At the risk of sounding like a doomsday prophet I’d say difficult times are upon us and bound to get worse. Financial woes, unstable governments, alarming Great Resets, crumbling values. And according to experts, existential health and environmental threats.
In our summer wanderings, in fact, everyone everywhere spoke of difficulty. While blessed to finally reconnect with friends and make new ones, there was nontheless an underlying air of heaviness and concern.
Surrounded by trouble
Italian society is now dominated by the draconian Covid Green Pass; no one can even work without it. Which is causing a lot of difficulty and division (pro and against, vaccinated and non).
This virus and the resulting crises have touched all our lives in some way. Not only with sickness, but loss of loved ones, life savings, jobs, and freedom. Folks wonder how to go on, how to survive.
And it’s not over yet. Hard times are upon us, and I’m afraid, not likely to end anytime soon.
People are losing hope
But saddest of all are the discouragement and feelings of hopelessness. And this is our greatest danger. Leading to discouragement and despair, it clouds the unshakeable truth that God is always in control.
A young, usually bubbly mother expecting her second child shared how depressed she’s feeling. She wonders how wise it is to bring children into a world of diminishing freedom and increasing problems. And who can blame her in a world that seems to be spinning out of control?
That’s why, more than ever, we need order and tranquility in our own little world. Which I believe we can achieve through own reset! Taking action, or taking charge, goes a long way toward making making things seem more under control and restoring hope.
We need our own Great Reset!
So try these suggestions to implement your own personal reset. And face these and future hard times with courage, fortitude, and God’s wisdom.
1. Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best
Scripture tells us that “in the last days, grievous times will come.” But it also says that although winter is coming, we can prepare!
Go to the ant, you sluggard. Consider her ways, and be wise; which having no chief, overseer, or ruler, provides her bread in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.Proverbs 6:6-8 WEB
2. Prepare materially
Get back to basics, live within your means. And follow the old adage: “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
- Live frugually
Being frugal is still a sensible virtue. And it doesn’t mean being cheap or stingy!
- Eliminate debt
During the great depression people adopted a policy of “no cash, no purchase.” Spending money before you even have it is unwise!
- Simplify, simplify, simplify
Not just by decluttering, although it’s a great idea. Plan simple menus, simple schedules, and simple pleasures.
- Cultivate contentment
Contentment can help you see how much you already have and that perhaps it’s enough.
- Hold on to hard goods
Prices are likely to rise, so hold on to tools and other hard goods you’ll probably have a real need for in the future.
- Make do or do without
Instead of buying new, see if you can adapt or fix something you already own.
- Invent new ways, learn new skills
Take up sewing, knitting, or food canning. Learn to do your own repairs. Or barter your skills: teach someone to sew in exchange for canning lessons, or trade computer repair for tree trimming!
- Stick together
Learn from the pioneer and the depression eras. Pooling labor, resources, and moral support makes for lighter work and better living.
3. Prepare spiritually
Hard times, shifting values, and crises really put faith and families to the test. So work at growing your faith and instilling it into your family.
- Cling to gratitude
Times may be hard, but we still have food to eat. Political and social pressure may be overbearing, but God is still in control!
- Reject fear
Why waste time worrying over what may never happen? And even if the worst should happen, God will see you through.
- Feed on Scripture
In it we find peace, joy, love, strength, guidance, and wisdom. It is far more valuable than all the how-to books you could ever own!
- Hide God’s word in your heart
In many places it’s illegal to own or even read the Bible. Pesecution and other disasters can hit anyplace at any time, sweeping both our printed and digital Scriptures away. We could be left with only what’s in our memory.
- Prepare your children
Discuss possible changes, assuring them that God will help you make it through together. Build their (and your own) faith to withstand even the toughest of times. Remember Joseph, Esther, and Daniel.
4. Cling to hope
You may feel helplessly trapped in circumstances beyond your control. Yet nothing takes God by surprise. No matter what happens, he is our hope and the strong rock we can cling to. He will see us through.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.John 16:22 NIV