CHANGE YOUR CLIMATE
DONA NOBIS PACEM
GRANT US PEACE
– DTH –
CHANGE YOUR CLIMATE
DONA NOBIS PACEM
GRANT US PEACE
– DTH –
Recently I saw an article about our need to look after ourselves as best we can at this time of pandemic and lockdown. It used Maslow’s hierarchy of need to show this.
This got me thinking of another useful diagram from Social Science days. Kübler Ross’s stages of grief.
A grief doesn’t always need to be as a result of a loss in the family or among our friend group. Grief can happen when someone you love walks out of your life, it can happen when abrupt changes happen at work and it certainly can occur when normal life is disrupted by a pandemic and government measures. There is a lot of arguments on social media and in the media at large around the topic of both the pandemic, the extent of it, and about the need or lack of need for lockdowns or restrictions. Watching all this going on we can observe not only that everyone has different opinions, but that not everyone is at the same stage of grief. An extreme example is someone interested in conspiracy theories (including both those for or those against lockdown etc) with no foundation or evidence may be considered perhaps as someone in denial. Someone who continues in that phase may be in deep denial. I’ve long argued that the stages of grief don’t always come in the same order for everyone. For me personally it is all over the place. One thing that we need to realise for ourselves is that this is a grief so we need to be gentle with ourselves. We also may be at a different stage of grief or transitioning in a different order than others. Therefore let us be gentle and kind with each other.
For people of Faith here is some bible verses for overcoming grief. Context is important of course, but these verses may be useful when used well for you in your personal walk.
There is a scream way down deep in my heart and soul.
A primitive scream of mourning, anger and pain.
A scream that should it erupt would shatter worlds.
A scream that if possible would awaken the ancestors and echo into the generations.
A scream that would make demons tremble and angels take notice.
It is not my scream alone, but a scream of collective force.
Fires and floods ravaged the years.
War and racial tension shook the earth.
Childish leaders oppressed the innocent and child like.
The species drained the earth of life and resources.
Disease and pestilence attacked the species.
‘A pale horse and the one who rides on it is death and hell follows with him.’
What can hold back such a scream?
In my minds eye I see an empty old rugged cross, an empty tomb, creation groaning in birth pains, hope even in the darkness.
In my minds eye the scream becomes a whisper, “Be still all peoples, be still creation, be still my soul, be still and know that He is God.”
One of my favourite superhero quotes is “I hear everything. You wrote that the world doesn’t need a savior, but every day I hear people crying for one.” – Superman in Superman Returns (2006)
Some people say that if bad things happen there is no God. But, bad things happening is exactly the reason there needs to be a God. Someone to redress the balance. There needs to be hope, light and good amidst defeat, darkness and evil.
For Christians this global crisis is as good a time as any to re-acknowledge both our need of, as broken and fallen people who sin, and our hope in, the child born in a manger. Such a humble beginning for the King of Kings. Years after the stable birth His death would be brutal yet redemptive, His resurrection triumphant and hope giving. Soon His return will prove both inevitable and welcome. He is our hope. Blessed be His name!
“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” – John 14:1,2 (KJV)
Not being troubled, especially in the middle of a pandemic, seems virtually impossible. But, Christ can comfort us.
I read somewhere that our fear should be an invitation to faith.
A Christian, recently told me of a conversation they had with another Christian about what sounded like a panic attack of sorts. In the midst of this attack of anxiety (which was in reference to the pandemic and fear of death) this other Christian calmly said to them they didn’t feel they would get the virus or die, but if that did happen they would enter the prescence of God. A place of perfect peace. Now that is faith!
One thing I will say is that the shadow of death should encourage us all to examine ourselves, to make our calling and election sure. “Am I in Christ?” “Am I following Him well?” If the answer is no to either or both of these then now is the appointed time, now is the day of salvation. Accept Him as Lord and Savior and bear good fruit. Do not delay!
I’m not going to lie, I have struggled with thoughts in relation to death, this pandemic and all kinds of other anxiety. In fact I have a feeling I may have a social anxiety disorder, but still need to confirm that with a professional. So the bottom line is I am no stranger to anxiety. I do get it and understand others who do.
Yet, I recently rediscovered a verse that was so dear to me as a child and as a newly converted soul. The verse says, “Do not let your heart be troubled.” It was on the cover of a small tract that I think belonged to my Mum’s Granny originally. I still own the tract to this day. I find the words less like a demand, and more like an encouragement. Almost as if Abba is saying, “Come what may I have got you and I have got this. Be still my child, fear not.”
I close with another verse:
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (v27)