What To Do When I Hit the Wall

The Wall

The Wall

"Hello Wall.Nice to meet you. Just wish you hadn't hit me so hard. Or did I hit you?"

Events roll in. To Do's pile up. Laundry backs up.

It all seems urgent, necessary, and immediate. No time to recover, to think, to ponder, to meditate, to rest.

Which need is most immediate? Which fire must be put out? Which catastrophe must be avoided the most?

Today I feel like Custer at the Battle of Little Big Horn: surrounded, hopeless, and uncomfortably suspicious that I brought this upon myself. [tweetthis]I feel like Custer: surrounded, hopeless, and uncomfortably suspicious that I brought this upon myself.[/tweetthis]

I have hit the wall and I need a solution.

Enter the Solution

God's solutions are always better than my solutions. The solution He gave me this morning- Psalm 91.

Step One: Seek refuge in Him.

Verses 1-10 make it very clear that this is not an imaginary situation. There are terrors, arrows whizzing past my ear, and ten thousand enemies.

He will cover you with His pinions,And under His wings you may seek refuge;His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

You will not be afraid of the terror by night,Or of the arrow that flies by day;Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. Ps. 91:4-6 (NASB)

My only job at this point is to seek refuge in Him because He will cover me and He will deliver me. I cannot plan or multi-task my way out of this situation. I am just going to have to sit down in the lap of His grace and let Him fight this battle for me.

Step Two: See the reinforcements

Verses 11-13 reveal that I am not in this fight alone.

For He will give His angels charge concerning you,To guard you in all your ways.They will bear you up in their hands,That you do not strike your foot against a stone.You will tread upon the lion and cobra,The young lion and the serpent you will trample down. Ps. 91:11-13 (NASB)

Yes, I may be surrounded by enemies, screaming my name and trying to defeat me, but I am also surrounded by angels. Not anemic angels, strumming harps, but warrior angels, who guard me and bear me up.

Immediate, screaming needs tend to turn my focus on the material realities directly in front of me. I loose sight of the supernatural realities fighting on my side, enabling me to tread upon lions and cobras and not be harmed. (Psalm 91:12,13) So I must look at the situation with spiritual eyes or I will miss the whole angelic show!

Step Three: I do my job and I let God do His

“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.“He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;I will be with him in trouble;I will rescue him and honor him.“With a long life I will satisfy himAnd let him see My salvation.” Ps. 91:14-16 (NASB)

Oh my, how I love this. Verses 14-16 shift from the voice of the psalmist, to words from the mouth of my Lord. He tells me exactly what my jobs are and exactly what He will do.

My jobs:

  • love Him
  • know His name
  • call upon Him

His promises:

  • deliver me
  • set me on high
  • answer me
  • be with me in trouble
  • rescue and honor me
  • satisfy me with life
  • let me see His salvation

His list is long and mine is short . God's work is active and mine is passive .

I get so darn busy fighting my battles on my own that I loose sight of the fact that He just wants me to love Him. He wants to deliver me and all I need to do is call upon Him. [tweetthis]I get so busy fighting my battles that I lose sight of the fact that He just wants me to love Him. [/tweetthis]

So good bye wall. Nice running into you. But I have a shelter, a refuge, and a fortress that I would rather spend time with.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most HighWill abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, My God in whom I trust!" Psalm 91:1-2

Finding Freedom: Lean Into the Hard

Every time I read quotes like, "Live your passion and you will never work a day in your life," or "Discover what you were born to do and you will always be happy," I have a knee jerk type of reaction. It usually involves me rolling my eyes and saying insightful things like, "Baloney."

The truth is that it is has taken me quite some time to get to a place of freedom and rejection of this mentality. My reaction used to be both guilt that I didn't live my passion as well as jealousy of those who did. And just in case you didn't know this already, neither guilt or jealousy are healthy emotions to live with.

I realize I am saying something rather counter-cultural to today's mindset, but I just find this way of thinking very limiting and unrealistic.  Life is full of the mundane, routine, non-passion-inspiring moments and activities. Do I have to fell "born to do" laundry in order to do it? Or am I just doomed to do it and be unhappy about it?

