I’ve been thinking a lot about faith lately.
Don’t think I”m trying to be super spiritual. Fact is, hard times have forced me to it.
I usually just pray that trouble would fade away. Problem solved. Life back to peachy-keen and mighty-fine. No rocking the boat, no upsetting the apple cart, no running blind in the dark.
But I have learned that, without struggles to remind us of who we are and what we need, we can end up with a severe case of spiritual dehydration. Our gratefulness can turn to pride and our compassion for other people crumble into dust.
Hard times push us until we smash against the end of ourselves. Force us to face our limitations. Embrace our need for God. Every day. All the time.
God is not out to destroy us. He loves us and wants to bless us. He hurts for us when we are in pain and He is present with us in our suffering.
Every. Single. Minute. Of. Every. Day.
Hard times make us hungry. Thirsty. Desperate for God.
Sure, I am first to admit that our struggles can break us into a million little pieces.
But, It changes our vision. Our faith. We begin to see deeply into the suffering of others. We can speak healing into their lives with a power that only comes from brokenness.
Going through troubles increases our faith. The more we need God the more we seek him.
When I was a little girl, I used to run around like crazy all day pestering everyone on the planet. By bedtime, I was ready to pass out on the bottom bunk bed. I didn’t really think about my parents much before I went to sleep. If they had gone out for the rest of the night I would not have even noticed. Sleep, that was what mattered.
But one nightmare could change everything. I’d wake up terrified and run straight to Mom and Dad’s room. I had to see them. To feel their hugs. Hear their groggy voices.
I had to know that they were REALLY there.
When we come to the end of ourselves and all the things we depend on to keep us safe, we need to know that God is REALLY there.
Finding that God in the middle of the night will increase your faith. Hands down.
Maybe you going through some difficult times right now. Maybe its made you pray like crazy or you swear like a sailor. Maybe you find it hard to get out of bed in the morning or you can’t sleep at night.
When you are overwhelmed, you may not be able to do all you think you should do. Give yourself space just to do what you can. Here are a few simple things that may help.
- Move your body even if you don’t feel like it. Ha! I’ve been goaded by my kids to show off some of my crazy dance moves when I just didn’t even feel like smiling Funny thing, by the end of the song I was actually having fun. Stress can make your mind run a mile a minute. Getting out and walking, running or doing what ever you do to move can actually elevate your mood. It clears your head and helps your heart stay strong.
- Share with someone safe. Talk to someone whose love and acceptance you trust. Saying out loud what you are thinking can defuse some of your greatest fears. It’s a way to sort out your thoughts. And it gives true friends get a chance to show you the grace that has been there for you all along.
- Write down what gives you hope. If God gives you insight through meditation, a conversation or what ever, write it down. Don’t be afraid to go back and read it again when you are struggling. Hope is meant for hard times.
- Eat your veggies. Sounds a little silly. But, as a sugar junkie, I know what stress can do to the everyday diet. And an unhealthy diet can drag you down, make you feel hopeless on top of everything else that is going on.
- Try not to let your feelings mess with your mind. The worst thing about going through hard times are the emotional ups and downs. The same emotions that make you cry over a lost little puppy can downright lie to you about your circumstances. Whether your actions brought you to this point or your response to your circumstances have been pretty nasty, God loves you and wants to show you grace. Accept it. Embrace it. Allow yourself to be ok with where you are.
Whew, writing this blog really cleared my head and helped me see more clearly what God is doing in my life and the life of my family.
God is good. Even in the dark. Especially in the dark.
Because there is nothing like reaching out when you can’t see a thing and finding the creator of the universe right beside you.
Have a blessed week! And if you feel like you just can’t hold onto God through all that is happening. Take heart! He is holding on to you!