It’s been nine months since I was given my word for 2020, unfazed, and I thought it might be a good time to let you know how I’m doing. I must admit, unfazed hasn’t always described me so far. I’ve had some days where I let events and situations faze me a lot, and to be fair, this has been a tough year all around. But having a word doesn’t mean you automatically attain some kind of perfection.
As I pondered my goal of being unfazed, the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear that the way to let my word play out for the next few months and beyond is to have a perpetual posture of praise and worship. As the quotation I posted a few weeks ago stated, this can be under the surface of everything we do, all the time.
When I was growing up, my dad would often tell me to stand up straight. I don’t have naturally good posture, so I needed reminders to keep my shoulders back. I was thinking about the word posture and how it has more than one meaning. It is also aspect, attitude, demeanor, disposition or mode. All these words can describe how to live in a praise and worship state of being.
Having good spiritual posture is even more important than physical posture. Now when I think about standing straighter, I won’t just think about my shoulders, but I’ll be praising and worshiping God, singing and making melody in my heart (Colossians 3:16). Maybe with this posture, I can remain unfazed for the next three months and go on to learn to let the love of Jesus keep me unfazed and resting in his peace the rest of my life.
This is sure a difficult time to stay unfazed and judging by the lack of toilet paper in the stores, many people are quite fazed. I am holding on to my word and staying calm.
The author of Hebrews had some good advice about tough times: “Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, ‘I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,’ we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6, MSG).
We can remain unfazed because of the way Jesus our Savior has embraced us with his love. We can be fearless. We can be calm and hold on to Jesus, letting his faith, peace and joy carry us through, no matter what happens.
To paraphrase Romans 8:38-39, For I am convinced that neither falling stock markets nor novel viruses, neither lack of toilet paper on the shelves nor canceled church services, neither social distancing nor canceled events, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We all deal with problems differently. Some internalize, some vocalize, some throw things. Some shrug their shoulders and say, whatever. I rarely use that term as I’ve realized it’s not healthy for me. It feels like a cop-out and doesn’t make me feel better. If it’s directed at a person, it can be dismissive. Whatever; just go away and don’t bother me.
In a book of interview transcripts published by Grace Communion International, Trinitarian Conversations, Volume 1: Interviews with Twelve Theologians (You’re Included), Gerrit Dawson referred to this statement from a sermon by John Calvin: “This world is filled with troubles and the devils assault us at every moment, but what of it? Christ Jesus reigns in heaven and sends me his power now. This world is full of temptations and often I am weak, but what of it? Christ is in heaven and he is strong and he is strong on my behalf.”
Dawson commented: “I think when we realize that we can replace the ‘whatever’ (what people like to say to detach from something they don’t like that happens to them) or even the crushingness of life with the ‘what of it? No matter what is thrown my way, Christ reigns and he holds me, then I know at the deepest levels all is well and all will be well.’”
This is a good reminder to turn to Jesus instead of detaching or checking out of life. Saying what of it in difficult circumstances helps me remain unfazed as I stay in the loving embrace of Jesus.