I woke up this morning (Tuesday) and did what I usually do first thing – I check the headlines.

Rioting and violence in Baltimore… Death and unimaginable destruction in Nepal as death toll exceeds 4,000, aftershocks continue… The Supreme Court is set to take up the issue of marriage today… Bruce Jenner is becoming a woman… Murder trial updates for the man who killed 12 in a Colorado movie theater…

I was overwhelmed. Actually, I was beyond overwhelmed, but I don’t know the word for that.

What I am supposed to do about all of this evil? “Lord, I have cancer. I just finished chemo, and all I want is to live a couple of normal weeks until I go back to the doctor. How am I supposed to carry on with laundry, preschool pick-up, playing the piano, leading children, cooking supper, and the rest of my little life with all of this going on around us?”

And as I prayed about it all, I realized something important – Overwhelmed to the point of inaction is exactly how our enemy, Satan, wants us to live.

He wants to keep us from being brave. He wants us to believe that evil will win. He wants to keep us from shining the light of Christ in a very dark world, one that seems to become darker by the minute.

But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
    rise from the dead,
    and Christ will shine on you.”

Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Ephesians 5:13-17, The Message

I can make a difference in this world, regardless of cancer or anything else about my present situation. I can choose to live wisely, I can make the most of the opportunities in front of me, I can continue to live in a way that honors Christ. And God has called me to do all of that with the life that I have been given, in the city He has placed me, with the friends and church that He has given me.

Living the life that I have been given, as small as it may seem, claiming God’s promises and following His principles, is the way to defeat the enemy. Walk in faith today. Be brave.

“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”