Important Things # 16 ~ Lighten up
When this world is oh so heavy… it is so very important to learn to lighten up in order not to get depressed, overly anxious, and/or too stressed out in the midst of the heaviness. Sometimes it IS important to be that weird person who talks to them-self… just to keep sane. LOL I know how odd this sounds, even as I type it, I do. Yet, with the massive attacks I have even in my personal life, the extreme circumstances that seem unending, the emotional toil that attempts to come back each day, I have had to learn how to keep a light spirit. This unnatural response at hope is not always the easiest to come by, even for me. However, I want to let you know that it can be learned and perfected more and more every day.
One day recently, a certain horrific incident (which will remain anonymous) occurred and again I was tempted to scream out in tears and fall down in worry and anxiety. I had to take a very deep breath in… let it sit inside my chest for a moment… slowly exhale… and pause my mind to remember that GOD IS STILL GOD!!! Guess what people, it rains on the just and the unjust. We do not and will not always understand why things happen. Once you let go of the effort try to stay in control of every area of your life, and allow God to take control, and honestly admit that “no matter what, Lord, I will follow you.” Again – NO MATTER WHAT. This is huge & very hard. There is a reason why it is said that the road is narrow and not meant to be easy. Like every life success coach will say about great successful businessmen, the only ones who truly succeed and gain financial business success have endured a road and trip that most “average” and “ordinary” people don’t bother to place the amount of effort to do. That makes all the difference with successful and unsuccessful people… effort to do the things that others won’t do. Well, it’s the same in your personal spiritual life…. which is where true inner happiness comes from. Once you realize that, you will notice that those worries really really do lift off of your shoulders more.
If I actually told you all what all I actually dealt with in my life from beginning until today – you wouldn’t believe me. And how in the world I make it through so many of my days is ONLY BECAUSE OF GOD!!! I will always be the first to tell the world that there is NO WAY that I could have made it through on my own. One day, I want to sit down and work on making a list of every trial and heartache, and list how it was solved… so many times it was as miraculous as “manna falling down from heaven.”
Let me share one generic Bible story that has helped keep me from complaining recently:
It is the story of the Moses and God’s people having to wander in the desert for 40 years (Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy) – those people were miraculously fed manna (bread) which literally fell out of the heavens (sky). They were guided with fire by night and protected from the desert’s heat with clouds during the day. Yet, they grumbled and complained everyday about “having to eat manna AGAIN!” Really?! How often are we like this!?!? Have you ever been without what you WANT, and God is somehow providing your NEEDS – remember we need less than we think – and still we complain?? God promised to provide our NEEDS!!!! Not our wants… those are extra blessings, and if you have those ALSO, then I hope you are giving your thanks for having more than even your needs met. Okay – back to the story. LOL What else happened in this story? Well, they finally reached the “promised land” and what happened? They sent 12 spies in – 10 out of the 12 spies saw it as “too much for the to conquer”, only 2 of the 12 said, “we got this! God is on our side!” Well, the crowd went with the majority… as crowds tend to do. The result was that as a consequence to their grumbling, complaining and lack of faith the Lord said that all the people counted in the census will die in the desert except Caleb and Joshua—they will enter the land. So the people wound up wandering in the desert for 40 years. This story gave me enough of a healthy “fear of the Lord” in the recent years that I have made sure to count EVERY blessing and every Top Ramen meal that I have the ability to eat when I am at those points, and for gourmet meals when those days present themselves as well. The thing is… once I started forcing myself to think of every blessing, and give every thanksgiving verbal thanks to God everyday… it does 2 things. 1) It makes for long night-time prayers!! 2) It makes for less stress, as your mindset is so strongly aware of God’s presence, provision, and protection in your life that you cannot help but trust Him.
CHALLENGE: Can you take the time and make the effort to count every blessing – as little as food, clothing, housing – as large as you can think – tonight?
Sonya… She Idealist.