Ansell column: What keeps us up at night: Getting through feeling helpless in dark times


My hometown just lost a great saint. He died from the virus. From my perspective, I don’t understand. It seems like we need every Jesus person working harder than ever during these end times.

I had a call this morning, a guy fresh out of prison, on his way to his wife several hours away. He had spent the night sleeping outside on the porch of a church building. The pastor of that church had given him a few dollars, and this new Christian got some breakfast. Despite this man’s outward circumstances, he was confident God was taking care of him, but he shared, it’s “lonely out here.”

Ken Ansell

I was talking to another guy I love a lot who is going through a hard season. He said kind of the same thing, that he was in a hole and felt alone.

Foolish me, I turned on the news last night. The Blonde (aka my wife Jen) and I heard about houses being swept off their foundation and how people were dead and some missing down South.

Twitter is telling me Christians and non-Christians are suffering in Afghanistan. Ida hammered an already beat down Louisiana. And I’m struggling to pick out what I’m going to wear today, what I’m going to eat for lunch while waiting for the 5 o’clock whistle to blow.

Haiti, well, Haiti is gonna be Haiti, and it feels like whatever help is given is like taking water to the ocean in a thimble. And that feeling typically serves as the catalyst to stop helping. The feeling of hopelessness is probably the worst feeling ever. Do you relate?

I’ve got friends and people I love suffering from addiction. Extended family that is dysfunctional. My treadmill broke, and I have not run in a week and have no idea when the new treadmill will arrive. Did I mention my first world problems?

Can I just throw out some numbers that may or may not be accurate, but about 155,000 people die everyday, and about 44,000 of them have never heard about Jesus. I read that 5.7 billion people in the world right now don’t identify as a Christian. My point is, those things keep me up at night, and then the church pretty much just keeps doing what it’s doing.

Are we hopeless because things look pretty dark right now? No, not even close, it just feels that way, and we know that feelings can lie to us (maybe most of the time). Psalm 54:4, “God is my helper.” I find encouragement in that. If God is my helper than I’ve got today beat, can I get an amen!.  

Solomon told us that all the rivers flow into the sea, but the sea never fills up (Ecclesiastes 1:7). How does that work? I don’t know, but I do know that if I do my part, I know God is going to do His part. My part right now is to worry about nothing and pray about everything. And if I do that, God promises to send peace to protect my heart, therefore providing me with much needed spiritual stability (Philippians 4:6 & 7).

Through this act of faith I gain perspective. All of the sudden it doesn’t look like things are falling apart but rather falling together according to God’s plan. Go ahead and pray, trust the Lord and let God comfort you today. He told me to tell you that.