For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. – Jeremiah 29:11 (AMP)
Final outcomes…You know if you’re anything like me that part about the final outcome is hard to swallow when you’re in the midst of the unknown.
Many of you may know of the “transitional” phase my life has suddenly taken. The biggest difference this time around is that so many people I personal know and care for are in the exact same boat. It has been said that it’s not the situation itself but HOW we handle it which is most important. I find myself needing to hold firm to the advice I not too long ago gave a good friend which was “stop focusing on the black dots in life”.
The past couple of weeks have been really rough for soooo many. And like most people if there isn’t immediate relief in sight panic soon starts to creep in. Well honestly what is this “panic” and where does it come from? Most people are pretty rational…well at least I chose to think so. J Most of us don’t completely become unglued at the slightest sign of uncertainty or trouble. It’s usually when our timing, or what we thought would occur, doesn’t materialize. This is when good ol’ “panic” starts its creep. I say creep because really the most common hysteria is the kind that slowly builds up until the pot completely blows its lid. We run around like little pressure cookers of what appears to be calm until we completely cave to good ol’ panic and blow up.
It’s been said that the Devil sends out a little demon to come and sit on our shoulder whispering “What are you going to do? What are you going to do? What are you going to do?” over and over again. It starts off as a whisper, which we can more easily brush off, but then it moves up in volume and frequency until all we can hear and think about is “WHAT AM I GOING TO DO!!!!” And then there we have it folks…sheer panic and hopelessness. All the while our Enemy is sitting back quite satisfied with his work knowing that we are now so worked up that even if someone was shaking us to calm down, and trust that God is in control of our situation, we will have a hard time of hearing them during our meltdown.
Does our Father really want this for us? Is His desire that we walk around in life feeling dejected, depressed and hopeless? And more importantly, what are we saying by such lack of faith in His ability to take care of us? If you saw your child hurting, and knew you had the solution to their problems, but they told you that “You can’t help me”, how would you feel? Not only would you feel dejected but I’m sure you would feel a great deal of sadness for them, knowing that if they just had faith in you, and would let you help them, that all would be solved and work out for their benefit.
So where does that leave you and me? Well to be quite honest I can’t say I haven’t caved to those whispers lately. But there is a BIG difference now compared to how I would normally handle my current predicament. Instead of continuing my downward spiral, I reset by running to God’s word to defeat and banish those lies being whispered in my ear. It’s not easy and it takes endurance and failure but we ALL grow stronger each time we pass the test. The beauty is we may not pass every time, but we will never flunk out. We will just get to take the test again. My hope is that we all reach college one day and don’t get held back in kindergarten. J
During Christ’s temptation He used the Word to defeat and send the Devil packing. And honestly this is the same thing we must do in order to stand firm in the face of opposition and trial. We need to remember that there is no situation or circumstance that God cannot see us through. We immediately think that just because we see nothing but waves with no sight of dry land, that we must be forever lost at sea. Little do we know God has sent out the rescue team who has our exact coordinates and location! But we have our part to do as well, and that is to remain in faith. To be prisoners in Him and the hope He promises to each and every one of us. We must run to Him and remain in His Word through our study time and prayer. Without hope, faith, and love we open ourselves up to those “voices” ready and waiting to drag us into utter despair and hopelessness. God’s Word will never leave us hopeless but instead will fill us with the everlasting joy of knowing that our gracious and loving Abba “Father” has nothing but our good in mind. Another translation of our opening scripture from the Message bible reads;
“This is God’s Word on the subject: “ ‘As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.’ ”
I know that waiting is a bummer, but really it doesn’t have to be! God will provide us many opportunities to keep us occupied while He works on what only HE can handle. In addition, what types of examples are we setting to those who know nothing of God’s love?!? When they see nothing but a bunch of panicky, hopeless and hysterical Christians, do we really think their first thoughts will be “Owww wow I want some of whatever they have and believe in!!” I for one would think they would run hard and fast in the OPPOSITE direction! We are to be pillars of stability. And even when we don’t feel stable that’s ok! We just need to run to one who can stabilize us in His never-ending peace and serenity. We will never be able to withstand all that comes against and remain strong in our own strength. But thank God we don’t have to. We have the ability to lean on and rest in Him.
We must stop looking around thinking that everyone else’s situations are better, or that they are working out while we’re sitting here with nothing. A lot of times when we do this we then get the dimly lit light bulb (yes that is sarcasm) that goes off with one of our “bright” ideas of “I know what I’m going to do!” to get things rolling. I for one have lived trying to make “things” happen that only God can work out. Let me tell you the results were less than stellar. I remind myself that wherever I decide to “put” myself, out of line with the plans God has for me, I very well may find myself having to maintain that ill contrived position as well. (uh no thank you!) I know I need all the help I can get and that the idea of throwing monkey wrenches into the plan…well is just dumb, so why even go there. Now this isn’t’ to say we have no work to do and we can just sit back and let God roll in the miracles, because that is a huge blunder as well…but that is left for a separate blog write up. J
In short, I know my plans over the coming week, weeks, month or whenever, is to do what I can. Spending time with God in prayer and study and listening to His voice on what I need to do and have control over. All else is to be left up to His more than capable hands. Here’s to being panic-free and not focusing on the “Black Dots” of life.
Be Forever Blessed,