How often do you learn a lesson completely the first time and never repeat the same mistake? I wish I could say I only made the same mistakes once, but it’s simply not true. I can be a little thick-headed and it takes some time for me to really change my behavior. How about you?
In my last post I talked about how I learned to ask God to carry my burdens and to rely on him in times of trouble. That was indeed a turning point in my faith journey, but it certainly wasn’t the last time I ever found myself drowning under the weight of yet another change in my life.
Not so long ago, I found myself in tears again, stressed over another part of my life that wasn’t turning out how I thought it should. Another dream shattered, another trial to face, more unknowns in the future. I could feel myself beginning to sink, starting to allow the stress and worry to take me under.
Ironically, I’d been writing that day about the importance of prayer. I took a few minutes to read the words I’d just written about the need to include God in your conversations and allow Him into your decision making. How prayer can keep us from drowning when the storms of life blow in. Then it hit me. I hadn’t yet prayed about this current issue. I’d left God out of the conversation, choosing instead to handle it on my own.
[callout]Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV)[/callout]
No wonder I was drowning! I was trying to swim alone through a storm without a life preserver!
When change comes, we need God’s life preserver, not worry’s anchor.
I may have made the same mistake again but this time I knew how to get out. I knew how to ask for help and keep myself from going under. This time I caught myself falling into old habits of drowning and reached out for help. I got down on my knees and prayed. I shared my heart with God – all my fears, my worries, my disappointments, my anger, my grief – and then asked Him to help.
God’s grace provides an endless supply of life preservers, so we can keep practicing until we learn to swim.
This time I was able to start floating much faster. I knew the power of prayer and I knew how to rely on God. I just needed the reminder to do it.
Even as we learn to rely on God in our struggles, we’ll still have those moments when we begin to sink. We’ll still face big storms that come out of nowhere and threaten to overtake us. Those times when we feel we can’t go on, when the grief or worry or stress is too much to handle. We’ll need to feel the weight of the change before us.
Sometimes we need to sink, to acknowledge the weight of the change we’re facing, just don’t forget to reach out your hand for help to come back up.
Changing our default response is a learning process, not an instantaneous fix. As we continue practicing and training, we’ll find we sink less often and not as far under. Little by little, we’ll learn to navigate the rough seas of our lives with more hope and less stress!
[reminder class=”reminder” preface=”Question:”]What do you most often grab when change hits – God’s life preserver or worry’s anchor?[/reminder]
I love this song “I Am” by Crowder! The chorus echoes the words I so often need to remember: “I am, Holding on to you. In the middle of the storm, I am holding on, I am”
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[callout]This post is part of the “A Better Change” series. For more information on this series and to find related posts, click here: A Better Change Series – Overview[/callout]