In Times of Trouble

I remember as a kid when we would do fire drills and tornado drills. I can’t imagine it was the highlight of the day for teachers, but as a student I was thrilled to break up the typical routine of the day. Depending on the drill we’d file out of the classroom into the hallway or out on the lawn across the parking lot, practicing the procedures and plans if there were to be an emergency. Schools now have to implement active shooter drills and lockdowns in the case of a school threat. Ultimately, each of these are put into place to know what to do when there is a time of trouble.

Do we have a plan in place for our own lives?

Jesus gives us pretty clear indication we’ll face it in our lives.
“In the world you have distress” -John 16:33
Let’s be real, there is plenty of distress around us: Political and social division, Covid-19, the situation in Afghanistan, and so much more.
Add on the unique day to day stressors and challenges each of face, we ought to have a plan in place of what to do. It has become easier to “doom scroll” through social media and let our reactions get the best of us in the comment section. We shake our heads while watching the news. Our conversations turn more and more bitter with one another as we desperately hang on to any shred of positivity and hope in our world. Before we know it, any plan we might have had in place has been obliterated with a sensationalized version of coping. Believe me, I’ve done it.

I know it’s cliché, but what would Jesus do?

In the face of the darkest moments of Jesus’ life on earth,
Jesus implemented his plan for trouble: He prayed.
“‘Stay here while I go and pray over there.’ When he took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, he began to feel sad and anxious. Then he said to them, ‘I’m very sad. It’s as if I’m dying. Stay here and keep alert with me.'” -Matthew 26:36-38
Sounds too good to be true, right? Certainly praying wouldn’t magically make it all go away. Well, it didn’t make it all go away, but here’s what it do.
Jesus was able to orient Himself to God instead of the circumstances.
He encouraged his disciples to do the same. Our tendency can also be to shut down and think, ‘well it’s not impacting me’. Jesus encourages in the midst of trouble to be alert.

Here’s my encouragement and challenge for you today:

It’s important for us to name we are certainly in a time of trouble as a world.
Jesus calls us to be alert, to stay in the know and be aware of what’s happening around us, so we’re not aloof to the cries of those in need.
Be alert and pray. Orient yourself to God and not the situation.
Before posting that comment, pray for God’s words and wisdom.
Before complaining about the state of the world, pray for God’s mercy and peace to be known by all.
Before shaking your head in frustration, pray for God’s Spirit to sustain you.
Let us remain alert in a world that desperately needs the hope of Jesus in these times.