Several calls and interactions I’ve had recently exposed some of the current issues so many in society face. With the continued existence of the pandemic, life remains uncertain as this relates to everyday lived experiences. Keeping in mind that each person permitted me to share on a snip of our discussions, I attempt to do just that in the forthcoming paragraph.
One person addressed the pandemic as a plaque, as those written about in the Old Testament. Another person wanted me to know that her confidence in producing at work has swayed. In addition, she discussed that her trust in the world has reduced based on the lack of kindness she continues to experience. Then another wants to leave her job because of a recent change in family dynamics. So much to discern right now. Yet, I am thankful for the courage of those who shared. More so because I have recently dealt with some of my concerns and worldly fatigue. The most prevalent was a relationship disappointment, which covered my heart in deep grief the last week of 2021. The time it took me to recover was shorter than I’d expected. However, this does not mean I don’t think about what happened on occasion. But mainly I reflect on why it was so easy to let go of this friendship with no regrets. I am likewise concerned about why this process has become so uncomplicated to do, as I become less available to nurture decisions and consequences made by knotty choices. I guess, I refuse to allow my heart to hurt unnecessarily. And, although I believe this heart struggles to become pliable concerning certain situations, there are times it still hurts so painfully.
For-“Good growth takes place upwards and downwards at the same time…If my heart remains unsoftened and unfertilized by grace, the good seed may germinate for a season, but it must ultimately wither, for it cannot flourish on a rocky, unbroken, unsanctified heart, (Spurgeon, 1869)
And even so, I tell you, physical time spent in Ibiza almost seems the best solution when days are so difficult for me. Mentally, I return there often, though, and take God’s words with me.
In accordance, my thoughts recently have been for people and our world, as I experience it today, and for this reason, I chose to rest on-and-off this past weekend. All my plans were intentionally halted and postponed while finding comfort. Life is full! And, as I manage to think through these words I write, there are deep breaths in front of me to accompany what has been placed on my heart this week. Nonetheless, in my home state of Colorado, the sun still shines in January! I am truly blessed to live here. And, yes, several good news continues to enter this heart of mine—one, which I’ll share about a little later in the year. But let’s say I am delighted about the arrival and possibilities!
As humans, when we are near life’s fires, we are infamously terrible at putting our strengths to good use. In the same vein, when life comes at us so hard, we can sometimes forget about our God-given potential. Often these deficiencies are enlarged during times of high stress, when dealing with people we identify as annoying, when we don’t understand the motives of others, and when everything becomes too much to handle.
But-“As long as we belong to this world, we will remain subject to its competitive ways and expect to be rewarded for all the good we do. But when we belong to God, who loves us without conditions, we can live as he does. The great conversion called for by Jesus is to move from belonging to the world to belonging to God.”- Henri Nouwen (See John 17:15-16)
Telling ourselves we are beautiful, extraordinary, intelligent, caring, and loving is not meant to lead to conceit. These statements simply agree with God’s views of us. They are identical to how He feels about us! All made to boost our confidence and maximize our self-belief and belief in the goodness of who He is.
In Philippians 4:11-13, the Apostle Paul tells us this:
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (ESV)
We can indeed do all things through Him who strengthens us. We can be confident in our daily endeavors when we know these efforts are leadings from God. So, if you are struggling with uncertainty relating to how to fit into the cumbersome designs of the world, or perhaps in daily doings, alongside Paul’s remarks, here are a few things to remember:
- Take moments each day to grow your knowledge of a specific topic and understand how this time spent applies to God’s words
- Challenge negative thoughts by creating moments to read God’s words and learn what you mean to Him
- Create appointments to share ideas and goals with trusted friends
- Know, understand, and accept your strengths
- And acknowledge that you are confident because God instructs you to be (Philippians 1:6).
Our optimal functioning is needed to heal what ails us. We must adapt to the world we share today and locate ways to deconstruct those filters that keep us from living that fundamental wholeness God intends for us. Yes, I may want to be in Ibiza or even my home country of Belize when times get tough. But until I can make this happen, I continue to trust God in His process for my life today and the life He has to come. I do this by staying focused with minimal distractions. I do this in humility. I do this through self-care. And most importantly, I do this by reading His words each day!
Nouwen, H. (2017). You are beloved. Crown Publishing Group
Spurgeon, C.H. (1869). Morning and evening. Barbour Publishing