God with us - Week 1: Isaiah 41:10
I’ve slipped back into a habit I thought I’d broken!
Every morning, the first thing I do is pick up my phone and check the news notifications. Then I check Facebook, then Twitter, and then grab the remote and put on the news channel! Sky News or BBC to start and then CNN if I want to feel better about the state of the UK! Then throughout the day, when there’s a minute to spare, I follow the same scrolling pattern or put the news on again! I go through spells of being disciplined, turning to my Bible app first thing in the morning, or even putting my phone out of reach, but I ultimately fall back into the same pattern. Although I don’t like to admit it, it sets a negative tone for the day and reinforces the feeling that there’s always bad news around the corner.
Now, there may be some of you feeling quite pleased with yourselves because you would never do such a thing, but we all have ways of distracting ourselves from the worries of life. Sometimes, rather than confronting our concerns about the state of the world, we bury our worries away, denying they exist and then fill our time with distractions. I’m not talking about the healthy stuff like taking the dog for a walk or reading a good book; I’m talking about the things we do that make us feel pretty rubbish about ourselves. Maybe like polishing off a jar of Nutella with a spoon…not that I know anyone who would do that…well this is awkward!
Whatever distraction we choose, it’s often to mute underlying worry or fear.
Invariably it doesn’t help!
So, what can we do instead?
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)
If you’re like me, you read “Don’t be afraid,” and think, “if only it were that simple!” My incessant news watching is to gather as much information as possible to be sure I haven’t missed anything. You won’t be able to catch me out if I have all the info!
All the while, I miss the most important thing.
The information I should gather throughout the day and revisit regularly is found in our first “God with us” scripture reading.
Five simple statements.
The deal throughout all of these blogs is that I’ll always be honest with you. In return, I ask for one thing. As you read, be honest with yourself.
What are some of the unhealthy distractions that you use when you feel afraid or worried?
What one change could you make this week that would switch your mind to focus on the five simple statements found in Isaiah 41:10?
As we move through our first week of the “God with us” project, let’s notice the moments where the five simple statements of Isaiah 41:10 are evident in our everyday lives.