Peace, hope, and why I shouldn’t read the news

Sometimes faith and peace can be rather fragile.  I realized that this week when I saw an article on Yahoo news about how many employers now tell the long-term unemployed not to bother applying for jobs.  In truth, I read the article and felt physically ill for the rest of the afternoon.

I’ve read enough comments on the internet to know the country no longer has much patience with the unemployed.  They’re tired of hearing about them and tired of caring about them.  Worse, they think the unemployed are living off the employed–they see us all as welfare cases, people who’ve figured out the system and are content to do nothing and let America pay their bills.  In reality, a person who has spent his or her life working doesn’t change character that easily.  The unemployed move in with family, get educated, volunteer, open businesses–they keep trying.  Yes, there are bouts of deep despair and depression when they struggle, but most of them shake it off and keep on going, looking to make a better life.  What else can they realistically do?

The idea that an employer would shun an educated, trained, hard-working employee because he or she has struggled to find work makes me angry.  It makes me frightened.  And I call to God for peace, realizing peace right now is a fragile thing.  I teeter on the edge, walking between peace and terror in equal amounts depending on how much hope I feel.  Articles like the one that upset me suck out a lot of hope.  I know God loves my family, but  sometimes he lets things get very bad for his beloved children.  Sometimes a rescue isn’t part of the plan in this world.

I don’t often read the news, and now I am renewing my vow not to read the news.  Just because an article scared me doesn’t mean anything has changed, and our plans for school and then possibly a job in another field are still our plans.  God is still paving our way for us.  If reading the news tempts me to question God or live in fear, then it’s time to flee that temptation, ignoring the wisdom of the world and clinging to the promises of God.  The article wasn’t the problem.  The problem was me not guarding against things that cause me to sin.  Just like a person who struggles with alcohol needs to stay out of the pub, in my struggle against fear I need to avoid things I know will frighten me.

It’s all very easy to say.  Most things are.  But, in light of some of my recent posts, I plan to spend more time looking forward to heaven and less focusing on making this world a paradise.  I plan to continue to look for ways my family can serve God.  I plan to build relationships within my fairly new church family.  There are many, many things I need to do with my life, and being frightened and losing my trust in the God who has miraculously sustained us thus far isn’t what God wants from me.

No more news, especially if it’s bad.   It spurs me to sin, so it’s not where I belong.  I need to focus on what I need to do, and let God deal with the impossibles in the world, knowing from Scripture that he’s done it before, and he’s good at it, and he’s more than happy to take care of his children in amazing and unique ways.  I’m reading Isaiah right now, where God moved entire empires to intervene for Israel; somehow I don’t think moving one employer to hire my one husband is really all that impossible.

Yes, it will take divine intervention to get us working again.  Good thing I know a Divine who’s delighted to intervene for me.

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