Constitution. We listen to the Mainstream Media and we read the "crazy" websites; at least, they used to be considered crazy before time and circumstances have proven that many of their projections were accurate. Our discernment and our understanding have morphed and grown; we are educated in ways we never imagined possible. In a sense, we have achieved an altered state of consciousness; risen to a new level of perception of ourselves and the world.
Yet that doesn't keep us from returning to our deep-rooted human instincts and our powerful desire to escape back in time to what used to pass for normalcy. Do you even remember what "normal" used to look like just a few short years ago? When you didn't give a thought to the location of your much-anticipated family vacation, or have to worry about eating seafood out of the Pacific? What about when you took your retirement and 40l(k) accounts for granted. And remember when you used to trust the government? When you accepted their every action as being in your best interest? Now we find ourselves living in a constant state of renunciation, at worst; or skepticism, at best. Then there was the certainty of what the future held for our children and grandchildren; everyone could expect an education, a job, a family and the successful fulfillment of your dreams.
In the back of our minds is that yearning: "I just want my life to be normal again !" Hey, I'll admit it. I do, too! But here's a truth that you may not want to hear ... that time that we knew as "normal" is gone! We can't ignore the reality of what has changed in our country and the world. We may not want to acknowledge it, but we have to face it. We have crossed a threshold, taken the exit ramp, walked through the looking glass, and all the other clichés that describe the trajectory we're on. There is no real possibility of turning back.
And if you are a Christian, you know where we're going. Just as importantly, if you are not a Believer, I urge you to research the promises that have been made regarding eternity. You can't deny what the Word has revealed to us. But you will also find that there's more to the story than the events we see unfolding all around us.
So, as I laid there in the dark this morning, listening to the soft breathing of my husband, I was fully aware of where the anxiety was coming from. I knew that this was the time the Enemy found easiest to distract me. When he could dump a big 'ol pile of what ifs into my brain; and show me all the scary scenarios that could unfold. He tried whispering, "Do you really think you can escape my plans for the world? Just how do you think you can change what I've set in motion?"
I have to admit, it would be easy to succumb to those doubts and/or slip into a "safer" mode of thinking; one where I long for the security of the past. But I refused to let the dark of the early morn pervade my soul. I know that I am just one person among millions on this planet; here for just one moment in all of time. But I am created in the image of the Lord; I am a child of His Light, and the darkness has no power over me. My life may not be of any great consequence in the annals of history, but I can choose to live it by being engaged in the fight between Good and Evil.
I know this morning won't be the last time I face this struggle. As the days progress, I have a feeling that the attacks of doubt will become more persistent. But I have a choice in how I react, and so do you. When you find yourself bogged down with fear, unbelief or uncertainty, turn to the One that created you and the One who is faithful to fulfill His promise to you. He will never leave us nor forsake us in our times of trouble. Escaping to the past and our lost notion of "normalcy" won't bring us closer to Him. That just turns us away from where He is calling us. Turn towards Him and take just one step at a time in His direction. I think we will be surprised at just how calm and strong and brave we can be. We are not alone on this journey --- we have each other, and we have our Lord and Savior. And that's all we really need to face the future!
John 1:5 "The Light shines in the darkness; and the darkness has not overcome it."