This is my least favorite time of the year.
More than mid-April’s tax return deadline. More than the weeks of December 7 or September 11, two days for remembering savage aggression against helpless people. It’s the last few days of October…and Halloween.
When I was younger this was a fun time to remember God’s goodness with images of pumpkins and harvested grain. We took time to pay for pleasant encounters with cute kids in costumes by handing out treats. Now, with a media- saturated environment overwhelming us with hours and hours devoted to witchcraft and images from the dark side, we’re tempted to wonder, if we’re not careful, whether light truly does overcome darkness. Is God, indeed, sovereign, in the face of all powerful rebellion and evil?
Focusing on the unimaginable pain inflicted on children worldwide doesn’t help combat the sadness I feel either. I’m referring to the millions who aren’t cute – who don’t need costumes to reveal how personal their encounters are with raw evil. Victims of conflict, they are born to pain and suffering as standard fare. How am I supposed to respond to these?
Here are four ways I’ve found helpful:
Push aside the false rhetoric. Kids may be cute, but life is often ugly. Spiritual warfare is real; our weapons are not forged from earthly resources. Ephesians 5:10-18
- Rely on God’s Spirit to reveal His unique plan. Refuse to trust in human resources over heavenly – respond, not react.
- Act accordingly in simple obedience, whatever I’m called to do.
- Yield and relinquish all that is within me that reacts out of fear or anger, replacing these with love.
I know, simplistic answers and probably not all that practical. What have you found that helps you keep your perspective Christ-honoring this week?