You don’t have to listen to the news very long to hear something that may be upsetting and probably too hard core for a young child. In my area this week we have a toddler who wandered away from his home while mom napped, and he drowned in a nearby pond. Andrea Yates is in the news regarding her request to visit church on Sundays; she’s the Houston area mom who drowned all five of her children in a bathtub about a decade ago. And nationwide upset over the death of Trayvon Martin is alarming not only because of the needless loss of a young man’s life but in the way the shooting seems to be creating further racial divide.
Some people are so busy today, they literally may be tempted to organize a community awareness campaign about how easy it is for children to drown, protest the weekend release of Andrea Yates, and then organize a fundraiser to provide assistance to parents of murdered children. There are a million and one daily opportunities to be involved in the world. So how do you keep from being overwhelmed by both the sadness and the urge to take action? I will share my secret, but it’s actually advice that I got from the Bible.
God created you; He understands that life can literally knock your feet out from underneath you. He instructs you and me (all of us) to:
- Simply take life one day at a time. (Matthew 6:34)
- Keep your eyes on things above and not things below, which means to dwell on God’s Word, His promises, His instructions, His goodness, heaven, etc. (Colossians 3:2)
- Get in tune with God and listen for His voice because He will tell you what your part in the world is intended to be. And when you do what God has for you to do, you can be sure that it will be effective. (Isaiah 30:21)
- Be thankful! A genuinely thankful heart is a happy heart. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
- Be generous. You can’t solve world hunger. But you can buy canned goods for the local food pantry, donate the clothing your family doesn’t need anymore, and help a friend in need. (Luke 6:38)
- Treat others the way you wish you were treated, and that alone could change the world by starting a domino effect of people being good to one another. (Matthew 7:12)
- Delight yourself in God and in the other good things of life, such as family. (Psalm 37:4)
The Christian life doesn’t mean we walk around with our heads in the clouds, but it does mean that we can dwell in the peace of God no matter what the bad news of the day is.