May I be frank? I’ve been in the pits lately. I feel less like a human and more like I’m a ping pong ball. My circumstances have been bouncing my emotions all over the place. I think I might seriously have whiplash! Maybe that’s why my back has been hurting me…
This is an example of what I mean—how my week might play out.
I win a tennis match and I’m all confident and happy—for a while—sometimes for an entire day.
But then I get a rejection on something I’ve written and my confidence goes out the window. Bye, bye winning match. In a heartbeat I go from winner to loser. Now I’m bummed.
We get a call from our CPA telling us we overpaid our taxes. Yeah baby! Cloud nine. What relief, right?
Then hubby walks in all stressed over something at work and well, I get stressed too. He gets grumpy. I get grumpier.
Ahhh, but then someone leaves an encouraging comment on my blog and suddenly, I have purpose. I have worth again.
Up and down, up and down. Back and forth, back and forth. Oh mercy! See what I mean?
Your week may play out with different circumstances but can you relate?
This is not a way to live.
And when there are more difficult circumstances than good ones, we live in danger of getting stuck in the negative mode where anxiety and or depression can take a foothold. Honestly I think that’s where I’ve been.
It’s times like these we need to be praying like mad but it’s also times like these where we just don’t want to—we don’t feel like it.
I don’t believe for a minute God intended for us, His children, to live this way, though probably most of us know this bouncing around as reality and take it for granted. But since I’m being frank, let me say,
I’m frankly tired of it.
And I don’t like getting stuck in a hard place waiting on, no, depending on, a positive event to appear to pull me out. But sometimes that’s what I do.
The sum total of our circumstances don’t make us who we are so we shouldn’t let them control our attitude towards life or the way we react to it.
We think certain things in life will satisfy and we put high value into these. For me that might look like, winning a tennis match, getting a writing gig, having enough money for whatever (but what is really enough?) It could be everything going smoothly with my husband’s work, or being invited to a certain this or that. You can fill in your own blanks. But these “things” only satisfy temporarily, because God has set eternity in the heart of man. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
Our hearts are searching to be satisfied with a love relationship only God can fulfill.
When I drift away from centering on this truth I lose my focus and get jerked around by these fake values I’ve set up.
What I typically do when I feel this way is bring myself back to center by realigning my gaze on what I know is certain and factual: Fact (Truth) is what has been proven to me through Scripture and personal experiences where I’ve seen God at work in my life. It’s what I believe. Beliefs guard our attitudes and keep our emotions in check.
I believe God is sovereign. Psalm 135:6
I believe He has a purpose for me. Philippians 2:13
I believe He wants us to enjoy life. John 10:10
I believe He answers prayers. 1 John 5:15
I believe His ways are higher than my ways. Isaiah 55:9
Things on this side of heaven are never going to be perfect. We will always want what we don’t have and we will never have enough. This is human nature. Out hearts long for something the world can’t give— intimate relationship with our heavenly Father.
So let us not place worth on what doesn’t satisfy. Instead, let’s place worth on the truth of who God is and His love for us. When we do, we’ll feel a gravitational pull that brings us back to earth, grounding us and protecting us from that next circumstantial lightening strike.
Acknowledging our beliefs keeps us centered. It doesn’t mean we won’t be bounced around sometimes, just maybe not so hard and far.
God meant for us to find our satisfaction solely in Him and not in our circumstances as they are and will always be like shifting sand.
“He has also set eternity in the human heart; no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV)
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