World Pandemic, Quarantine, Protesters and Overcoming, Overwhelmed The Heart of Advocate and Author Christine Caine
We are living in such an unprecedented time. No one could have imagined 2020 would go this way and we are barely even half way through. As the world is stopped, quarantined, and desperate for change, Risen talked with bestselling author and advocate Christine Caine to get her thoughts on the world pandemic, riots of race, and her free challenge to help everyone Overcome, Overwhelmed.
Interviewed for Risen Magazine
Risen Magazine: Who would have thought that 2020 would go this way? World pandemic, country quarantined, and in the midst of all of this we’ve got protesters and riots over race in America. I love that you use your voice to talk about these real struggles and you invite others into the conversation as well. Will you share your thoughts on our current climate and what conversations we should be having?
Christine Caine: First and foremost, my heart’s heavy like everybody else’s. Being a Greek Australian that’s moved to America and being in the midst of all of this, it’s devastating, and eye opening. You mentioned that I invite other people into the conversation, that’s because I have so much to learn. I think, for me, nobody could have picked what was going to happen in 2020 and there’s this devastation, heartache and that sense of loss, grief and not knowing what’s going to happen — it’s one thing after the other. So I think people are feeling that grief and that loss.
Then of course culminating in what’s going on now with the protests and the riots [surrounding the death of George Floyd]. My heart is heavy. It’s almost like the world stopped with the pandemic. There was this forced stop, and we went into quarantine, and then this is another moment of stopping and waking up to reality. As my black brothers and sisters have been telling me, this is not a new thing, but understanding the depth of the pain, the suffering, and the injustice that has happened, really since the country was birthed, has just been deeply grieving. I think that’s the biggest word that I can say. But with all the listening and learning, I’ve spent the last couple of years reading and really trying to understand the distinct situation here in America.
I think the greatest gift I can give to people in this moment is to bring them on the learning journey that I’m on. And let me just say, I’m doing a lot more listening and learning than I am talking right now
It has stirred me to action. Now, of course, with the work that I’m doing with A21 [human-trafficking organization] and have been doing for 13 years, acting is a huge core value that we have. I thought just like everybody else, you’ve got to look at what can I do in my sphere of influence? It is one thing to post, it is one thing to feel bad, it is one thing to feel the grief of the situation, but it’s another thing to say, “I’m going to start in my sphere of influence,” which obviously for all of us starts in our own homes, our own friendships, our own families, our own relationships, “and I’m going to start having conversations that need to be had.”
I wanted it to come out of relationship and friendship of people that I know and I’ve been in relationship with and I’m like, “Look, we’ve been having these conversations behind the scenes. I’ve been asking you questions, in some cases, for several years. So now it’s time in this moment, while it seems like the ears of the world are listening, let’s invite other people into these conversations.”
And I think the greatest gift I can give to people in this moment is to bring them on the learning journey that I’m on. And let me just say, I’m doing a lot more listening and learning than I am talking right now. My talking is more like, I’m going to bring other people on [my platforms] to talk so that we can all learn.
RM: I am sure you had no idea when you planned to do your Overcoming, Overwhelmed free challenge, that this would be the state of the world. Whether it was pre-COVID and you’re overwhelmed with driving your kids to practices and trying to do your work schedule and all the busy-ness of life, or now, it’s a different type of overwhelmed where heavy issues are unavoidable. Share your heart here and how can people still get involved with this?
CC: You are so right. Some people say to me, “Wow, you were so prophetic.” I’m thinking, “No. I could not have picked this. I had no idea.” Coming into 2020, even before COVID, and before what we’re currently experiencing, everywhere we turned people were already full of anxiety and feeling overwhelmed. And I think now some of those same people that were overwhelmed by having to drive kids to school and afterschool activities are so longing for those days again. When I was overwhelmed by volleyball practice, where have those days gone?
But the thing is, David says in the Psalms, there is this line that really captured my attention, “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock.” And I just stopped and focused on that word, when. He doesn’t say if, but when. And I thought, “Wow, this is a reality. It’s when my heart is overwhelmed for every single one of us.”
It doesn’t matter who you are. We will all have this moment of when my heart is overwhelmed. And then there is the second part of that verse. “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” And I thought, “People are so overwhelmed. I want to help them.” Five days of intentionality saying, “You know what? Let’s go to the rock that is higher than us. We need to get our feet firmly grounded and rooted and planted on the rock of Jesus. The word of God.” I mean, we have so much media coming at us nonstop right now, and it is just painful and it is overwhelming. So let’s get back into the heart of God, the word of God. I’ve written a lot of things around that, that I think people over the five days will find deeply soothing. I mean, there are so many scriptures that it just reminds us that we’re not alone. That Jesus said this was going to happen. He said not if trials come. He said, “In this world, you will have tribulation. You will have trials. But be of good cheer, I’ve overcome the world,” and you go, “Okay, what does that even mean?”
So we’ll be unpacking all that stuff, scriptures that we’d glossed over when it seemed like the world was going okay, and I was working, and money was coming in, and everything seemed to be fine. I could go to a restaurant when I wanted to. I could meet and gather in church when I wanted to. I could… suddenly everything is different. Our homes are our schools and our workplaces and our leisure places and for many people, they feel like the four walls are caving in. It’s like I’ve been locked up and they’re just feeling overwhelmed. So what do you do when you can’t necessarily change your external circumstances? You’ve got to dig deep and a lot of people don’t know how to dig deep. We’ve lived lives of distraction and attraction for so long. We’ve been distractible. What do you do three months in when you’ve watched every Netflix series that you could watch, you’ve played every computer game that you can play, you’re sick of Zoom, Zoom is the new four-letter word, and you go, “What do I do?” And it’s like God has our attention saying, “It’s time to dig deep.”
So what do you do when you can’t necessarily change your external circumstances? You’ve got to dig deep and a lot of people don’t know how to dig deep. We’ve lived lives of distraction and attraction for so long. We’ve been distractible.
Where you’re going to find your freedom, where you are going to find the peace and the joy that you are looking for, it’s not going to be out there. It’s got to go deep. And I think this is what this five day challenge is going to help us do because nobody truly knows what’s going on or when all this will end. When will we be back to normal? Whatever that means. I personally don’t think we’ll ever go back to whatever normal was. And so I think we’re just not asking the right questions. We’ve got to continue to ask, “What am I supposed to be learning in this season? How can I be growing in this season? What practices do I need to put in place?” Moving forward into a very unknown future, we will be full of dread and anxiety and fear unless we learn how to overcome overwhelmed on a daily basis.
To be part of Christine Caine’s Overcoming, Overwhelmed free challenge, sign up here: christinecaine.com/challenge
To hear her new podcast Equip & Empower, every Monday and Thursday click here: christinecaine.com
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