“Also take salvation as our helmet and the word of God as the sword that the Spirit supplies.” Ephesians 6:17 (GOD’S WORD Translation)
I sit unnerved as I write this — a gunman has opened fire on a Chattanooga, Tennessee military recruiting center and then moved on to another military facility where he killed four Marines. The recruiting center appears to be in a strip mall, and I think of mothers with young children, possibly there for a morning of casual shopping and running errands. Perhaps, they have just walked past the recruiting center when explosive sounds of gunfire permeate the air. I think “What would I do? If I had my grandchildren with me in a similar situation, would I be able to react quickly enough to push them to the ground and throw myself on top of them to protect them?” A hard question. And in the aftermath of the Chattanooga ordeal, I don’t even have to say what all of us are thinking: “Where next? Who next? What next?” Truth is, my home is only a few hours from Chattanooga, and this could easily have happened in my hometown.
It always seemed to happen somewhere else — in a different country, not in America. But our world changed on 9/11; life has never been the same. Nor will it ever be the same. In a world seemingly spinning out of control, where can we feel secure? Where can we find comfort? As Christians, we know the answer is “God” — but very often that simple answer seems almost like a platitude. Even though I am a Christian, I still feel fearful and anxioius when a Chattanooga happens — because the world is a scary place..and our fear is merely a human reaction that our God understands. So how do we stay in a place of trust in God when the world is falling apart?
- First, remember that the best way to find peace and comfort in this chaos is to daily arm yourself with the “sword of the Spirit which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). The Devil roams this earth throwing negatives our way CONSTANTLY—fear, uncertainty, doubt. The Bible tells us how Jesus dealt with the temptations Satan offered to Him…He quoted Scripture!! The Word of God is powerful…our very best weapon! So arm yourself EACH DAY by memorizing a verse; then repeat it often during the day (laminated cards/verses are readily available for this very purpose).
- Secondly, when a negative or fearful thought tries to invade your mind–toss it aside and refuse to let it enter your thoughts…shoo it away with Scripture. Make it your mission each day to give the Devil as much grief as you can! His days on this earth are numbered, and personally, I intend to make his last days pure agony!!!
- Thirdly, when you need some comfort/assurance, imagine yourself reaching upward toward two big arms that are reaching downward to pick you up and place you in a big lap. Then imagine those arms wrapped around you in a big hug—that’s God loving you, understanding your fears, and giving you comfort and peace.
- Fourth, recognize that as long as you live on this earth as a Christian, you will be involved in spiritual warfare. Just as our military personnel attempt to protect our homeland, know that you are a soldier, too—fighting the dark, evil, and often unseen forces. Stay armed and ready!
Suggested reading for encouragement in this area: The Frazzled Female by Cindi Wood—a quick read and well worth your time.
(c) 2015 Leslie O. Kelley