Today I was irritated because Kroger didn't have a very good selection of produce, I forgot my coupons, all the Gala apples that were $0.99 a pound were wiped out, and the next cheapest apples were $1.99 a pound, and they were HUGE, so my receipt shows that I paid $15 just for apples. (My family really likes apples.). Ridiculous. When I saw an acquaintance we exchanged pleasantries, we then both bemoaned the fact that it was, indeed, a Monday. Ugh.
My mind started going down that path--the one you don't like, but can't seem to help, you know the one--Life is so annoying sometimes. Mondays stink. I mean, $15 for apples? A big 'ol bruise on my backside just because I am apparently the most oblivious person on the planet? Really, Monday?? Me, me, me...
But when I got a phone call that a shooting had occurred in the DC area, I was stopped in my tracks. Unfortunately, it often takes a tragedy to bring me out of my self-focused haze and back to the real world. There was a person out there who was frustrated enough by life to hatch a plan to go try and kill other innocent people, and whether he succeeded or not, its a scary reality to face. When I heard the news, my first reaction was fear. What is this world coming to?? How many tragedies will we have to endure? How many people will have to get hurt? What will my children, and their children, have to face in the future? My frustrations from earlier were minimized and all I could think of were the families and people affected by yet another shooting. And suddenly, my Monday that is always so stable and secure, always the same (and sometimes even boring), seemed unstable and shifting like sand. It's disconcerting and troubling, and I found myself in a sea of fear, anxiety and worry. And I don't like that feeling. It robs me of any joy, peace or faithfulness that I previously had, and it snowballs in my head to the point of not wanting to leave my house.
The world offers no security, no refuge from the crazy. It affects us all in small ways and big. I find myself wishing there was somewhere I could go, some place I could be just to feel safe. To keep my family safe. And yet, in the midst of the madness, the Bible promises peace. It even promises joy. It promises all the things I want but can't permanently find in this world. For me, the true battle today isn't being physically fought. It's a battle for the soundness of my mind, and on that front, the Bible promises a safe haven from a world that seems to be coming unhinged at it's very core.
But I may come unhinged first.
Prayer is the first line of defense that I have against the threat of worry, anxiety, fear and doubt. David prayed over and over in the Psalms for the Lord to hear his prayer, and I believe that He does. Psalm 66:20 says "Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me." Going to the Lord and taking all my anxiety, my worry, my fears and my doubts isn't always easy, but it's the best way to put those things that I can't handle on the shoulders of The One who can.
“Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him,
for he shields him all day long,
and the one the Lord loves
rests between his shoulders.”