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By Dianne Barker

I love a picnic! I approach most days with the same excitement and expectation, as if loading my picnic basket for a fun adventure. Before the day’s over, I’ve encountered a disaster…or several. The washer floods our basement. A hit-and-run driver bumps my parked car. Stuff to deal with.

Years ago I began journaling during my devotional time. Feeling overwhelmed, I found listing “my circumstances today” helped corral random thoughts bombarding my mind, distracting and discouraging me. It’s a great way to give my concerns to Jesus.

Are you in “disaster overload?” Here’s a strategy to help you through it.

  • Rejoice evermore.
  • Pray without ceasing.
  • In everything give thanks.

You recognized this is from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (KJV). Verse 18 ends, “for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

What is the will of God? Rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks.

I don’t know anybody whose life is a continual picnic. But I know many people who’ve learned to rejoice, pray, and give thanks anyway.

Paul understood disaster overload. Take time to read 2 Corinthians 11:24-28, 32-33. Besides being beaten, shipwrecked, and imprisoned and suffering many other dangers, he struggled with a “thorn in the flesh” (see 2 Corinthians 12:7-10). The Lord wouldn’t remove it, but he gave Paul an answer that changed his perspective.

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

I started today with my picnic basket, knowing just around the bend I may encounter disaster overload. But I can choose to rejoice, even take pleasure in difficulties, praying, and giving thanks because in this very place, the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s a member of Christian Authors Network, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and Christian Women in Media Association. Visit


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