“For we live by faith, not by sight.” 2Corinthians 5:7
"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." 1 Peter 5:10
Have you ever felt all alone and that God was nowhere to be found? You may have asked, “Where the bleep is He? Why doesn’t He answer my prayers?” “When will this end, because I’m at my wits end?” I have felt that way many times, yelling out “Where are you God?” “Why can’t you just fix this, or give me a sign or something?” “Why does life have to be so bleepin’ hard?”
I’m still working on transforming my mind. This will be a life-long process. It challenges me daily to conquer my negative and toxic thinking and doubts in God’s presence in my life, though it has become easier with daily practice. Learning to trust in God has been a biggie on my list and one that I am determined to be a victor over.
It took me years to fully realize that God has always been there by my side. I was just so busy yelling, crying and demanding answers and results that I didn’t feel His presence. It wasn’t until I stopped complaining and became still that I could sense Him with me.
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
It was then I began to gain insight and answers to my problems. Sometimes the answer was, there is no answer, at least not the way I wanted it or when I thought I needed it. I just wanted what I wanted and I wanted it now. Sometimes we may never know “the why,” and have to be patient for “the when.” I believe that He was using each circumstance to teach me something. I also believe that God kept me in a circumstance longer than I wanted so I could grow my faith and spiritual muscles. I’m probably one His most stubborn children at times and He knew that I required, in that moment, more time to learn a spiritual lesson. He wanted me to gain something from that experience: patience, humility, kindness, wisdom, gratefulness or to be a blessing to someone else and to stop thinking about myself. So instead of continued complaining and fighting Him I decided to be still, take a breath and let go.
God is God and there is nothing He can’t do. He doesn’t owe us an explanation. We only know in part. His ways and thoughts are higher than ours.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
There are so many things that we don’t understand. We only know in part. It’s like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle by just looking at one piece. It doesn’t make sense. It’s not until we look at the picture on the box and put the piece up next to it, that we see the big picture and where the piece fits. Even then we can only sometimes figure out where it goes. We don’t see or know what God knows. He sees the big picture and how it all goes together. We only see a piece or two at a time. So how can we know the outcome? Is our attempted solution of trying to fix a situation the correct response? We don’t always know.
Have you ever tried to make something happen and only made matters worse? I’m guilty. Trying to fix our children, spouses or friends is not our job. Yes, it is our responsibility to speak up when we see someone going off the cliff, to give advice, to provide support, but not to fix them. We don’t know what God has in store for someone else.
We don’t have control over our own lives, other than how we decide to respond to our circumstances. Of course we make goals and work toward them. That’s a natural thing to do. Without planning and setting goals we would never move forward as a society. Goals are necessary. Most of the time our planning may go our way. But there are times, when no matter how well we plan, the forces of nature will determine our next step.
For example, about a month ago, my husband and I were going for our Monday morning walk. I had the whole day and week planned out. After the walk I was going to run errands and then work in my yard. Plus, the following Saturday I had planned on getting together with friends, among many other things on my list. However, as we started out on our Monday walk, I stepped off the curb wrong at the end of my driveway and fractured my ankle in two places. So my husband took me back in the house and there I was on the sofa for the rest of the day. At first I thought I just sprained it, but the next day an x-ray revealed 2 fractures. For the last 4 weeks I have been pretty much confined to the house. I broke my driving foot. Breaking my ankle wasn’t on my list of things to do. I had things to do, places to go, and people to see. Now I was dependent on others to help me. Sometimes it will rain on your parade. It did on mine.
Sometimes we work so hard at planning our life right down to the last dotted “i” and the last crossed “t”, then those plans don’t happen the way we thought they would – or something happened that wasn’t fair. You deserved that promotion, not the newbie who just walked in the door. Or maybe you thought you heard from God to start something, so you stepped out in faith and it didn’t turn out right. Or something tragic happened to a loved one. Or a child died or was born with a handicap. As a parent, you want to protect your child from all the hurt and pain in this world, but you can’t. As difficult and hard as that sounds, somethings are just out of our control. We question God, “Why?” “Why me?” “Why this?” “Why now?” “If you have to know the reason behind everything, then you may spend your whole life trying to figure it out and you’re never going to have contentment and satisfaction. You will never enter the rest of God because trust requires having somethings unanswered in your life.” (Joyce Meyer). Something’s are just out of our control and we may never know “the why.”
In our powerlessness is when God can walk us through our circumstances. But without faith and trust in the One, we will bump into things, feel lost, discouraged or make matters worse. Go through it with Him. Be still and listen for insight and wisdom. There just may be something in that circumstance for you. Do you need more humility, love, patience? Maybe you need to pay more attention to your loved ones. Maybe not work so hard where you’re missing out on real living and or harming your health. I don’t know your situation, but I can bet we all have something to learn from our time on this earth.
These are the times, in our weakest moments, when God IS working in our midst. We often cry out in our anger and frustration and think God is uncaring, but He is right there with us, though we don’t see Him, He is still there. His presence can only be seen with spiritual eyes and heart. As humans we don’t always understand why things happened. As humans we only know in part. Don’t turn from God, turn to Him. A shift can take place, if you’re open to it, to understand the love of God. This doesn’t mean that we won’t continue to struggle, but we can find peace in the midst of our trials.
So why did I break my ankle that day? Don’t know. But I resolved to trust in it. Hey, it gave me more time to pray, practice mindfulness, read, and research how to use my blog site. I am NOT a techie, by any stretch of the imagination. I didn’t know a widget from a gidget. Though I am learning. Yeah!
Please leave a comment, questions or any suggestions you would like to share on how you conquered negative, toxic and unhealthy thinking. I would like to know. Learning is a life-long process and we need each other to grow in Christ.
Have an awesome week. Peace. Out.