Friday, January 23, 2015

When Life Becomes a Tunnel

I haven’t had much to say in the past several months. Still don’t for that matter.  But, like most folks, that doesn’t stop me from saying something anyway.

It is interesting how circumstances tend to squeeze life from us. We’re bopping along with little care then the door slams behind us and we are in a room we are totally unfamiliar with. The physics remains the same but the movement is strange.

We think we are making progress, only to find our feet have been moving but we’re not going anyplace. Time is passing but we look at the clock and the hands seem frozen. Stuff is going past us but if we stop and look at it, it hardly seems to be moving at all.

Don’t know what you might be going through but whatever it is, it can change you—either for a moment or a while.

I’ve been sick a lot this past year. Nine documented cases of flu, bronchitis, pneumonia. That has consumed a lot of energy and passion. When the greatest desire you have is just getting well, life becomes a very small journey. The scope becomes limited to a day—a day when this will be all over. That doesn’t leave much room for imaginative living.

But it doesn’t have to be limited to illness. All you have to do is fill in the blank. I’m dealing with _____________________. And whatever you placed in the blank becomes the matter that has holds your life hostage. Death, job, marriage, kids, parents, aging—all energy, desire, passion is consumed by getting past that one thing.

So you ask me how I’ve gotten over it? I haven’t, yet. I am in the process of renewing my mind to greater things than my own frustration. There is nowhere in Scripture where anyone says, “It’s okay to live by your feelings and let your circumstances determine your outlook.” Instead the constant message is “Live by faith in the One who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

We cannot put God on hold while we deal with our circumstances. We invite Him into them. We trust Him through them. We anticipate a timely outcome only He can provide. We expect to grow as a result.

Circumstances are incidents of life, neutral in effect, but embedded with the potential of upsetting the spiritual balance of our lives. Like a temptation, they’re merely a suggestion from which we determine our response. They are an attractive lure we don’t have to bite. Their power lies in their ability to tug at what urges us to focus on ourselves, doubt God and gum up the progress He intends.

My plan? Tell myself no. If you hear me saying no, I am probably in the middle of the fight to deny myself the response to refuse to trust God. Right now, I'm still a work in progress. The tunnel may remain for a while, but my confidence in getting through rests on Him who loved me and gave Himself up for me."

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