How Uncertainty Affects Us + 3 Verses to Reflect On
May 14, 2020
When everything routine and expected is thrown up into the air, it can be hard to juggle all of the complicated feelings that come tumbling back down.
This season of isolation and quarantine has tossed a lot of uncertainty at us, and that can bring up a lot of different emotions. It’s important to understand how times of uncertainty can affect our mental and physical health and keep our ears perked to hear from God in the midst of it.
Uncertainty Causes Stress
One way uncertainty can affect us is by making us feel stressed out. As people, we rely on routines (whether we’ve intentionally made them or not) to provide a sense of stability and normalcy to our lives. But when our routines are suddenly uprooted, when the structures we rely on are no longer there, our bodies can respond as if we are in survival mode.
Some of us may thrive with all of our options open. But for others, the questions we suddenly have to ask can make our heart pound and our palms sweat: Will I be able to return to campus in the fall? How am I going to find a job this summer? When will things get back to normal?
The kinds of disruptions we’ve been experiencing during this season can trigger our fight-or-flight response, causing our bodies to feel at alert more regularly. If you’ve had moments where you’ve felt overwhelmed or stressed, know that that’s a normal response.
And know that you don’t have to stay in that place.
Uncertainty Can Cause Grief
It’s also good to note whether you’ve been feeling more sad than usual in this season. The realities and restrictions that have come as a result of COVID-19 may have made your plans, hopes, or dreams suddenly feel uncertain. You may know someone who’s lost their job or had events or celebrations canceled. Perhaps you’re worried about at-risk friends or family members who’ve gotten sick.
It’s normal to feel sad about these things and it’s important to give yourself time to grieve. Even not being able to go to your favourite places can feel like a loss, too.
So don’t be alarmed if you’re feeling bouts of sadness in this season. God has a word for you in it.
Uncertainty Can Affect Our Sleep
Finally, all of this stress, grief, and uncertainty can take a toll on our sleeping habits. All of the ups and downs can exhaust our emotional stores and tax our energy levels. When you’re experiencing a lot of change or stress all at once, you may feel more sleepy than usual.
You may fall asleep earlier or have trouble waking up. You may feel tired throughout the day. It’s important to recognize that this may be part of your body responding to changes in your lifestyle and routine. It’s not something to beat yourself up about, but simply a sign that your body needs some extra rest.
3 Verses to Go to When You’re Feeling the Effects of Uncertainty
The good thing is, Jesus is still with you in the uncertainty. He knows what you’re going through and he hasn’t left your side. When you feel like grief, stress, or just plain exhaustion are gripping you, pray these verses and trust in their truths:
1. Phillipians 4:6-7
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Let God know how you’re feeling. Be honest with him in the hard moments. And tell him what you want: peace, guidance, reassurance. Let his peace guard your heart and your mind from worry and stress.
2. Isaiah 43:2
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”
Meditate on God’s promise to get you through each overwhelming moment. Remember that, as you pass through this season, he is with you.
3. John 14:27
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Think about how abundant God is, how unending his resources are. He can provide for you to the end of the ages. Remember his love for you when your heart is feeling troubled.
Scripture and prayer are two of our biggest allies in the battle against stress and uncertainty. Turn to these verses when you’re feeling overwhelmed and listen for the ways God is speaking through them. You may be surprised by the good things he has for you in this season!
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