“Storms make trees take deeper root.” –Dolly Parton
How do we deal with the storms in our lives? Do you duck your head and run? Do you dance in the rain? Do you just stand there and let the rain soak you? How do you deal with these difficult seasons? Whatever way you answer those questions will define how that season of your life goes. Now, I know that I definitely do not have all the answers to life and fall short way more than I would like to admit, but since different seasons are a part of life, I would like to share my thoughts on the tough seasons.
A phrase that keeps coming up in my life when I walk through difficult seasons is “look up”. The phrase “look up” correlates to the idea that your circumstances shrink you down to the size of the storm you’re facing and it becomes all you can see. When you walk through a storm, it is so easy to get bogged down in all your circumstances. It’s easy to be negative; to be discouraged and think this is how things have always been for you. It’s easy to think that your life has always been difficult, and that you’ve never had it easy. That somehow there was always unhappiness on the sidelines of your joy just waiting to come in and take its "rightful" place again. And the way we try to deal with this feeling is trying to be someone other than ourselves, or we try to decide and reason ourselves out of these seasons. The perspectives of your life can seem tinged with negative more often than not.
“If I could only have her optimism…”
“I can just try harder to have his passion and spirit for things…”
“If I can just get myself to care then it will all be so much easier…”
“Come on self, get your butt in gear…”
Am I the only one that thinks these things? I doubt it. When I read those sentences again what I see is striving and weariness and comparison. How many of us are so weary of the battle we’ve been facing? I know I am. Can I share something with you guys? You will not be able to decide yourself into changing your inward condition. I know, I’ve tried countless times. Your striving wears you out and tears you down. It makes you feel alone and divided. It is discouraging and one-sided and often yields no permanent results. Shaming yourself into change is not the way. At the same time, self-discipline will not do it for you either. There is only one Being capable of your internal change.
He is Jesus. He sets people free from their bondage, especially the self-made prisons and traps. He wants to come and save you so desperately.
“Really? I don’t see Him rushing in to save ME.”
“If that's true, I must not be doing this 'following the Lord thing' right…”
“I guess I need to take things into my own hands in order to get them fixed."
Oh yeah. Even in those moments where our “self” enters back in. Our pride comes in thinking that we have the power to change us. Pride is not only a thing that enters in when we are only fed up with life, but it also comes in when we are weary of the battle. Especially when we have difficulty believing that God is who He says He is. I’ll give you a quick reminder of His promise to you.
At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, He reads from Isaiah 61:1-2. This is why He came to Earth. He came for you, dear one.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the openings of the prison to those who are bound, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn…”
So, to conclude all the thoughts poured out here, I would say to each of you “look up”. See Jesus calling you forth; see Him holding out His hand for you. Take it. Rest. Know that He will do the changing in you. Remind yourself of this truth often. I know I cannot make the change happen in myself, but I shall leave my self-changing to Him. Do not be afraid today; be confident of the One who leads you.
“But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8
Author | Aubrey Gold