Skip to main content

Do Not Panic

And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don't panic. Yes, these things must come, but the end won't follow immediately." Luke 21:9 NLT

You never saw anybody in a panic who did not grab for themselves, whether it was sugar or butter or nations. –Oswald Chambers*

The clearest evidence that God’s grace is at work in our hearts is that we do not get into panics. –Oswald Chambers*
Panic. Chambers wrote these words in 1914. World War I had just begun and, understandably, Britain was frightened, terrified, scared, alarmed and in panic. Each of these words are used in different translations of the verse above. Chambers chose the Moffat translation, which uses “scared,” but the word he focussed on was “panic,” even though the NLT wouldn’t be produced for another 82 years. Panic. Britain would lose, in WWI, more than twice the number of military personnel it would lose later in WWII—a good reason for panic, though in 1914 no one knew the outcome of the war.

“You never saw anybody in a panic who did not grab for themselves, whether it was sugar or butter or nations.” I smiled at this because I saw myself. I know he’s talking about trying to get as much of the rationed products as possible, but it spoke to me about my comfort-eating. In times of distress, I reach for food—ice cream, whipped cream, anything sweet and creamy—not much different from Britain households grabbing for sugar and butter. It was nice to hear him say I'm not alone.

I’ve never identified these times as ones of panic but the word seems to fit. At what am I panicking? That my world is, in some way, falling apart? Moving out of control? That reminds me of what God showed me the other day about control. Is it so important I hold my world together and stay in control that I panic when I can’t and reach for the closest comfort?

“The clearest evidence that God’s grace is at work in our hearts is that we do not get into panics.” If this is true, and I think it is, then somehow my over-eating or my wrong eating is an indication that in some ways at some times, I shut out God’s grace from my heart. Ouch! I’ve prided myself on the lack of panic in my responses to things but evidently I’ve not seen the whole picture—my wrong eating reveals the truth. The panic is there, regardless of what I call it.

God, how is it that I don’t trust you in all things? If I did, I wouldn’t turn to food for comfort and safety, but to you—in all situations—but I don’t. I tighten my control and feed my fear with food. Can I let go of control? Am I willing to let my world fall apart, sitting amidst the broken pieces with rest and confidence despite the chaos? How do I get there? A counsellor once told me to sit and groan in the pain. I’ve learned to do that in some areas but obviously not in all. Why not? Please show me and help me! I can’t do this without you. So be it.

*”Christian Disciplines, Volume 1” in The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers, page 292.


Popular posts from this blog

Monogamous, Homosexual Unions--My Position and the Story behind it

I've been asked to be one of two participants at church each representing opposing views on the matter of monogamous, homosexual unions, moderated by the pastor.  In preparation, I have written the following.  In the comments, please do not post any vitriol--from either side. If I think any comment is hateful, I will delete it. Respectful disagreement or questions are welcome, however.

My Position and Values:
I believe that sexual relations between two people of the same sex is contrary to God’s will.I would like to say otherwise but I find nothing in Scripture that allows me to do so.BEING homosexual, having a longing or desire for someone of the same sex, is not condemned in the Bible.  We all have desires that are contrary to God’s will.  The sin occurs when we feed those desires, like Jesus talks about when he calls lust adultery (Matthew 5:28).Much cruelty to LGBTQ people has happened because of the stance of the Church. We have not acted with love, compassion and listening ear…

In My Prayer Room

Oh God
You surround me with your love,
with memories
of who you are
of what you've done
of promises you've made
of who I want to be
of who I am because of you.

You give me hope and joy,
peace and gratitude.
You convict me
and teach me
encourage me
and remind me
of what it means to follow you.

You listen to my prayers
and grant my requests
in your time.
You give me insight
and knowledge
and words to write
to share your presence
your goodness
your love
your admonition
with others.

You expand my love
to pray for friend and foe
near and far
family and stranger
people as pins on maps
clustered and scattered
who know you and reject you
for those in need
and those too full to need.

You draw me close
and then release me
to bring you close to others
to serve
and love
and give
all I have received.

You fill my heart with joy
that warms
and glows
and bursts
into laughter,
and even dance.

You wrap me in your arms
and tell me
"You are mine"
with intensity that burns
and smoul…

Circle of the Musk Ox

Message by Nathan Riegeras interpreted by Debbie Haughland Chan
It was at an elders’ meeting several years ago that someone received a picture of the musk ox circle.When danger approaches, the musk oxen form a circle, enclosing the weak and vulnerable and face outwards as a solid wall of protection.Nothing but a mouse can get past the power of their horns.Society today gathers around the beautiful and successful, paying homage to those who’ve had the lucky breaks.But what would it be like if, instead of the “best” in the centre and the weaker, less successful crowding around them, the weak and vulnerable were in the centre with the strong and confident encircling them—not in obeisance but as a strong wall, facing away from the centre in solidarity against those on the outside who would destroy?Loneliness.Abandonment.These are places of terror for those living on the fringes of society but what if, as a church, we lived as the musk ox?Not long after the elders’ meeting, the church held …