Keep your balance in the storm of bad news

"I am up to here with warnings and arguments and scary stories on the Blog. Two women. coffee shop.7.2021news!" wails the young woman at the next table."

"Me, too," her friend answers. My kids keep pestering me with questions, but I have no answers.  How do I know if school actually will start this fall? Or if we'll have to wear masks again and all that routine? Or if it's safe to walk or ride a bike around our town, what with people--and kids--being shot at by some stranger driving down the street?  

"I just want to grab everybody I love and never let go. Maybe never leave home."

As the two young moms got ready to leave, I heard the younger one say, "Sometimes I think the only safe place is in a cave on some far away island!"  

Remarks like this swirl around all of us. People are frightened and uneasy, wondering what will happen next. And to whom.

It seems the torrent of troubles never lets up. 

Is there any good news to report?

Answer: Yes, but most of it goes unreported. Television reporters and newscasters and newspaper headlines almost always lead with crimes, tragedies and misdemeanors.

Trace it back to a standard slogan of the news business: "If it bleeds, it leads."

Statistics show that readership and TV viewership go up--way up--when they feature bad news and tales of people who assault or kill others. The more horrific the better. Then they get to add in speculations about motives and/or possible crimes.

They fill in the gaps with opinions on possible doom and destruction that may lurk just ahead.  

This allows us the "privilege" of consuming a steady diet of this kind of stuff during every waking moment.

Is it any wonder so many of us feel anxiety that won't quit? 

What if we made a better choice?  

Here's the sobering truth. Nobody forces us to feed on the news 24/7--or several times a day.

It's like an addiction. Maybe someone should start a BNAA: Bad News Addiction Anonymous.

This startup could borrow the "Serenity Prayer," used by Alcoholics Anonymous and other self-help organizations. Here's one common version:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.

Repeat aloud (or silently) as often as needed.

You see, whatever our age, our finances or our life situation, we need something solid to hang onto. We can choose to focus on God's faithfulness.

That never changes. Never lets us down.

Because God never changes.

Remember, God brought us to this day 

My favorite grandmother, who died at age 101, never lost sight of that and considered every day a gift. The last time I saw her was two years before her death. 

Grandma's beautiful, wrinkled face glowed as she said, "You know, Lenore, God is SO good. He never left me alone for a minute."

Ah, yes, Grandma. He never leaves any of His children alone for a minute.

Anytime. Anywhere.

So let's fill our minds and hearts with Bible promises like these:

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.   Psalm 55:22

He (she) who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."   Psalm 91:1-2

(Jesus said) "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."   John 14:27

How about a new slogan for our life? "If it feeds, it leads."

We could call it the "Good Stuff Diet."

Even a snack-size serving, day after day, can drive out fear and plant His peace in its place. The peace that passes all human understanding, remember?  

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.   Philippians 4:6-7

Every day, no matter how dismal the news, we have a choice. Let's choose to see the joy in each day, because that's every bit as real as the bad news. We just have to look for it. 

Lord, give us eyes to see!


October 17, 2022

October 01, 2022

August 05, 2022

August 20, 2021

April 15, 2021


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