When a Pandemic Hits Home (and how to sleep at night anyway)

West Nile Virus…

Swine Flu…

H1N1…

and now introducing…. Ebola.

pandemicThroughout the years, disease threatens our societies, our families, and our sleep at night. To anyone who has lost sleep because of Ebola in the last 6 months, whether because you have nightmares or spend the dark hours under the glare of your iPhone as you watch the news, this Fear Factor Friday is for you!

I am excited to have a guest posting today. I greatly admire Kayla’s perspective on this issue, because she and her beautiful family actually live in Uganda. Please open your heart with me to the truth of our faithful God as you read…

What do I Worship? – The True Themometer of the Heart,

By Kayla Horne, Homemade Imperfection

What are you (as they say in Uganda) fearing today?Ebola or terrorists (I hear these were some of the biggest Halloween costume ideas this year)
Sicknesses that your kids have
Finances
An issue in your marriage
What is next for your family
That you are ruining your children

It is so easy for my first response to be an emotional response of fear, worry, or anger instead of pausing to remember what God’s word says.

My kids have had some virus or something on top of a stomach bug. The thermometer read over 101 many times this week as I pulled it out of a squirming child’s mouth, and I lost count of how many times they have thrown up.

We get emotional about things we care about like our children, husbands, homes, and future. I have had one of those weeks where my emotions could have easily gotten the best of me, but in the middle of my week I was trying to read the Bible while sitting on the bed playing with Micah and Julia. I was reading  when Julia stepped on my Bible and I grabbed her hand to help her off without ripping any pages, and purely as a reaction, started singing, “Standing standing standing on the promises of God.”
“again,” she cheered
“again”
“again”

When I don’t know and believe the promises of God, my emotions lead me far astray. It is only when I put my emotions in their place that I can see clearly, know the truth, and let my emotions be a true blessing. Emotions are a blessing from God but our heart is deceitful and desperately wicked.

“Our emotions reflect what we worship. They reveal what has captured our hearts. God gave us emotions as he made us in his image; they are intended to help us live in communion with him. They are a key indicator of whether we are living in joyful covenantal communion with him or in the service of something else.” 
– Paul David Tripp

If we allow our heart to lead our emotions we will often “feel” wrongly because we are worshiping the wrong thing. If we allow God’s truth to lead our emotions it may take more work and it may not come easily right away but it will always be better.

To read the rest of Kayla’s post, visit her blog: Homemade Imperfection
I am very grateful for these words of encouragement and challenge. When I begin to lose sleep at night, tempted to find one more article about Ebola in the US, I’ll try instead to search for one more verse about God’s faithfulness. Then I’ll put my phone down and truly R-E-S-T (besides, sleeping hours are few and far between these days with 3 month old twins. I’ve got to take what I can get!)
What helps you get back to sleep at night when worries threaten to keep you up at night?
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