I’m so blessed to live by the ocean. I love walking on the beach, hearing the roar of the tide crashing in. Hubby woke up this morning and came down with a big grin on his face. “Let’s go to the ocean”. I’m always game to go walk a few miles; smelling the fresh air, finding “treasures” (I got a huge shell this time), listening to the gulls crying as they swoop down to snag a fresh crab dinner.
The expanse and enormity of the water reminds me how very small I really am and how this life really isn’t about me. It puts my life in perspective. You can’t convince me that any of this is an accident. It’s too orchestrated. I’ve experienced way too much “God-incidence” to believe anything else. There’s something way bigger going on then what my finite eyes can see, that I’m a participant in. This is SO not about me.
The hardest part is realizing that we have no control over what happens. Humans are flawed. We make mistakes and bad judgment calls. People are infamous for hurting other people, despite intent. We can’t control our circumstances but we CAN learn to control our reaction to things.
Now hold on! Don’t stone me yet!
I said NOTHING about it being easy. Its not in our nature to think this way, either. You have to be proactive and intentional. And there are no instant, lasting results. It’s a process; a refining. And sometimes the progress doesn’t seem fast enough. It’s SUPER hard work, it sucks and you’ll have opposition, but the reward is so worth it!
The reward is peace.
The key is giving up control to God. Total control. It isn’t on your strength at all. When we finally realize that we aren’t REALLY in control to begin with and let God take the reins, He then has the ability to place us where He needs us to be, free of worry and fear. He will bless your socks off for it!! Test it out and see if I’m not right and your life doesn’t change drastically for the good! Stop speaking negativity over yourself and start claiming the promises of the bible as if it already is. Talk yourself INTO good thoughts, not negative. You have to choose to see things differently. Then sink yourself into God’s Word (do some word searches on the areas you want to improve your life in the glossary/concordance) and hang on for the ride of your life.
No, it’s not a natural instinct for most people, I realize that. It wasn’t for me either. But when you’re walking in line with God, peace follows no matter the circumstances. The absence of peace should be a red flag. This guy had been to prison, beaten, stoned, lashed, verbally abused and this is what he had to say about it.
Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
From an earthly standpoint Paul didn’t seem to have much to be joyful about. He was even shipwrecked and still praised God in it. That’s some rock-solid faith, determination and commitment! That’s called not being shaken by what this broken world throws at us and standing victorious. He knew it was a choice. He set his mind on the prize and kept it set. Instead of focusing on the crap around him, he claimed victory until he had it. I don’t imagine he always “felt like it” either (there’s those pesky emotions again).
We are only here for a fleeting moment in the grand scheme of things. Just a whisper in time, a leaf blowing by in the wind. Here, and then suddenly gone. From dust to dust in the blink of an eye. From an earthly perspective it seems like some cruel and unusual joke. But there is a purpose…..you know you’ve seen some of it in hindsight. It can’t be denied. Read Ecclesiastes (yes; the whole book shouldn’t take you but 15-20 minutes) with this in mind: he’s saying if you look at the world through human eyes without acknowledging your Creator then of course there’s no hope. But with God this messed up world can still have hope even in its brokenness.
I want to let the One who created this place be in charge. He can see the big picture and he really does want an abundant life for me. Life doesn’t always look how I think it should and that’s actually a good thing. It’s not an insult to me. It just reminds me of my need for Jesus. We weren’t meant to do life without Him.
I found my life when I laid it down
Upward falling, spirit soaring
I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground
Everything I am, reaching out, I surrender
Come sweep me up in Your love again
And my soul will dance
On the wings of forever