Today, I found myself briefly in a state of listlessness, it was as though I was here but my day was one big expression of "blahhhhhh," and that's when I knew it was time to get outside, inhale God's air and exhale a prayer and a worship.
Thankfully, I live in a place where Liam and I can wander outside safely, and I found myself, talking out loud to God, praying for not only myself, but a friend whose Facebook status relayed my current feelings. Anyways, tonight, I am led to talk about when God is moving too slow for our comfort, and we end up feeling like we are drowning.
Some days the perfect description of my life can be found in Beres Hammond's lyrics,"but every time I lift my head above water, and try to save myself from drown, there's an overnight scheme all worked out, designed to keep me down." Some days, like today are emotionally hard because for a one moment, I begin to battle the waves of life and look at all that I have yet to accomplish This post isn't about putting up a resistance but about surrendering our resistance. Today while I was catching some fresh air with my Liam, I began to talk aloud to God and I remembered my first time white water rafting. During the training e were told that if we fell out of the raft, not to try and swim to safety but to go with the current and someone will rescue us. Crazy right? What do they mean don't try and swim to safety?
As I continued praying, I realized that the problem with fighting the current and the waves is that I can only hold on for so long. The truth is, the water is stronger than I am and it always will be, but what if I just surrendered, what if I let go of fighting and just began to sink into the water or float along with the current? At this point, I sound suicidal, but if I am leaning and depending on God wouldn't I surrender? The thing is, I like you, struggle to surrender to the waves because we are afraid that God will make us wait for rescue. And maybe you're right, but if there is anything I have learned this past two years is that God will use situations to change you even though you are begging for the situation to change.
Think about it, you want your credit score up and can't get certain apartments without a co-signer, and so you're praying for favor and for God to change your credit. But God is using this situation to cause you to become educated about debt, financial freedom and credit, so you can build an emergency fund and remember that the borrower is always slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7). Yeah, I know you have been declaring and decreeing the weight will just drop off, random checks will come in the mail and your income will increase. But beloved, if you don't get educated and implement that education, what is supposed to change? You want God to increase the credit score you don't pay your bills on time, and you won't handle your money so you don't have to borrow every month without paying back for a year.
So what exactly is LaShonda saying? Don't get so caught up in fighting your situation, fighting your feelings and hiding your frustration with life just so you can pretend to have it together around your friends who use wisdom in their daily living. Surrender to that frustration, by praying about it, seeing what the WORD says about it,getting educated and putting all of that knowledge into practice. You see beloved, I believe God blesses our obedience, and He makes our efforts to succeed, whether than success is in the long haul or the short. You may feel like you are make 2 steps forward only to get knocked back 5 more, but rejoice in how God is teaching you emotional endurance, situational perseverance and problem solving. I mean, you gain some serious problem solving skills in situations like those!!
Don't get so caught up in fighting the waves, it makes you want to help God, and when you help God, you help yourself right out of His will. In my own life, I knew God was calling me to write and just spend time with Him, even though I was drowning financially because I did not have a job after college and my savings were dwindling that summer. I decided that I had to help God transform my situation by getting a job where I worked 12 hrs daily on my feet and came home to exhausted to even be involved with the one clear instruction He gave me. I remember being so tired I didn't want to go to church, I definitely didn't have Bible study and the only time I prayed for more success at this job that was beyond my scope of management and pulling me away from God. I found that after I quit that job (and yes I testified in church about it), I had such a peace that I surrendered to God's will, even though it meant that I didn't have money in that time, and for being broke I got rich spiritually.
You have to ask yourself:
1. Are you really drowning or are your feelings out of control?
It is all too easy to make a mountain out of a mole hill, and even then, what's bigger, greater or more powerful than your God that you say you love and believe? What is too hard for Him to do? Here's what you do, write down that mountain or that mole hill, and everything you feel about that, and then you go and read what the Bible says about your mole hill mountain. Next you take that list and those findings to God, pray about it and learn those scriptures, rehearse them and think about them. The Bible, just like self-help books, really help to cage emotions that are unruly, but the first step is confession.
2. Why do you feel like you're downing? Is it because of bills and the lack of money (most times it is), is it because of a relationship (or the lack thereof)?
Have you called your bill collectors and asked for an extension? Called the credit card companies or the collection agencies and worked out a settlement or payment plan? I have a late credit card payment right now, I need to call the company about to resolve so I am talking to myself first here. The point is, is there a practical short-term, long-term or permanent solution to your issue than you can be engaged with, instead of fighting against the problem tiring yourself out and exhausting your faith?
Are you trying and it seems to be going nowhere, keep yourself surrender by other dryers, not alone in your head.
What do you need to get done that requires financial backing? What all can you do without the money? I was watching a series called Zoo on Netflix (great series) and Mitch said, "resources are the enemy of imagination." Seriously, is this your moment to innovate?
Stop fighting against your life, against every situation be it a test or a trial and come out better. Nothing is overnight, people work long and hard for 5-10 years to be overnight successes. I know, it seems God is not making haste to help you, but that may be because this situation is designed to change you. Maybe you need to be trained, refined and well equipped with a push that only comes from being in the trenches. Today, I prayed to God that as the waves come over our heads and we start to sink below the surface of our issues, that our faith in Him would help us focus, because maybe we need to practice holding our breaths underwater so we can be survivors, ready and able to rescue and teach others. Maybe underwater is the quietest place we can be, because our daily lives have drowned out our faith and God's voice. For some of us, may our faith in God and prudent actions become an oxygen mask. But for all of us, maybe underwater is where we become victors and above the water we victimize ourselves.
I wanted to end with something really deep, but chall, I ene deep!
Grace and Peace