When the ground beneath your feet seems to shift, focus on what is sure and never changing.
I felt my first earthquake recently. I was in my car, waiting for my wife outside a drug store, and I felt the car move back and forth. I turned around to see if someone was pushing on my car, rocking it. No one was there. A few seconds later the sensation passed but it was disturbing and disorienting—not unlike how confused and uncertain many of us feel these days as the ground beneath us seems to shift during this pandemic. Can I go out in public? Are the dangers too great? What are the rules today? Will I have a job? What can I depend on? How do I find—or achieve—some kind of even keel?
While none of us can control the shifts that are taking place around us—or under our feet—we can find a sense of equilibrium and stability by training our minds and hearts on what is real, solid, unwavering and enduring.
I find that some prayers—especially those found in the Bible—can calm and center me when I feel like there’s little I know or can count on. These are some of the prayers I turn to repeatedly. At times I’ve even adopted one to read, recite and repeat throughout the day when I find my heart racing or fears spiking:
1) I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8, NIV)
2) The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace. (Psalm 29:11, NIV)
3) May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17, NIV)
4) Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; may Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. (Psalm 143:10, NIV)
5) May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13, NIV)
6) And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7, NIV)
7) God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The LORD knows those who are His." (2 Timothy 2:19, NLT)
In times of change and uncertainty, it helps to focus and meditate on things that are sure and never changing. After all, most of the time, my greatest need isn’t for external circumstances to change, but to point my own attitudes and actions in the proper direction.