Peace or Panic

There’s a reason that there is a term out there called “home court advantage.” The team in their own gym has an advantage because of the crowd that’s there to support them. The crowd consists of family, friends, little kids with blow pops in each hand and alumni that graduated 42 years ago that are constantly yelling at the refs.

I personally loved playing in away games but there was always one thing that you didn’t want to happen with the opposing team. Momentum. Momentum is kind of hard to explain other than you know that your team could be on the verge of trouble… and really fast. Let me do my best to help you understand if you don’t know what I’m talking about. The other team starts hitting shots, while you can’t seem to make one. All of the sudden, you find yourself down by 10 points and the crowd is going crazy. Yelling... screaming... cheering.. clapping...spitting... high-fiving...dancing,.. falling in love. You get the point.

You find yourself in a situation you don’t want to be in and whether you or your team verbalizes it or not, you know things could get even worse. Your coach does too. So, he or she calls a timeout and you go to the huddle. These are moments that your team has a chance to regroup. Good coaches don’t panic. They understand they need to interject peace, encouragement and vision into somewhat of a crazy environment. They understand the team needs to refocus and respond to stabilize the situation. Once they do, it will be much easier for them to get back into the game.

Let’s be real for a moment, many or all of us find ourselves in unexpected situations in life that we don’t want to be in or planned for. All of us are being affected by the Coronavirus. Schools are closed, you might be missing out on your sports seasons or final year of high school. Businesses are closed resulting in people losing their jobs or at least temporary. We can’t really be with friends right now and we don’t know what decision or information will come out next.

But, there’s good news as a disciple of Jesus (aka - as a Christian). We don’t need to respond with panic. We can respond with peace.

I believe God is calling you and me to the huddle right now. The huddle looks like a place of prayer for us. A place where we take a moment to hear His voice. A place where we can talk with Him. A place we can cast our cares on Him and exchange worry… fear… panic… for His peace.

Philippians 4:6-7 NLT says “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

We can be confident as we leave the huddle that everything is going to be okay. We can be reminded of Who our trust is really in and where our Peace really comes from. In return, we can remind and encourage others too. We can help stabilize some of the craziness and interject His peace. Our world is really desperate for it right now.

Prayer: Father, I turn my attention and focus on you right now. I join the huddle and I let my heart be encouraged by You. I exchange worry, fear, anxiety and panic for Your peace. Everything is going to be okay because I trust in you. You are faithful to help us no matter what we are facing. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Valley Youth Pastor,

Josh Rykse

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