At the half point, 2020 has proved to be difficult and the most unique experience of many our lives. There have been rumors of wars, a global pandemic, 40 million people filing jobless claims, months without in-person church services, masks, political theater, and social unrest. As more and more people live within “normal,” they are realizing that they are losing rest, battling anxiety and isolation, and discovering that genuine peace is elusive. Our Grounding in God Campaign 2020 (#GGC2020) is about helping people find their footing on the sure rock that is Jesus Christ.
With Jesus, all things are possible, including experiencing peace during turbulent times. Here are three ways for you to work normalcy into our current circumstances:
Get Grounded in Nature
God created this world, and it was deemed good! The sun continues to rise, rain falls from the sky, and plants continue to grow to feed and provide oxygen for us to breathe. Time passes and life continues to march forward. One of the easiest and most enjoyable prescriptions I regularly give to clients is to simply enjoy nature. You can grow during this period by reconnecting with nature and our connection to it. God has given us art to view and experience each day as we walk, garden, sit and observe, and just be present (Lamentation 3:22-23). ECO therapy is based on the idea that our bodies benefit when we are in the sun, grounded in the dirt (skin on the ground). This is not New-Age. Rather, this is us simply giving God praise because of his creation and benefits. Go outside and read your Bible or sing to the Lord as you walk. Making a daily practice of spending time in nature will likely boost your serotonin levels, improve mood and health, and help your outlook. Also! Leave the technology behind during this time.
Get Grounded in God’s Word
Just as I suggested regarding reading your Bible outside, God’s word is crucial to our stability during this time. Set aside time each day to acquaint yourself with God’s character and promises. Anything from getting a daily Bible reading plan to listening to an audio Bible will help in this area. Gauge your need for God’s word based on the level of anxiety and distress you may be feeling. Much like hunger-pangs point us to the kitchen, let the periodic hopelessness of our circumstances point us to his scripture. The Gospel of John or Psalms are great places to start.
Get Grounded in Friendships
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to know that friendship is not simply about receiving from others. It’s about serving others as well. This last encouragement is a reminder to look up and outward at others. Look for ways to keep others encouraged and hopeful through kind words, prayer, or acts of kindness. God’s principles are amazing. He ties our well-being vertically (Him) and then horizontally (others). When we serve and bless others, we bless ourselves. Secular psychology has even noted the significant benefit of being less self-absorbed and of social sacrifices for others. When I used to lead therapy group for people seeking social connection, I would often have to remind participants to attempt to help meet the emotional needs of their friends while also voicing their own emotional needs. Friendship is about reciprocity, encouragement, accountability, and love. Let your loved ones know about your needs as well. Would you like a friend to join you on a walk? Have a phone date once a week? Ask to see if they know of any video Bible studies or groups. Don’t just assume others know how to love you well. It takes effort on both ends.