2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NKJV)
“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”
Have you ever tried unraveling a new package of rope once you can even find where the end is? How about while you are using a hose and you pull to get that extra few inches, but you hear a crash around the corner? Maybe you take that perfectly rolled up extension cord off the hook and as soon as it hits the floor it turns into a tangled mess?
The truth is that you could include many more things that may start small and turn into a mess or just bring on a wave of frustration. Something snags, gets ripped, falls over, or goes a completely opposite direction from where we wanted. As with everything, it is our choice on whether we let that frustration grow into something that will stop us in our tracks.
It would be a joyous world if everything we put our hand to was smooth sailing through every part of it. But we all know that life definitely doesn’t happen like that and can seem like someone is out to get you. Those feelings can come out of nowhere or just solidify what you already know that you are a failure and can’t do anything right.
Again, these feelings are a choice and should not have a place in our lives if we truly want to succeed. There are way too many distractions and demands on our life already in this modern world so we should not be adding to the chaos. That means we have to be mindful of and prepared for any little bump that may happen that wants to throw us off track.
I spent a lot of years in the emergency preparedness field which means I had to help plan responses to different types of emergencies before they even happened. Actually sitting down to make a list of appropriate steps to take if there was a fire or other emergency. The common saying was that we plan for the worst and hope for the best, then train others what to do.
This is what I am talking about with the examples that I used at the beginning. Think about those snags, bumps, and complete disasters that may have occurred in your life. Now think about how you responded and the outcome of that response. In every situation we can find both good and bad things that we did and how each affected what happened in the end.
With my emergency preparedness job we not only ran drills, but also sat down after actual emergencies to see where we could improve our response. This can be done with every situation that happens in our lives as well. Sit down and think of situations that could happen in your life or take the time to reflect on those little things that have just happened to see what we could do better.
I have done both of these activities many times over the years and found that adding prayer while I planned or reflected brought more insight. Taking those moments to quietly pray then listening for a response can help you find many new alternatives or reinforcement for what you have done. Then as always, consulting scripture can bring some answers as well.
Remember, prayer is also a valuable tool in the heat of the moment when those little issues arise. In Psalm 50:15 we get sound advice, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” Pause, take a breath, and ask God for patience to remain calm while you navigate your options to resolve that situation you are facing.
Sometimes it may take more than a moment, or the answer is that we need to take a step back to regroup before moving forward again. In this modern day there are too many people ascribe to the motto, “Never Retreat, Never Surrender.” This battle cry does not easily translate to everyday life because it becomes a selfish state of mind where you destroy another person mentally, emotionally, or even physically to get your own way.
Too often these personal mottos are also filled with anger, hate, fear, and many other negative emotions that just aren’t productive. So, a pause or step back is not a sign of weakness and does not make you a lesser person. In most cases it will make you stronger and more complete without all the turmoil of an emotional rollercoaster.
One scripture I have prayed often throughout my life is Luke 10:19, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” This gave me the strength to stand tall in all circumstances that I was facing. I knew that no matter what happened the Lord had my back.
We also find this assurance in verse four of one of the most familiar scriptures, Psalm 23, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” I know this to be true because I have felt the peace of his presence during that pause even if there was chaos around me.
So, before you turn those snags or tangles you encounter in life into an unforgiving knot, pause and ask the Lord for patience. Before you let that bump become a mountain or that tiny crack become a chasm, take a step back and find His peace. When you do, you will find that extra strength you are looking for. Then afterwards, take the time to reflect on those situations to be thankful for what went right and see where you can improve. Now, also please enjoy, “Strength To See You Through.”
STRENGTH TO SEE YOU THROUGH
What started out as a very simple tangle is now a messy knot,
The harder that I pull just increases the frustration that I got.
Even when there seems to be a clear path with nothing in the way,
Then suddenly the tiniest protrusion can ruin the perfect day.
You may not even see the slightest bump or the many little cracks,
Which causes that simple snag stopping you dead in your tracks.
Lord, what must I do to keep on moving without this distraction,
It is taking away from my progress and causing me to lose traction.
My child, you seem to think that nothing should slow you down.
If you have patience when this happens there is no reason to frown
You are trying to predict when obstacles will suddenly pop up,
So, your travel is unimpeded with no worries that will interrupt.
You must have faith and patience when these little things arise,
They will keep you prepared for when larger ones threaten demise.
Just pause to raise a prayer to me and find peace in all you do,
And my spirit is there beside you to give Strength to See You Through.
Simple Faith Christian