But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge the duties of your ministry.  2 Timothy 4:5

There are times when my life seems pretty sane and then there are those times when life gets messy. My husband and I live in Texas and planned a visit with our daughter in Florida. Our daughter and her husband are expecting twins, and had moved into a bigger place to accommodate their growing family.  We came to help them move, take care of our 2-year old grandson, and be here for the births.  While we were in Florida, there was a terrible storm at home in Texas and our truck and house were hit by lightning.  Our truck’s electrical system was fried, the lightening burst a copper pipe in the yard, and our house’s electrical system was compromised with various appliances and electronics no longer working.  Two days after this happened, our neighbor backed into our remaining car causing damage to it.  And two days after that, my son-in-law, who happens to be Muslim, was told that his mother has cancer for the second time. Life is very messy!

And then I read this passage, “But I want you to keep your head no matter what happens. Don’t give up when times are hard. Work to spread the good news. Do everything God has given you to do.” 2 Timothy 4:5.  To “keep your head” means to stay calm during great difficulties. Do I keep my head? Not always - I have had my pity parties and my share of tears. Do I give in to worry and fret? You bet. Satan uses the trying times in our lives to pull us away from God, to even blame God. But then Timothy tells us not to give up when things get tough, and reminds us of the real reason we are here in the first place – to spread the good news about Jesus. How can we spread this good news in the midst of trying times? Faith isn’t shown by what happens to us, but by how we react to what happens to us. Because of Jesus’ suffering on the cross, his death and resurrection, the good news is that all my damning sin is forgiven and I am right with God.  Because of Jesus, the good news is that the power my enemies used to have over me has been destroyed once and for all.  As a result, I can praise God when I tell my life’s messy story – God kept anyone from being hurt, only things were damaged, God has blessed us with the financial means to weather this, and I am blessed because my son and his wife are taking care of everything in our absence.

Imagine your life without God – without believing what he did for you and that no matter what happens on this earth we have the assurance of heaven through Jesus. That would be about as messy as it could get. God has given us much to do. Let us pray that we “keep our head” and do his work to proclaim Jesus to others when their lives are messy.

Ann Johnston
Heart of Texas Circuit