Life can throw tough punches, but it doesn't mean we're down for the count.
Life’s been throwing lots of one-two punches lately.
Just the time I miss a hit another heads my way.
Here’s what I’m doing about it. Maybe it will help you. I hope so!
One of the best things I do is to remind myself who God is by looking in the Bible. God is not a good luck charm. He wants to know us personally. He doesn’t want our relationship with Him to be one of mindless rituals and momentary satisfaction. Scripture tells us He has loved us before we were born, knows the number of hairs on our heads and cares about us so much that He was willing to die.
That’s pretty intense if you ask me. So what good does believing in a dead guy do? Nothing. But that’s where the story changes because the dead guy – Jesus – didn’t stay that way. He’s alive and that’s why the believing – what or who we believe in – matters.
Recently, I spoke with one of my mentors. A phrase he said stuck in my mind. He talked about “training ourselves” to continually give things/circumstances/life/fears to God. Since then, I literally do that each morning. After I wake I say, “Lord, here is my day.” And then I imagine putting it in his hands. Then I say, “Lord, here is ________.” And then I imagine putting whatever fills the blank that day in his hands.
He wants us to trust Him because He is trustworthy – for this moment, for this hour.
I also have a couple different devotional books scattered throughout my home – in the bathroom, on my dresser, etc. A favorite I use continuously is Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest. Others are quicker reads. In the driver’s side door of my car is a New Testament and a book about peace for women featuring Psalms. I picked the book up at my grocery store.
Some of the best scriptures for stressful times are in Psalms. It’s amazing when you think about how God recorded real live examples so we could see what others did when they struggled with their challenges. He let them ask where he was, if he cared about them, what should they do. And you know what? After thousands of years, we still ask those same questions and it hasn’t changed God or his nature one iota. Another truth in Scripture tells us He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
The intersection of my decision took place during this head-on collision with life. It doesn’t matter what you call it though it comes dressed as a struggle, problem or crisis. It is during those next moments or days I understand what I can, learn what I can and prepare as best I can. And then, it’s time. I face two choices which affect my “moving forward” – the options: faith or fear.
From experience, I know my energy, ability to reason and plan, protect and otherwise take control are limited. Why should I psychologically “strip my gears” when one of my options is REST, PEACE, and HOPE – in God? It’s hard work to will myself to make this decision when my human nature says, “DO SOMETHING…or DO SOMETHING MORE!”
Maybe I’ve done everything I know. Maybe I haven’t done anything, but when it’s time to choose, I think about an old hymn I used to sing growing up: I Have Decided to Follow Jesus. One of its phrases repeats the title and then goes on to say, “no turning back, no turning back.”
So, I chose to believe God rather than going it alone. I can’t do it alone. I don’t want to. Since FAITH does not make human sense I think we mentally chastise ourselves for picking it instead of fear. Our thought processes may go something like this: “Faith relieves me of having to figure out the next step. It’s the easy way out.”
In reality, maybe that next step should be to trust God.
Just wondering: What do you do when life threatens to throw you to the mat?