Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
Give up or look up ?

Look Up or Give Up?


Some of us are ready to give up. Feelings of hopelessness are pervasive as we wonder how much longer this health crisis will continue. And in the face of conflicting predictions, we wonder if we’ll have the stamina to wait it out.

Masks. Gloves. Six-foot distancing. Washing our hands so frequently we make Adrian Monk look normal by comparison. Then there’s the dearth of physical touch. Who knew a lack of hugs and handshakes would leave us so unsettled?

This past week I participated in a Bible study of Acts 27. The apostle Paul was traveling by ship across the Mediterranean Sea on his way to Rome. But this was not a pleasant cruise. For 14 days the ship was driven by a violent battering as the storm raged. Finally, everyone on the ship gave up all hope.

Yes, the sailors and soldiers on the ship gave up. Men who were disciplined and toughened by their occupations became so discouraged that they lost all hope.

But Paul refused to give up. Instead, he looked up. He told them, “keep up your courage…for I have faith in God” (verse 25). Paul didn’t deny the severity of the situation. But he looked up to the One who was in control of their circumstances.

It’s interesting that the account of the storm in Acts 27 does not include any mention of Paul asking God to calm the storm. Instead he chooses to trust God in the midst of it.

What about you and me today? In the midst of this health scare, are we giving up or looking up? Are we taking wise care to minimize the risks or are we in a state of panic in the midst of the pandemic? Are we discouraged because God has not calmed this particular storm or are we trusting Him to work for our good and for His glory in the midst of it?

Life is difficult. And many people will suffer even greater hardship before this pandemic is over. Yet through every sobering loss, we have a choice. Will we shake our fist at God because He did not calm the raging storm of COVID-19? Or will we look up and trust Him to calm His children in the midst of our circumstances?

Keep looking up and remember, “Sometimes He Calms the Storm,” but other times He calms His children as the storm rages around them.

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  1. Jessica Brodie

    It’s so simple… and yet aren’t the simplest things most often the truest? Don’t give up — just LOOK UP. Our help always comes from God!

  2. Melissa Henderson

    Amen. Sometimes He calms the storms and sometimes He calms us. 🙂

  3. Nancy E Head

    Thanks for the great reminder that we all need right now. God bless!

  4. Yvonne Morgan

    He is the only one who can calm the storms in life. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Karen Friday

    Ava, great reflection to consider if we are giving up or looking up?

    “I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2 NIV

  6. Mary Rooney Armand

    Love the statement at the end that he calms His children as the storm rages around us…so helpful!

  7. Ava Pennington

    Comment from Teresa Bertolio:
    I have learned to trust that God is in control. Just like Psalm 3:5-7 talks about. God is there, we just need to trust him and do our best to love others. We also need to count our blessings. During this Covid 19 time, I’ve been able to have most of my grown children home:) They were away at colleges, or working, but were able to come home and work and do schooling from home. What a blessing for me:) My youngest daughter graduated from high school and the school did so many wonderful things for the seniors, that helped them be recognized. My husband has been able to work from home, so we see him more, since his work is over an hour from our home. I’ve loved scripture study and family activities together:) So my advice would be to choose happiness and joy in whatever circumstances you find yourself in:)

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