3 Keys to Guide Us Through These Disorienting Days
Life is a little crazy right now, huh?
I suppose that is an understatement. COVID-19 disrupted just about everything.
The world is shifting.
So much seems different: the masks, Zoom meetings, church, friendships, community, dining out. Even grocery shopping is different (who knew that washing your groceries would ever be a thing?).
Nothing seems the same. Nothing seems settled. So much is uncertain. Everything is disoriented.
I think the hardest part is how this just keeps going on and on.
At first we buckled down for a few months of staying home. Now that’s come and gone. But, the world hasn’t gone back to the way it was. It’s not “normal” anymore.
That’s how these things go. Things happen that disrupt and disorient us.
Life hits us with challenges that shift the way we do things.
When the dust settles, we begin the process of re-orienting ourselves. We begin to figure out how to do life differently.
Although COVID-19 is something altogether new, I’ve already been through many seasons of disorientation. I am sure you have too. We’ve all had to adapt and overcome the unexpected things that life throws at us.
Disorientation is a part of our spiritual journey. God can use these seasons to grow us, to change us.
I’ve found that these 3 keys help in disorienting times. They help me get through things with a measure of hope and joy.
They also put me in a better frame of mind to hear God and understand what he is doing in my life. I may not know what God is doing in the world around me, but I can still see what God is doing in my own life, in my own heart.
I’ve found these 3 keys to be essential in uncertain times.
They keep me grounded. They have helped me survive seemingly unbearable trials.
I want to share them with you because I think they can help you too.
So, here they are, the 3 keys to help us in disorienting times:
1. Focus on the last thing God clearly revealed to you.
Remind yourself of the last clear thing you heard God say.
When we can’t hear clearly, when we can’t see the road ahead, we go back to the last thing God revealed to us.
When it is hard to know what God is saying or doing right now, we don’t focus on our confusion. We remember the last time we had clarity.
Deliberately choose to focus on the past, when you last heard clearly from God.
2. Practice gratitude. Every day.
Like the previous key, this one also looks back to the past.
When the future is uncertain, don’t focus on your fear. Instead, remember the times that God has come through for you in the past.
Make time to memorialize God’s faithfulness to you. Remind yourself of the ways he has come through for you in the past. Establish an ebenezer for yourself (1 Samuel 7:12).
Don’t stop there. It’s not enough to be grateful for just the big things. Look for little things to be grateful for too. Enjoy the sunset. Appreciate your morning coffee.
Take pleasure in the small things—the things that give color to our lives.
Practice being grateful—not because God demands it—but because we need gratitude in order to survive.
Without gratitude, our hearts become bitter and weary.
The challenges of life will either make us better people, or they will make us bitter.
Let’s not become grumpy, bitter, old people.
Choose gratitude. Let’s grow older and happier, together.
3. Pay attention to what God is doing in your own heart.
All the the disorienting things that happen to us will change us.
Life shapes us. There is no way to avoid it.
God shapes us too. And, he uses the events of our lives to bring us closer to him, to make us more like him.
God uses every thing he can to form us into the kind of people we were destined to be.
Let’s partner with him. Let’s be sure to allow him to work in us through all the challenges we face.
As I said, we can become better, or we can become bitter. We can live in fear, or we can increase our faith. We can grow closer to God, or put up barriers to distance ourselves from him.
Even in times of disorientation and uncertainty, we can be certain that God is at work in our hearts.
We may not understand what he is up to in the world around us. But, we can be sure that he is working to bring good out of every mess.
We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan (Romans 8:28 VOICE).
So there it is. To summarize, the 3 keys are: focus on the last thing God clearly revealed to you, practice gratitude, and pay attention to what God is doing in your own heart.
These simple principles ground and sustain us through uncertain times.
They can give us a path through the disorienting days yet to come.
These 3 keys have helped me more than I can say. I hope they help you too. But, as always, if you feel like you need more—if you need someone to talk to—I am here to help. Feel free to reach out. I’d love to talk to you, to help you understand what God is doing in your life.
May God use these disorienting days to make us better people.
I wish you well in these crazy times. And, may you enjoy the journey!