There is also an element of this philosophy that ignores the fact that God might very well call us to do something really hard.

His calling in our lives may or may not be in our area of passion. He might give us a job for which we are not naturally gifted. He may very well want to show Himself strong in our weaknesses.

Look at Moses. He was a man with a speech impediment who was called to speak to the mightiest ruler of the world. He lead people who were obstinate and who frustrated the tar out of him and it almost wore him out. He faced hunger, complaining, uncertainty, monotony, and danger with a people who questioned his authority. (Sounds like the life of every parent!) Leading the Isrealites for 40 years through a desert while trying to keep their focus on God was hard.

But he was living what God called him to do.

Look at Mary. She was a girl who was looking for the kind of life everyone else around her had- one with a husband and a family. But she had to face the unthinkable- a pregnancy out of wedlock which almost caused her to loose her betrothed. Then she had to raise a Son, who was the Son of God, which she must have felt totally unqualified to do. And then she was horrifically present at the moment He suffered and died. While being the mother of Christ must have contained unspeakable joys, every moment must have also been hard.

But she was living the life God had designed her for.

Look at Jeremiah. He was a man who, in order to follow the call of God, had to speak such unpopular words that he was beaten, put in stocks and imprisoned, thrown into a cistern, and was rejected by his own family.  He lived constantly with the tug-of-war of on the one side dreading giving the words the Lord had for him to say and on the other side the impossibility of not saying the words that were like a fire within him. (Jer. 20:8-9) To speak meant he would be reviled, but to not speak was inconceivable. His life was very, very hard.

But he was living the calling of God on his life.

And the point is? Just that if life is hard, and if you are not working in your sweet spot, and if your passion is on the back burner, and if being faithful means denying your desire.....that does not mean that you are in the wrong place.

Sometimes life is hard. Relationships are hard. Denying yourself is hard. Picking up your cross daily is hard. So lean into the hard. Don't assume that because something is hard, you are in the wrong place.

Find freedom in the midst of the hard by seeing Jesus beside you, in every crazy or mundane circumstance, showing Himself strong.

Life can be hard, but it may just be the exact life God has called you to and created you for.

What do you find hard? Is it what God called you to do? Lean. Into. It.

Stay in the Season You Are In...

We left early this morning to go to school, and it was already hot. My daughter and I mused over the warm weather and our increasing desire for sweaters and steamy mugs and snuggles in blankets. The pumpkin spice latte is out after all. Shouldn't that have some effect on the weather? The answer to that question, just in case you were wondering, is "NO!"  Apparently the local coffee shop offerings have negligible effect on the changing of the seasons.  And we live in Texas- deep in Texas, where summer is long and hot and dry and did I mention hot? Like very, very hot?

I always feel like September means that it is Fall. And Fall means that it cools off. At least I hear in some places it means that.

As I contemplated the numerous hot days in front of me I complained, "I am so over summer!"

But then, for some reason, that set off a chain reaction of thoughts  and convictions in my mind. I began to wonder about why I am often not satisfied with where I am, with the season I am in, with the present set of circumstances. Instead I look toward the next opportunity or event. What is around the corner? What can I do next? Where will I go tomorrow?

But this season, with it's current realities of good and difficult is where I am now. And now is where I need to fully be. This stage of my children. This weight. This bank balance. This age. These circumstances. These friends. This job.

This.

Because this is the only opportunity I have for this season. This is the only season I will be 50. This the only season I will have the ages, the stages, and the particular challenges and joys that come with my children as they inhabit their particular seasons. This is the only season I will have of Right. Now.

How sad it would be to look back with regret from my next season. To see that I had missed opportunities while complaining about where I was and yearning for where I wanted to be.

So hold that pumpkin latte if you please. It might be fall somewhere up north, but here? In Texas? It is downright hot and an iced sweet tea is much more appropriate.

Because summer is the season that I am in and this is the season where I will be. Fully.