There are times in life when the ground beneath your feet doesn’t feel solid, fixed, or secure. It’s a scary feeling. It’s as if the rug’s been pulled out from under you and you’re left to drift through life, desperately seeking a footing.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
Sometimes this is easier said than done; sometimes this looks differently than expected. But, when done, it makes all the difference.
For instance, two weeks ago I had one of my wisdom teeth extracted. (I don’t recommend it.) I prepared myself by loading up on lots of worship music and prayer (“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17). On the day of the procedure my preparations had taken enough root that, though I was anxious, my mind was flooded with worship and prayer. I literally felt like I drifted through the day; like I was being carried. With each tug and pull the dentist made on my tooth, I let my heart sing truth. When my jaw grew weary from holding it open, I thanked the LORD for the strength He provided. When the tooth didn’t “roll out” like the doctor thought it would and ended up having to get it surgically removed and get two stitches, I let the songs of praise be louder in my mind, knowing that God was in control (and I prayed that He would just push the tooth out of my head).
Later in the day when the anesthesia wore off and the pain started creeping in, I took the time to rest and focus on God’s goodness instead of the throbs, thanking Him for all He is (“Give thanks in all circumstances.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18). Between the ice packs and worship music I was able to handle the pain without medication – I kept my focus on Him and my mind and body was healthier for it. (Not to say that it would have been wrong to take medication. I just prefer not to if I don’t have to! I’ve found my body heals faster without it – depending on the circumstance, of course.)
I want everything to be clear and understandable at. all. times. I’m all for God being the one to give me the direction and the focus, (He really is the only one that can.) but why doesn’t He do it more often? It seems like the more I step out the more confusion and chaos I feel. I start to question His voice and wonder if He even told me to step out in the first place. Doubts creep in and worry takes over. I physically have trouble breathing and I feel like I’m drowning in the questions that mostly don’t even need to be asked, let alone have an answer.
Like I talked about in the first post I ever wrote (here), God does call us to step out of the boat, out of our comfort zone. But, did you notice that when Jesus told Peter to step out He was calling him out into the storm?!
So, what do we do when we feel like this? When our focus is blurred and there are a million and a half things being thrown in our direction and pulled from our grips. (Have you ever tried to hold onto something while in a raging storm? It’s pretty impossible, especially if what you’re clinging to is of little weight.)