When we were raising our three kids I/we were very intentional about teaching them all the things we felt they needed to know in order to be prepared for their adult life. We discussed life situations and the best way to handle them, and as each one left home we felt confident that they were prepared for their adult lives.
I had about ten most important things I wanted to hammer home to them – but that’s another blog. This blog is about the thing I missed.
I recently read a quote that I found to be quite profound –
Hmmm…this is so true. A great deal of life is just plain – hard. I know dozens of people over 50 years old, and I cannot think of ONE single person who would say – Woop! Woop! Life has been easy! It’s been a piece of cake for meeeee!!!!
No. In fact, I think almost every person I know has endured a time when they would have preferred to stay under the covers rather than face something in front of them.
The question I wish we had brought to our dinner table conversations would be this –
What will you do WHEN life throws you something that is too much to bear?
I have heard it said that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle – and I will tell you emphatically that simply is not true. Well – on one hand it’s true because God doesn’t give us difficulties. But each of us will face things that we absolutely cannot handle in our own strength. But we CAN handle them with God’s strength.
So what exactly does that look like? How is a person able to get out from under the covers and go forward in God’s strength?
One thing I have noticed about “overcoming” kind of people is that they never quit.
Believers get back up. But how? Here is another reallly interesting quote I came upon. I could talk about this one for a long time.
I totally relate to this one. Maybe you have had some success at at the bootstrap pulling thing. But for me, when it comes to bootstrap pulling I have failed more often than not.
I would love to hear what each of you has done WHEN calamity has hit – or what your plan of attack will be when life throws you a challenge.
There are many excellent things that are helpful when life darkens our doorstep or when you are going though a challenging time. But I will tell you the two things I wish I would have told my kids.
#1 – Get alone with God EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
If you haven’t already – start a daily habit of meeting with the Lord and developing a relationship with Him. This is the most important thing you will rely on when the calamity hits.
Whether someone is in a calamity or not – it is ridiculous to think that one Sunday a week will give us a week’s worth of God’s strength, courage, and wisdom.
We cannot bootstrap-pull these qualities into our lives.
Proverbs 119:105 says that God is a lamp unto our feet. It doesn’t say He gives light for any further than that. It doesn’t say He gives us light that reaches all the way to the end of the tunnel. He only gives us enough light to show us what is needed for today.
Exodus 16 tells the story of how God gave the Israelites food from heaven called Manna – for each day. He didn’t give them a months worth of supply. He desired that they would rely on Him daily to provide for their needs. He does the same for us, day by day by day.
#2 – Keep the beat of prayer going so you can dismantle the Enemy.
Satan seeks to destroy us. Every trouble we have, every worry, every troubled relationship, every illness, everything that has a stronghold on our life – it all started with him. But Satan does not have the last word.
When our oldest son was born he had numerous lung complications and began his life in Children’s Hospital. When the hospital called telling us to come immediately because they didn’t expect him to make it – there was not an ounce of me that could have pulled myself up by the bootstraps.
The only thing we could do was beg God for a miracle. By the time we got to the hospital our little baby had miraculously turned the corner and today he is married and has three children of his own.
Bootstrap-pulling had no power to help our situation. Good wishes, positive thoughts, and hugs could not help our son. But when we prayed to the God who we already knew – He had mercy on us and saved our son.
When my husband’s brother was killed at the age of 29 years old, we were unable to do the bootstrap pulling thing. Our only hope came from the fact that the God we knew had provided a means for his brother to pass from this world into the next and we had comfort knowing we would see him again some day.
Life WILL challenge us. Whether it be an illness, a death, financial challenges, addictions, relationship heartaches, struggling to have a child, or just the day to day things that can take our legs out from under…we can be sure that life will stretch us to the point where we feel like we might unravel.
But we can get back up and we can keep going. One day at a time, wrapped in prayer…we can do this.
Expect some miracles to be born in the valley.
Until next time,