Our emotions can travel up and down a rickety track that is similar to the twists and turns of a roller coaster ride. Have you ever been up one day and down the next? Or even happy for a few hours and then the bottom drops out and you just want to crawl back to bed? I don’t think you are alone.
Life can be a lot like a roller coaster ride. There are ups, downs, curves, sharp dips and unexpected drops. The most troublesome drops come when you are in the middle of a hard situation, or trying to accept something you have no control over, or grieving a transition or loss. I affectionately call these periods between a problem and it’s resolution…the meantime. And though that is my affection verbage, there is nothing warm and fuzzy about these times. In fact, the meantime often feels MEAN!
The meantime has these consistent themes:
- Not good timing…the meantime never is
- Inconvenient…the meantime always is
- Exhausting…the meantime takes us out of our emotional and physical comfort zone and that can really wear us out.
The dictionary defines the word “meantime” as the interval between things. And, one thing I have discovered about myself is that I do fairly well as a faith girl when life is cruising along and I am enjoying the smooth ride. But I don’t do too well when hairpin curves are introduced into the route. But, just today I was once again touched by the words of Oswald Chambers when he said,
“The greatest difficulty spiritually is to concentrate on God, and His blessings are what make it so difficult.Troubles almost always make us look to God, but His blessings tend to divert our attention elsewhere. Our difficulties, our trials and our worries about tomorrow all vanish when we look to God. Build your hope on Him. No matter how many things seem to be pressing in on you, be determined to push them aside and look to Him.”
Though we don’t like ups and downs, problems or pain…perhaps they serve as interval training in the spiritual sense.To get spiritually fit, we all need some interval training, the stuff that living in the meantime is all about.If the bottom never dropped out we would never have a reason to draw close and tight to God. We might draw close in good times, but just ask someone who is grieving and they will tell you that they don’t just cry out to God, they climb right up into his lap…because it is there they find comfort.
When we go to an amusement park and take on one of those triple thriller rides the first thing we do is get seated, the next thing we do is get securely strapped in place. Well, back up…for me, the first thing I do just looking at one of those rides is get scared to death! And, if I get talked into getting on board, I make sure that I am fastened securely. On the sacred journey of relationship with Christ, getting seated correctly is sitting in God’s Word, and the strap that securely fastens us is defined by the Apostle Paul as rejoicing.
“Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.” Philippians 3:1
Rejoicing is a SAFEGUARD.
So the next time you feel like you are up, down and all around…stop. Ask yourself these questions:
- Have I committed my problem to God?
- Do I believe God himself is capable of guiding the path during this trial? Why am I up and down, what are my options? (try to control, surrender to God, scream, fret or ask for more faith…)
- Why as I choosing to stay here? ( I want to scream and control, but will choose surrender as I look to Christ)
- God’s Word. Read it daily. If you don’t know where to start, purchase a one year bible, and read it. Not enough time for each days selection? Then just do that day’s Psalms and Proverbs, or that day’s New Testament selection. And, if you get behind, get it out again and start on today’s date. We must be in the word to be fed spiritually. Get a phone app, or devotional. Be intentional about getting truth into your head so it can become part of your heart and begin defining your belief system.
- Gratitude and Praise. Do it daily. If you don’t know where to start just begin thanking God for all the things that you can. Fill your mind with the good things and focus there. Commit some verses to memory that tell you the truth of who God is and how much HE loves you. Thank Him for that love…daily, many times. And, if you had a grumbly day today, start over. While we are rejoicing in the Lord, we are looking to Him, focused on the unseen promise of His love and faithfulness and with that focus we are kept in a place of safety….mentally/emotionally/spiritually.We must praise God in all things if we are to be spiritually minded.