The Aftermath


Perhaps you can relate. [i]

Do you feel battered and bruised? Perhaps splintered? Like you are dragging half of yourself behind you as you “will” the other half to slog forward? Do you feel smaller, weaker, clumsier, dumber, slower than you did 12 months ago? Out of 62 years of life, 2020 was easily my most difficult.

Many of us experienced irretrievable loss – death of family and friends.

Some of us suffered new physical difficulties: Losing two senses–taste and smell–for the first time ever, wondering if/when they might return.[ii] Also, aches and pains in the joints that last for months, and still not sure they are gone.

Then there are the inner battles, the mind, emotions, our inner “soul and spirit” battling discouragement, fatigue, doubts about ourselves and are abilities to cope going forward. Mental health issues are more real and immediate and consequential than perhaps we had seen before. Welcome to this side of life!

And the struggles are far from done. Battles rage on. So, calling this the “aftermath” is not so accurate. But we also need to trust, to believe, that we are moving toward the end of this storm.

Can I suggest that this is a good time to Hear Divine Words?

Quite the nice promise here:

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the LORD always, for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4 NLT.

Perhaps it is hard to picture solace or peace as a genuine possibility. Negative, debilitating thoughts have moved in and set up house. Dark questions, waves of doubt, have clamped down and are difficult to dispel. Mental fatigue has become the norm. What can be done?

If you haven’t learned this yet, it is time to learn it now: No human being can be healthy and well “in and of themselves.” We are not fashioned to be self-sufficient, to waltz happily “on our own.” Human beings are designed by our Masterful Creator to need one another and to need HIM. Dependance is not weakness. Needing others and being needed by them is the only way to thrive.[iii] It has taken me many decades to really see this.[iv] 

Jacob in the Bible is a case study on learning dependence. His encounter with God (Gen. 32) left him limping, but on the right trail.

Deity promises “perfect peace” to all who depend upon Him; to those who “fixate their thoughts” on Him.

Let’s encourage one another on this path and rejoice together with the results. “Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. 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.” Phi. 4:6-7 NLT.

N.B. The picture is of the “farmers market” in our town of Wewak, Papua New Guinea. Come for a visit when travel opens up again!


[i] But aftermath is not the correct word here, because we are clearly still caught in the “math.”

[ii] If you don’t know what this is like, be thankful. Here you are, chewing your favorite food and “bang” the realization comes. You know what it should taste like, but your taste buds are mummified. The only sense left in your mouth is the sense of touch. Your tongue and cheeks can “feel” the food, but that is the only “enjoyment” you can grasp for. Texture and perhaps temperature is all you feel, meal after meal after meal.

[iii] In all the stories about Jesus, in the Bible he depended on other people to meet his needs for food, shelter, etc. See Luke 8:3.

[iv] There is a book with a strange sounding title that I would like to read but haven’t been able to afford it, the title is Jesus and John Wayne. It must deal with things like this.


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Let’s Apprehend Hope

Words do silly things:

The noun “Apprehension” is defined as “a fear or anxiety about something.”

The verb “to Apprehend” is defined as “to take hold of,” “to come into possession of.”

BUT, no one wants to apprehend [come into possession of] apprehension [fear and anxiety]!

We want to shed it, overcome it, to remove the anxieties and fears that haunt us. To be rid of it and live on a higher plane.  We would love to throw all our anxieties into a bottomless pit and banish them forever.

How can this be done?

This past year has created all sorts of apprehension among us humans in all stages and walks of life. The pandemic, the economy, shutdowns, elections, sickness, and loss of life, have assaulted our hearts with fears, doubts, insecurities – apprehensions.

To apprehend is to face the causes of apprehension and willfully overcome them.  

We have been hurt physically, mentally, emotionally, economically, relationally, and spiritually. Some of us may have considered dropping out permanently. Life deals tough blows. But here we are. Still moving forward. Still looking for light, relief, peace, belonging and joy.

Hope requires a decision (actually, repeated decisions), but willpower alone is not enough. We need help from outside ourselves. We can receive this help from trusted friends, relatives, counselors, and most of all, our Loving Father, the Royal Son, and the Resident Advocate (Eph. 1:3-14).

God wants to relate with us honestly, with integrity. Look at how David approached Him. “Be gracious to me, Adonai, because I am withering away; heal me, Adonai, because my bones are shaking…I am worn out with groaning; all night I drench my bed with tears…Adonai has heard the sound of my weeping, Adonai has heard my pleading, Adonai will accept my prayer.” Psa. 6:2,6,8,9 (Complete Jewish Bible). Wherever we find ourselves, be genuine with God.

A most incredible truth in the universe is that God “hearts” each one of us.

Let us encourage one another in this journey; assist each other along the way. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Pride gets us nowhere. It is up to us as individuals, families, communities, churches, etc. to turn the noun into the verb, for ourselves and for others.

More will be written about this in the next two weeks. Hope is not a flimsy feeling; Biblical hope is a most powerful, transformational force.

The first follow-up post is here: https://heardivinewords.com/2020/12/24/deity-hearts-you-me-everyone/

Let’s overcome apprehension by fully apprehending hope!