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How do you feel when you get a phone call in the middle of the night? What about being a witness to a horrific accident? What if you accidentally see a traumatic video on social media? Maybe a loud knock from the mailman at the door suddenly sends you back to childhood trauma. Perhaps you feel as if everyone is overly concerned about you or, worse, no one is concerned about you.

One thing is sure: at the very least, these occasions leave you unsettled, frightened, and small. The impacts of these events may come and go, but for some, they’ll stick around like an unwanted mouse in the pantry. Moments like these uproot us with the threat of unpredictability.

So, what do you think when you hear, “You should try to be more grounded?” For some, it might sound like a psychological term that involves somatic experience, establishing physical boundaries, and breathing exercises. Others might feel that it represents a spiritual expression of the current resting state in God’s presence. Whatever our experiences or background, if we cannot stay grounded in the present, we are left with two options—the past or the future.

Though breathing exercises, bilateral stimulation, and meditation techniques can be beneficial in calming the senses and bodily reactions to stress, they tend only to engage the physical body. The beauty of Scripture is that it offers more hope than bodily exercises. If you struggle with being grounded in Scriptural truth, you can begin by asking yourself three questions.

Take a deep breath and ask:

Where am I?

You are in a broken world. With the luxuries we experience today (AC, clean water, telecommunications, internet access, beds), forgetting that we are in a fallen, cursed, messed-up, Satan-dominated world can be effortless. Yet, for some reason, as our luxuries and ease increase, our depression, despair, and suicide rates seem to follow suit. It is obvious that if you live long enough, you will begin to feel the impact of entropy. Romans 8:22-23 reminds us of the state we find ourselves in, saying,

22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”

According to Scripture, if you are in Christ, this world is as bad as it will get for you. You are as close to hell as you will ever be. Humbly understanding and accepting this reality helps us refocus our aim. If our aim determines our reality, and you aim only for security in this world, you will be gravely disappointed. Where are you? You are in a fallen, horrible, scary, in-need-of-redemption world. 

Take two more deep breaths and ask:

Who am I? 

Paul gives us an answer in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21. You are a new creation, an ambassador of Christ. If you are an ambassador, you do not represent your own authority but rather the authority of another, more sovereign power. Not only do you represent a power not originating from you, but you did nothing to earn it. Ephesians 2:1-10 shows that if our own security is based on merit alone, we do not have a chance. You have been saved by grace through faith, not by works, so that you might fulfill God’s calling of being his handiwork. You are not alone. You are not God. 

Isaiah 40:21-23 asks, 

21“Do you not know? Do you not hear?

    Has it not been told you from the beginning?

    Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?

 22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,

    and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;

 who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,

    and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;

 23 who brings princes to nothing,

    and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.”

Can you bring princes to nothing? If you are in Christ, then your God can. Yet, if we try to take the responsibility of God upon ourselves, we will become very uncomfortable. Not only that, but we will likely make things much worse. You have a God who has created, formed, rescued, and prepared you for the journey he has for you. Let God be God. You are not your own, for this journey is not your own.

Now three deep breaths and ask:

Where am I going? 

Simply put—away from here. In Christ, every day that passes, we step one day closer to glory. Does this mean that our moment-to-moment decisions about our lives do not matter? Not necessarily. If God sees it fit for you to be alive at this moment, then that means he is at work through you in this moment. As Paul puts it in Philippians 1:22-24, 

22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. 24 But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account.

 For us to remain in the flesh, among the curse, amid the brokenness—this is necessary. If the moment you find yourself in is unbearable and cultivating negative emotions (anxiety, despair, apathy, anger) in your heart, then God calls us not to ignore those emotions. Rather, he calls us to bring our arguments before him and plead our case. You can read how to properly do that here.

 We must acknowledge that we have a purpose in these challenging moments while also recognizing we have no reliable proof that the last 30 minutes, 3 months, or 40 years will mirror the rest of our lives. For Revelation 21:4-7 gives us a clear picture of where exactly we are going:

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.


One day soon, all that is broken in your life will, too, be beautiful. This is the heart posture that keeps us grounded in the midst of chaos. Our God is one of order, yet he brings that order through the chaos. Being truly grounded is understanding that our faith has to mature to a full trust in God, who knows what we do not know. And realize he is capable of much more than we perceive. 


Braden holds a Master of Arts of Christian Counseling and a Master of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC. He received a degree in Psychology from Mississippi State University with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy and is a member of the Association of Biblical Counselors (ABC). He is also a Certified Christian Trauma Care Provider—Level 1. For the past seven years, he and his wife Victoria have worked in counseling ministries, adult Christian education, and with Joni & Friends, a Christ-based ministry to the disabled. Through the Owen Center, Braden pursues a life-calling to serve Christ by cultivating the ministry of biblical counseling in the Auburn community.