Hope for Living: Hope for the disoriented soul

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Has the chaos of this season brought about an unrest within you? If so, you are not alone.

Statistics continue to point to the fact that our culture is more stressed and anxious than at any point in my lifetime. No one can deny that the last 2½ years have challenged us as a culture, and our families, marriages and congregations are vulnerable in many ways.

Many of us can relate to the old fairy tale “Chicken Little.” In the fable, a chicken named Henny Penny is running around the barn yard consumed by the happenings of the day when suddenly an acorn falls from a tree and hits her in the head. Her immediate response is shock. What happened? In her shock, she becomes disoriented from reality and draws an inaccurate conclusion: “Surely the sky must be falling.”

Some people are walking through this season of history in shock. Who could have even predicted the pandemic? And if the pandemic isn’t enough to disorient your soul, look at all the chaos of this season. Gas prices hover around $5 a gallon. The markets have gone from “bull” to “bear.” The social wars continue to rage over gender, sexual orientation, abortion and anything moral. Politics seems to have lost touch with reality, and the truth seems no longer relevant. What are we to think in this hour of history? Is the sky falling? Will life ever return to “normal?”

If you are struggling with a disoriented soul, then I want to offer a few thoughts about how to reorient your soul using God’s Word.

Psalm 46 has vivid imagery regarding the chaos that often rages in our lives. Read it and you will find that the whole earth is quaking. Mountains are literally falling into the sea and the rivers rage. Wars dominate the earth, and fire rains down.

Certainly the one who lives in that chaos is going to be prone to fear and anxiety. But all these chaotic happenings are placed into a context. That context is that they are described with a confident assurance that though they are happening, the writer is not afraid or concerned because his eyes are locked upon a God who is able and benevolent even in the harshest trial.

Yes, there are multiple mentions of the chaos, but more dominant than the circumstances is the picture of a good and loving God who cares. The Psalm begins with “The Lord is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

The final verse says, “The Lord almighty is with us!!!” That is a great reminder in days when we feel like the sky is falling.

One last thing as you read Psalm 46: Don’t miss verse 10. Notice amid all the calamity we are told to “Be still.”

I don’t know about you, but when wars rage around me and my world quakes and seems to be falling apart, I am not good at being still. But my experience has proven that when I feel like the sky if falling all around me, my only response that seems helpful is to simply still my soul in the presence of my God.

In that place, I find perspective. Take heart! God is not done yet!