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In these times of uncertainty, faith can help us through

Gerry J.Tucker Special to the American-Statesman
Gerry Tucker is a writer, professional career and life coach, and educator.

I had just returned from Chicago where I was caught in the midst of traffic around a hospital that had experienced a traumatic event. Police cars with sirens were racing up and down the streets, and everything was blocked off. We couldn’t imagine what had happened to warrant such activity — another shooting and more deaths.

Upon returning home to Austin, I picked up my newspaper to see the headlines reporting the lives taken by the California wildfires. As I prepared to shut down for the evening, I turned on the television and tuned into the tragic news of the day. These events seemed to mirror the state of the nation six months ago, a year ago, a month ago. Pick your time frame, there is no end to the trials and tribulations individuals and communities are experiencing.

As I retired for the evening, I sat back to ponder how does one hold onto hope in the midst of tragedy and what’s happening in the world? There is no easy answer, but we can find guidance in our faith.

As the new year begins, we are reminded that during trials and tribulations God promises to be with us, to be our light in darkness, and to give us peace far greater than man can provide. That is not to say that we will not experience highs and lows in life, ups and downs. It does mean that God promises to be with us if we will but, “be still and know that I am God.”

Being still is difficult. As individuals, we want to believe that we have absolute power and control. We want to do something to relieve the situation. We want to have an answer to the problem. That is until we encounter a situation that is greater than we can handle. It is then that we should get quiet and let life flow until we can move forward.

Stillness can create a bridge from where we are to where we hope to go. Stillness creates the time and space to let our faith and trust in God go to work.

As we go through trials and tribulations, we have to hold onto hope in anticipation that something better or different is coming. Hope is a small word with huge implications. Hope infers that we expect and desire something in anticipation that our expectation and desire will be fulfilled. To hope means that we are trusting and have confidence that we will see something materialize, even when it does not seem like it will at the time. Hope means that we are waiting patiently for that which is not seen.

It is amazing that you can’t see peace, strength or hope. They are internal characteristics that are evidenced by a “knowing.” A knowing that if you will trust God, you will feel his presence and peace. A knowing that God will give you the strength to endure. A knowing that you have to look forward to tomorrow and know that you won’t be disappointed. A knowing that “all things work together for our good.”

Eventually, when we get still and wait in our faith, we can know with assurance that God will help us renew and rebuild our life.

As our faith guides us, we learn to persevere through the good times and the not so good times. We should remember that when we are weak, God is our strength and our refuge. We can tap into our faith and trust that God will never leave us or forsake us. Don’t let what’s happening in your life determine your faith.

While we can’t change what’s happening in the world, we can go to God in prayer knowing that God loves us and wants the very best for all of us. This is the time to lean on God’s promises of peace, strength and hope.

Gerry J. Tucker is an author, certified career and life coach, and spiritual writer.