When unimaginable things happen it is common to react with disbelief. We are stunned into temporary paralysis, however briefly, before we can begin to respond appropriately to the new reality in our lives. This is the root of the common phenomenon referred to as denial.
People who are called upon to respond quickly to the unexpected, such as firefighters, soldiers, and doctors, spend hours training in order to suppress this completely normal instinctive reaction. They cannot do their jobs unless they can simply accept the situation, however unbelievable it may be, and call upon their training immediately.
In today’s world we are being thrust into ever more unexpected, unprecedented, and unimaginable events. We cannot afford to give in to stunned disbelief. Denial of reality doesn’t do anyone any good.
As Christians we have access to the Holy Spirit to help us through the upheavals, but it is up to us to train everyday for the next onslaught on our faith.
God is our strong refuge;Psalm 46:1
he is truly our helper in times of trouble.
We must drill ourselves to react immediately by turning to God in prayer and the Word, not by wringing our hands and bemoaning the situation.
Crying out to God should be instinctive if we have a daily prayer life. Turning to Scripture in moments of distress calls for a more focused approach.
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.2 Timothy 3:16-17
However, every Bible verse is not necessarily applicable to every situation. Simply waiting until we panic and flipping the pages at random and then stabbing a finger onto the page is less than helpful. While dealing with grief, for example, reading several verses of “begats” may not ease your pain. It is important to become familiar with God’s Word and to be able to recall the words of comfort, encouragement, or direction your situation may call for.
There are a number of unbelievable events swirling around us these days. In order to respond as Christ wants us to, we cannot deny the realities. With His help, we can face each new day, each new outrage, with confidence knowing that God, our refuge and strength, is with us through it all.