We are living in tumultuous times. If you’ve been awake, you’re well aware of this and don’t need a primer to be advised. We’re all seeing a lot of things more clearly, and we’re running into brick walls on sharing and discussing many of them due to crackdowns on such fundamental rights as free speech. We are learning a lot too, about things we need to know but wish we weren’t learning and didn’t need to know. Things about subjects like spirit cooking and pizzagate. Both of which are hashtags on social media that are now being suppressed and redacted heavily.
In times such as these, times that try the soul, it’s important to exercise discipline and retain focus. No one can keep up with everything. Everyone has their pets and their peeves, and there are many who rely heavily on blurring the lines for earnest seekers. Fortunately, they are easy to spot, particularly if one recognizes the patterns.
But this article isn’t about those things, though each does deserve a litany of articles on its own. This article is about what we notice, see, become aware of that is unsettling, troubling, worrisome, and downright devastating or frightening and how-to be aware and yet remain peaceful. In the past several months, I’ve discovered that shining light into dark places and retaining peace requires one thing. Only one thing makes the difference. That one thing required is faith.
This season produced an avalanche of challenges to try the mind and spirit. It has revealed the worst in us, but it has also revealed the best in us. Those every-day and ordinary who stepped up and out, willing to risk their lives and all they have for truth, to protect the least and most vulnerable of us. To be messengers, delivering that which is needed to be known to defend and preserve humanity, but also the humanity inside us. To remove the scales from our eyes and permit us to see that the battle in which we have been and continue to be embroiled is a classic clash of good and evil.
That truth isn’t always easy to hear or see. It isn’t always easy to accept. We are by nature drawn to seeing the best in people, to believing the best. And much is so far outside our normal sphere, we have challenges accepting it as possible. Yet we discover that what we felt was impossible is at times occurring. Illusions are shattered. Reality bites us hard.
This situation naturally creates anxiety, triggers depression and fear. In some, it ignites a dark void of hopelessness. In observing, we see all those reactions and rage. A deep, irrational but valid rage born and raised in deception and manipulation. But just as experience has taught us in other situations, people of faith have the weapons required to face the truth of what is (versus what we wish it to be) and to react accordingly. The most powerful weapon in their arsenal is faith. We embrace it and rely on it. We hold tight to it. Because we know that ultimately God remains in control. That He is with us always. We remember His promises, His assertion that His ways are not our ways and that trials and challenges and bad things, he turns and uses for good. Crooked places are made straight. We hold fast to faith… and we trust. We trust Him.
And that is how, regardless of what is going on in our world, we claim peace. Faith is the answer, and trusting God is the master key to all doors.
When things are going well, we focus elsewhere. We believe but take God and faith for granted. We’ve seen the results of that. But when times get tough and life gets hard, then we draw close and faith becomes the thread that keeps us tethered. Faith sustains us. Faith restores us.
And that is the truth that helps us retain peace in tumultuous times.