by Molly Audiss

Sometime early in 2020, with the talk of the pandemic raging and a hotly-contested Presidential race in full-force, I realized I had to pull away from the daily news for my own mental health’s sake. No matter which news channel I listened to, the commentators seemed to be angry, yelling, trying to damage people’s reputations, and dramatizing events to “sell” news. I pulled completely away. I subscribed to a daily email which sent me a few paragraphs each morning of the facts of all the news from the day before, with no agenda. I did not need any company trying to force me into action with manipulation or shaming.

That has proven to be a very good decision for me. It helped me so much to stop over-thinking, getting undue anxiety, and simply giving it all to God each day and continuing to live my life. I have been able to help others more because I don’t go to bed and wake up each day stressed out because someone on TV riled me up.

So, when everything happened in Afghanistan so quickly this week, I wanted to know what was happening! I watched an hour of news. It was so very sad to see all the people in the airport, trying to escape the terror to come. My heart broke. I wanted details, so I could know how to pray.

Then I realized, the commentator had 5 minutes of details to give, then he spent an hour showing spliced clips of the President, and talking to guests who hashed out how horrible the government leadership is, and all the bad things that are “going to” happen now with other countries (in his opinion), because of decisions that were made. Same song, 12,937th verse.

Friends, it is an outrage what is happening to the people in Afghanistan right now, even as I type this.😭 They need our prayers! It is real, and it is scary. I saw a photo of young boys in the country running down the street, horror on their faces. It broke me. I have 3 boys, and my mother’s heart cannot get the image out of my mind. I broke down in tears again as I was talking about the photo with my son last night. My heart has been in a constant state of prayer for the safety of so many innocent people. No one gets to choose where they are born. That thought has always driven me to gratitude AND to action, but never more than now.

May I throw out a suggestion? As we learn of news in Afghanistan, please keep in mind WHY we are staying informed- so that we can pray. If we get pulled back into the trap of sensational news casting, and come away more anxious than necessary, we aren’t doing ourselves or anyone any favors. Ask yourself if you need to listen to 50 guests on a show that you never heard of give their opinions for hours on what was done wrong and who is to blame. Will it help you pray better? Or simply hate politicians. And get nervous about future events that may or may not happen? Please check yourself and make sure you are not letting your emotions take control. That happened to me last year, and no good came of it. Actually, those around me suffered. That did not help anything.

God is in control. He is the only one who knows our future. We should be driven to our knees in prayer for the safety of those citizens and for revival in that country.  Our hearts should break. Tears flow. Fervent, frequent prayers going up from our lips. We do not want to turn away and refuse to know. We should take action, if we can, by giving to help.

At the same time, let’s determine NOT do what cannot help- allow the media to stress us with their fever pitch. Allow our hearts to be driven to hate and bitterness against individuals. We and our families will not be helped if we fall apart and become controlled by fear and anxiety. I am reminding myself this week that prayer is the most effective way to battle evil in this world. Binge-watching the news is the least effective. Find a news source that gives the facts, short and simply. Keep up with the facts so you know how to best pray. Then pull back, pray, and continue to live your day to the glory of God and the good of others.

God bless you all this week, Friends. And may the Lord protect and save the people in Afghanistan!