Fires, floods, massacres, and tragedies of all sorts abound. Like many of you, I find the constant onslaught of bad news overwhelming. How should I respond? How can I help? It’s tempting to crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head until it goes away, or until I can make sense of it all.
It makes me feel a bit better to send donations for the victims of various calamities (One Great Hour of Sharing a multi-denominational outreach, gets close to 100% of donations to the needy) , but there is only so much I can give and the tragedies keep coming.
When feeling helpless, it is tempting to misdirect the frustration onto whatever target is closest, but a more productive coping mechanism might be taking one small step at a time within one’s own sphere of influence: do the next right thing you can do. Make a difference where you can make a difference; be kind to people you encounter, offer praise freely when it’s deserved, forgive slights, real or imagined, and most of all, pray for one another and trust God.
In these days of spiritual warfare, stay equipped with the full armor of God.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. – Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)