Faith, Living with Intention, Trusting God

Faith: When Everything Is Not Okay

Picture of a fence holding you back from a river flowing and trees on the opposite bank, reminder that we still live with boundaries on our lives

@JeanneTakenaka

Our boys completed their school year from home, as did most American students.

Nine weeks of staying at home (except for buying a few groceries and taking morning walks).

Nine weeks of together time.

Nine weeks of trying to figure out what life should look like in this pandemic-defined world.

And there are still days when I wonder if we’ll ever move beyond the restrictions, the sometimes tedium, the testing of boundaries by our sons. There are days when I wonder if everything will ever be okay again.

A scene of a cement wall with a break in the middle to let water through and the morning sunlight shining through tree leaves...a reminder that there are still restrictions in our lives

And my problems are the small ones. Mine are the dealing mostly with the pandemic issues.

Many friends grapple with much bigger, more grave situations . . . 

Parents having a heart attack

Children receiving scary, painful diagnoses

Siblings taken down by COVID19

Whether what we face right now is “big” or seemingly small, this is the time to put feet to our faith. We can no longer sit back and say, “Yes, I’m I a Christian,” but live in fear, in complacency.

Our faith is held to the fire that tests. Do we believe God’s word or don’t we? Do we believe He is who He says He is, or do we not?

Here’s the thing I keep running up against . . .

An empty park with a view of a mountain crowned with a cloud

These are hard hard times. We haven’t faced a pandemic on this scale in over one hundred years. We don’t know how to “do pandemics.” We’re feeling our way forward, almost as one who is blind. We haven’t seen the kind of unrest we’re currently seeing in a long time. And honestly, sometimes, I feel helpless to stem any of it. I find it easier to shrink back into my small life and live from a place of control.

But, this is why we must decide what we really believe about God and His word. Because our choices reflect our beliefs. If I try to control my circumstances, I am not living in faith, I’m living in fear.

When life feels overwhelming, when hard things keep piling on our shoulders, that’s when faith can shine. That’s when we can lean hard into our Father and rest in Him. That’s when we can live out loud more, because we’re choosing to walk in His strength.

I’ve heard this thought in two different ways now. 

Small buds growing amid leaves. The beauty has budded but isn't in bloom yet

“It’ll all be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” ~Lauraine Snelling, author

If everything’s not okay yet, everything’s not over yet.” ~Ann Voskamp, author

I’ve said it before. Trials have a beginning point and an ending point. In time, this pandemic will ebb and wane into the memories of our collective history. It’s possible we’re witnessing the beginning of this now. 

Meme with the words: "Now is the time to allow what we know about God's character and what we've read in His word to guide us." on a backdrop of a blurred page of the Bible

But, we’re still living each moment in real time. How will we live? Will we choose to walk in faith? Will we live out the things we’ve declared we believe? Because now is the time to allow what we know about God’s character and what we’ve read in His word to guide us.

Now is the season where our choices will either point people to Jesus or direct them toward despair. 

When we live with the perspective that God is real and He is working, even when we can’t see Him, we can find peace even in the uncertainty. 

A pretty sidewalk lined with a fence and wild flowers on each side and the sun shining from the side...we keep moving forward

When we offer God our pain and our disappointment . . . 

. . . when we choose to trust that He’s working things out so they’ll be okay in our lives and our hearts, 

. . . that’s living out faith. 

As states begin to open for business again, there’s uncertainty and even fear. Is it really safe? Will the virus surge the curve again? 

Picture of blossoms on a tree branch opened and pretty

We must choose to let faith overrule fear in our hearts. Whether the problems we face are small or seemingly insurmountable, there is a Father who cares for us and walks with us. Let’s live like this is true.

What about you? What has most tested your faith in the past few months? What is helping you to live in faith rather than fear in this unprecedented time in our history?

Click to Tweet: When life feels overwhelming, when hard things keep piling on our shoulders, that’s when faith can shine.

I’m linking up with #TellHisStory and #RaRaLinkup

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A photo of the cover of an ebook called, "Finding God's Presence in Everyday Living," by Jeanne Takenaka

30 thoughts on “Faith: When Everything Is Not Okay”

  1. Everything is not okay,
    and hey, what does this mean?
    Does it cancel Easter Day,
    does it kill the dream
    that came to us from long ago
    upon a dove’s white wing?
    Does this COVID stop the flow
    of love and everything?
    I think not, and think profane,
    a finger to the panicked soul,
    for we are all circlin’ the drain,
    and if we want to remain whole
    we have to see that Calvary
    through blood (etc!) brought victory.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Andrew, I so appreciate your words. Your perspective is spot-on. We, none of us, know the number of our days. We need to remember that the Lord is with us in everything we face. When we can view our days through Jesus’ sacrifice, that sure helps strengthen a soul.

