The curve balls life throws at you can come out of nowhere it would seem, and strike you, leaving you bruised...just when you thought you were playing volleyball, you realize you are in a game of baseball. How did I miss that one?!
Do you ever have experiences like this? I would like to think I am not alone.
So, what do I do? Scream, shout, get angry at God for allowing me to be subjected to this situation?? Get ANGRY at God?! That is blasphemous isn't it? I wouldn't say so, God is big enough to handle my anger. He is also gracious enough to exercise patience while I work through my frustrations and come to the conclusion that I am angry because I have tried to rely on myself, my understanding, my idea of how things should be..me...its all about me!
See the flaw?...Yeah, when I am done my ranting and pouting, this is where I end up. Sadly, I have been here quite often and I would not be surprised to end up here again....however, my response time to recognizing where I am at has vastly improved! Which means that I spend less time ranting and more time focusing on getting back in step with the Lord and back to the sweet spot.
The most effective way for me to get my eyes off of my circumstances and on to the Lord include:
- Prayer - First, I usually pray, which includes the ranting and recognizing that my circumstances have overwhelmed me. Like Peter, I got distracted by the wind and rain around me and I am starting to sink. I need help, I need Jesus. I ask for help.
- Listening - Once I have prayed, I listen to what the Spirit is saying. I usually hear words of comfort or scripture will come to mind. Sometimes, I am convicted outright. This is not a condemnation, but a conviction that what I am struggling with requires me to repent.
- Resolve - I choose to trust in the Lord. When I have prayed, calmed down, and listened for direction, I resolve to change. Change my attitude, change my thinking, change my behaviour. Sometimes, I sing songs of praise, or I thank God for my blessings, or read the Bible. Sometimes, I get on with my work...In all cases, I take my eyes off of the thing that would seek to drag me into despair and choose to trust that God can and will make things right. Right in me and in my circumstances.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-7 (in Context) Proverbs 3 (Whole Chapter)
(If you have read this far, I would recommend reading the whole chapter of Proverbs 3, it is worth it, even if to just refresh your memory, I did.)
Now, back to keeping pace with God and into the sweet spot I return...Thank-you Jesus!