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State of Emergency

Over this past weekend, the State of North Carolina was hit with yet another ice storm which resulted in the Governor declaring a State of Emergency for all 100 counties in the state.

A state of emergency is declared in anticipation of an impending danger or an uncontrolled disaster which justifies the suspension of certain services. To halt the normal operation of these services allows for specific or designated agencies to gain control of a situation in an attempt to quickly and more effectively return operations to some sense of normalcy. During a state of emergency, no one has the expectation that normal operations will continue. When this status is declared, it serves as a warning to all involved that something is about to occur that justifies a change in behavior.

Wouldn't it be great if we could declare a temporary state of emergency when certain life or career circumstances occur that justify a halt in our normal behavior or responses? This would give us an opportunity to pause the daily expected activities while we regain personal control.

What if the next time you're dealing with one of life's unpredictable magnificent challenges, you could halt some of the activities around you in order to place your full attention and all of your mental and emotional resources on the problem at hand? But unfortunately, the reality is that we often must continue to attempt to function normally while pretending that nothing out of the ordinary has occurred. We are expected to continue all operations to the same degree of exceptionalism as on any other normal day. We are required to face unbearable situations while continuing to manage normal operations in every other area of our lives.

Although, I believe that many of us would greatly benefit from taking a moment for assessment and refocus; it is important to realize that a state of emergency is a temporary designation.

We can't settle in this place.

No matter the degree of devastation, there comes a time when we have to consider the impact, count the cost, plan the efforts for restoration and prepare to move forward after the dust settles. Remember, others have survived storms of this magnitude and so will you.

I agree that there is no reason why we shouldn't be able to declare a personal state of emergency in the face of a traumatically draining situation; either emotionally or physically. This is simply to give us time to catch our breath before proceeding to jump back in. But, we must keep in mind that we can't live our lives in this state. If the ice has melted and the water has receded, we must eventually return to work.

It's okay to recognize the need to pause, but we must also recognize the time to begin to live again.

Saints, just as every area of the country will at some point experience devastation, whether ice in the east or rain in the west; every person will at some point endure troubles. Yet, today we are encouraged in scripture.

For although, there is no one who is exempt from situations that will justify declaring a state of emergency, this message should inspire as it reminds us of this one thing: In Christ Jesus we are overcomers and we shall rise from this!

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."

John 16:33

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