Friday, May 22, 2015

When Life Knocks You Down

Sometimes life just stinks... It just does. You don't get the promotion you were counting on.  Your car breaks down. There is an illness or disease.  Whatever it is, it completely takes you down.

So what do you do when you get knocked down?  Well, as we've always been taught... you get back up again.  There was even a song by Chumbawamba (seriously didn't know that was their name, had to look that one up) about it in the 90's- "I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're never going keep me down..."

If that was as easy as it was, I guess I could stop writing right here.  But it's not that easy.  Sometimes you not only feel knocked down, but there seems to be one thing after another that keep knocking you back down no matter how hard you are trying to get up.  Picture an ocean current that has you flipping and rolling all over the place.

It seems easier at these times to just give up.  To throw yourself a pity party and call it a day, week, or even a year.  BUT, does giving up make it any better?  Are you happier?  Are you missing out because you decided to quit?

It's been a pretty blah couple of weeks for me- hence this post. And the problem is that when the first blow came, I said all the "right" things and told myself what I needed to do (let it go - I even sang it!) but I didn't.  And then the next wave hit and I lost my temper- all over my poor husband. Then the next and the next.  Until I woke up Thursday morning sure that it was Friday and then devastated (ok not really, but pretty bummed) when I realized that I had 2 more work days instead of one.  Because I am exhausted. Physically, mentally, emotionally spent.

But here's the thing, if I stay in this defeated state then even small things that can typically roll off my back with no second thought feel like 50 pound weights added to my shoulders.  And I don't know about you, but I don't have any desire to carry around any extra weight!

So, what do I do?  Well, I pray.  I cry out to Jesus.  He already knows what's been happening and God's been allowing it. Now if that makes you feel angry or betrayed by God- then first tell him that.  But make sure you go to step 2 which is ask what He wants to teach you through it.

God isn't some puppet-master who doesn't care about his creation.  He obviously cares very much- He sent his only son to die for us!  And there are things we may have to go through because the world has been broken by sin and because God is refining us and developing our faith.

Step 2 can also (and usually does) include intentional specific Bible study and talking with a trusted wiser brother/sister in Christ.  And step 3 is about praising and thanking God.  This doesn't mean you are healed, over it, moving on- this is when you are still in that place of unrest. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us to rejoice always, pray without ceasing and give thanks in all circumstances.  I know easier said than done.  But before you write it off, I encourage you to give it a try.

When we are rejoicing, praying and giving thanks our focus is redirected off of ourselves and back where it belongs- on Jesus.  When I focus on Jesus and all he is and all he endured my troubles become just what they are- momentary in light of eternity.  We can't lose sight of the Gospel because that is our purpose and mission on earth- to spread the good news to all the earth so that people's lives will be saved for eternity!

I believe that Satan takes joy in our complaining and wallowing.  Because when we are stuck in that place we aren't sharing the hope, peace, and love that comes from knowing Jesus as our personal Savior and Lord.

So as I stated before, sometimes life really does stink.  Sometimes stuff happens and it literally and figuratively knocks you flat on your butt.  But don't stay there. Get back up and continue the journey.  Praise God through it.  Pray through it. Give thanks through it.  And continue to focus on God and how good, mighty, awesome, powerful, loving, merciful and sovereign He is instead of focusing on yourself.

Love in Christ, 


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