Go To The Hard Place
I believe I have written about living in a zone of discomfort before. I think I want to spend a little bit of time on that again. In my last blog I wrote about being in the midst of a litany of trials and I am so over-joyed to proclaim that when brought to prayer God moved in mighty ways that I cannot begin to comprehend. You know, I think my inability to comprehend actually brings peace to heart and mind that is prone to control and anxiety. I often get trapped with thinking my ways are the most logical and most thorough ways. That is so deceiving though.
The caption to that picture at the top comes from Job 38. If you've never heard the story of Job it's a wild one. This man had everything. Wife. Kids. Health. Estate. Possessions. #TheAmericanDream. Then he had it all taken from him. Most of the rest of the story is the tale of Job's walk through the suffering and his interactions with the people around him. If I had to make my own observation, the bulk of Job's suffering came from his lack of understanding of exactly why he was afflicted -- not the affliction itself. My goodness do I get that. The battle of the mind and trying to get to the bottom of why things are the way they are. Constant retrospection. What if I did this? What if I had said it this way? What if? What if? WHAT IF???
Where did this lead Job? He ended up questioning God and God answered. God's reminded Job that Job [Tayler] isn't sovereign over all things. Job [Tayler] isn't all knowing. Job [Tayler] isn't all powerful. What does this have to do with living in a zone of discomfort? It makes me uncomfortable not knowing. It makes me uncomfortable to not be in control. It makes me uncomfortable when I can't fix the problem. I have to go to the hard place of not telling God that His ways are wrong; but go in humility and say "God I don't understand. Honestly, I don't really like this at all. However, I know that Your ways are higher than mine and that I simply need to be still and know that You have this worked out. Give me the peace and strength to get through."
I say those exact things because that is truth from scripture -- check it out at the end of this blog. So, since the last blog I went to my hard place, in faith. I turned over control and did my best to handle every situation that brought grief in a Christlike manner. With prayer. With humility. With integrity. With forgiveness. With love. My anxiety for tomorrow went away. My bitterness was uprooted. My joy increased.
Corrie Ten Boom who authored The Hiding Place said, "Never be too afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God." While God is our hiding place, I believe that we truly get to that hiding place by passing through the hard place. What does that hard place look like for you? Is it letting go of control like me? Is it being transparent about a secret struggle? Is it having a tough conversation? Is it being humble and seeking forgiveness? Is it standing firm in the truth that you know? The hard place is different for everyone and I want to issue a challenge to all of my readers, go to your hard place within 7 days of reading this. Let go of control. Be transparent. Have the tough conversation. Seek forgiveness. Stand firm. Let's go friends. We can get healthier together.
A Crooked Stick
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.
~ Isaiah 55:8-9
Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
~ Psalm 46-10
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
~ Romans 8:26-28
... And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
~ Nehemiah 8:10
And the peace of God, which surpassed all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus
~ Philippians 4:7