      I’m praying for you and Barb, my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good words!
    I’ve actually been comforted to find God even more faithful through this and other assorted troubles lately. I’m keeping my eyes peeled for him and he doesn’t disappoint 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you, Jeanne, for this reminder. We are living in days of great losses. Our grief is real over the things that have been swallowed up by a fallen world and sin.
    We can no longer afford to “believe-ish” … Praying this morning for great faith to emerge from these great trials. Keep going, sister.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heidi, you are so right. We are living in days of great losses. We do need to continually pray for great faith, and then we need to walk it out however God directs. You press forward too, sweet friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have found myself more comforted by my faith during this pandemic. I have had to search for Christian footing during the protests and riots however. I have had to research and read like minded people and spend time in the word of God to find His direction through the racism in this country. I have no doubt that he is there but I am still seeking his solution.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A spirit of simplicity, I appreciate how intentionally you are handling this. I’m still trying to grapple with the protests and riots too. I like that you’ve read like-minded people and are spending time in God’s word to help you walk through this time. We can find comfort knowing God is in the midst of this. We should be seeking Him first. Thank you for that reminder.

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  5. This is the second post I have read this morning that advocates pointing others toward Jesus in times of worry and desperation. “Now is the season where our choices will either point people to Jesus or direct them toward despair.” I think God is trying to tell me something! 🙂

    As Christians, we do have a holy obligation to share the hope and love we find in Christ. Even in these crazy times, God is with us. Thank you for this wonderful, encouraging post, Jeanne. I need the reminders.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laurie, you’re right. We should be sharing the hope and love Jesus has offered us. It’s not always easy to do this, but since we have “the answer” we should be sharing it, shouldn’t we? I’m still working out how to do this in my world.

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  6. Jeanne,
    I believe it is looking back to all the things God has brought me THROUGH (emphasis on through). These weren’t small trials, but big ones. With each time I persevered and watched Him bring me through, my courage and confidence increased. I do believe that He will not leave us stuck in the middle and am trying to be aware of what He wants to teach me, here in the middle. There are always lessons to be learned that will ultimately build our character. I pray we will come out of this as better people on the other side.
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bev, I so appreciate your perspective. I know you’ve walked some hard, painful roads. and you have persevered and drawn closer (even as you sometimes wrestled) to the Lord through them. You are right. God promises He’ll never leave us or forsake us, and that includes not leaving us in the middle of our difficult situations. May we be teachable and humble during this time so that we reflect our Savior more clearly. Thanks for sharing your insights here!

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  7. The pandemic hasn’t bothered me much, but the crisis of bote sure tests my faith in Christians. If we all had the courage to speak out and to listen in humility as we seek real answers, how much sooner would true reconciliation happen?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agreed, Anita. I’m still grappling with all that has happened in the past week, but listening and humility seem like crucial first steps as we do seek real answers. Thank you for sharing your words here, friend.

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  8. The news is filled with sadness. I will not be brought down into a pit of despair. I will pray for the world. I will pray for the people. I will place my trust and faith in God. He is my comfort. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Melissa, I love your intentional response: to not be brought down in despair AND to pray for the world and its people. Placing our trust and faith in God is the best possible thing we can do. He’s my comfort too. 🙂

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  9. My friend and I like to remind each other that God isn’t good just some of the time, but all the time. The good and bad times he is good. All the time he is good. This is one truth I keep coming back to.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Right, Jeanne, none of us know how to do pandemics. It’s all new territory for us. The Lord reminded me the other day how my blog article for the new year was about letting Him be God this year. And I had to ask myself if I’m letting God be God during the dark valley I walked through the first of the year, and now through the pandemic and how our world seems to keep falling apart. Your post made me reflect on that further with this: “…now is the time to allow what we know about God’s character and what we’ve read in His word to guide us.”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for the call to faith. This is the time to shine not sit back and cower. I have been contemplating what life will look like and what steps I should take now that our state is beginning to open up. I’m not the person who will jump in without looking but I also don’t want to carry the fear of venturing out into this next season. May I walk forward bravely because God is with me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mary, you’re so right. This is the time to shine and not cower. With everything going on in our country right now, imagine what God can do through His children if we’ll reflect His love to the world around us as we begin getting back into society. Thank you for your example of being intentional.

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  12. Jeanne … dear friend … what wonderful truths and convicting questions you’ve shared this week. Do I believe God is who He says He is, or do I not? There’s no halfway, is there? I want to face the future with faith, not fear. And the only way I’m finding I can do that is by trusting one day at a time.

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