How are you dealing with the stress of the coronavirus lockdown?
We’ve heard so many stories of people coping with the emotional, financial and spiritual upheaval.
One conversation that just broke my heart was of a husband who committed suicide, leaving his wife and four children deep in sorrow, grappling with questions that have no earthly answers.
His circumstances drove him to that decision. His thinking, influenced by thoughts and matters I can’t even imagine, drove him to his fateful conclusion.
What drove his incessant negative thinking? What drives yours and mine?
Being mindful of what influences our thinking is critical to our spiritual, emotional and physical survival, now more than ever.
Don’t fixate on negative thoughts. Don’t let the “earworm” of negativity, fear and anxiety get a stranglehold on your thinking.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”(Proverbs 4:23).
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he …” (Proverbs 23:7)
The word “heart” in the original Hebrew means “the inner man, mind, will, heart.” The heart is where our thoughts, emotions and all the things that motivate and mold us are found.
So if you tell me what’s in your heart, I can tell you who you are and the life you live. What you think is what you are. Our thought life controls us.
Our thoughts —positive, negative, good, or bad– control your attitudes. Our attitudes are the sum total of your thoughts, and those attitudes lead to our actions.
Don’t fixate on negative thoughts. Don’t let the “earworm” of negativity, fear, anxiety get a stranglehold on your thinking.
You’ve might have heard this verse from the book of Psalms before — God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble – but does it have any more relevance today?
There are similar verses throughout the Bible that give the believer certain assurances that God is always present even when it might not seem so, like now, in the age of the coronavirus.
One way to keep our focus on dealing with the anxiety, uncertainty, job loss, the friction and frustrations of being cooped up with others or isolated by ourselves is mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
Thinking about the Lord brings us peace, meditating on the Word, studying it, spending dedicated time reading scripture daily — now we have even more time — can calm us. Meditating can help relieve our depression and anxiety and improve our psychological well-being.
But that’s so hard at times, particularly with all that’s happening all around us nowadays.
Become more mindful of God’s presence. Meditate by thinking deliberately, contemplating your purpose, reflecting on the Word you have studied.
Here are five verses to mediate over, being mindful that God is with us, even when we must endure pains.
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)
Focusing on God – and not on the calamity around us — brings joy, peace, contentment, relaxation and renewal.
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.(James 4:7)
When we don’t know what will happen, submit to His will in our lives, even if it means that we must suffer. None of us can escape some type of ills because of the world we live in.
And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. (Colossians 1:17)
Because of God’s omniscience, nothing escapes his gaze or His hand, and for Christians, His Grace.
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; (1 Peter 2:9)
We are under His protection, always, even when we cannot see or understand what is happening around us.
You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
This means the chaos in the world is not of God’s making but is the work of Satan. Being mindful of this — that we’re in the midst of spiritual warfare — is critical to our understanding of how we endure it.
Don’t throw in the towel!
It might not seem so, but we are equipped to get through this. Even with job losses, social distancing, sickness and even death, He is a very present help in our times of trouble.
It is through faith that we can persevere. It is through meditating on the Gospels’ good news that we can rest in love of God in Christ Jesus.