Get It Back
One thing everyone is sure to have in common are hard times. One minute things are going great, and the next thing you know it seems like everything is out of control. You wake up feeling like it's going to be an otherwise normal day, and by the time your head hits the pillow it feels like all hell has broken loose in life. No matter where you are in your life right now, if you haven't had a bad day yet - it's coming! I don't say that to discourage you; but on the contrary - I want to encourage you. The difference between a day in the dungeon, and a day on the mountain top is where your mind is. It's where your focus is, and who (exactly) you believe God to be in lieu of the storm. Just ask Corrie Ten Boom who survived the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps. I recall a story of her's where there was a "lice" infestation within the cells she and the other prisoners were kept. She and many of the other prisoners were covered in lice. Normally guards would come to beat, rape, or take captives to be executed. But do to the lice infestation they would not enter the prison cells. So what easily could have been considered just another horrific circumstance piled on top of the many others; was a blessing in disguise. But to see it that way when you are having to walk through it is another story entirely. It is your perspective that matters more than the issue causing your pain.
I used one example of many people (Corrie Ten Boom) who have endured much hardship in life. But there are countless others who have fought and endured bravely, through trials many would consider incomprehensible. Because their perspective was greater than the issue(s) causing their pain. Here are a few quotes from Corrie Ten Boom that are mind shattering, if you know all that she has been through.
(The Hiding Place is a very inspirational book about her life in the concentration camps - I highly recommend it)
Worry is a cycle of inefficient thoughts whirling around a center of fear.
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.
Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.
Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.
The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.
When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.
Faith is like radar that sees through the fog -- the reality of things at a distance that the human eye cannot see.
It is not my ability, but my response to God's ability, that counts.
What incredible statements from someone who endured one of history's worst nightmares committed upon humanity. A shift in our perspective may be all we need to succeed. But I don't believe in positive thinking alone, and I have been at my own wits end. And all the great advice and positive thinking in the world would have done me no good. It's always easy to see hope sitting on the sideline of someone else's storm. And from my own experience, there is really very little anyone can do to control my perspective. That is not to say great counsel is not beneficial. Or that gaining knowledge about your situation is not helpful. What I am saying; is that our perspective is ultimately controlled by us alone. And if you are anything like me, taking control of your thoughts and perspective is not a decision you make one time when you wake up. It's an all day event! If you step on a nail, you can tell yourself it doesn't hurt when you get out of bed. But you still have to walk on that hurting foot all-day. The hardest part about changing our perspective is un-training our mind. Our mind has been trained to react and respond to all elements of life in a specific way. It is the daily renewing of the mind that grants us the ability to change and hold onto a new perspective.
Here is the key and moral of the story: we cannot hold just any perspective. It has to be the correct perspective. And like Corrie Ten Boom, our perspective has to behold the true nature of The One that can change our circumstances. So while step one might seem obvious, I think it's too easy to assume we have done it "properly". I know this statement is going to throw up a lot of questions in your mind, but please read on. If I say step one is to simply trust and focus on God. Take your eyes off your circumstances and put them on Him, I have only given you half the answer. "How so?" you might be wondering. Because our perception of who He is, is just as important as how much focus we give Him in our life. In my mind I know God can do all things! But do I believe He can do all things for me? Do I believe He even would? Before we can pursue God, we have to know why. I believe this is just our human nature. But trusting God and understanding Him on an intimately personal level to "us" is extremely important. And I believe this answers a lot of the difficult questions that are often raised like "why would God do that for them, and not him?" - or - "how come God came through for that person and not me?" Now of course not every situation is the same. And we simply can't understand all the reasons why God does what He does or why. But I know of at least one instance in the Bible where a blind man called out to Jesus from a distance. When Jesus approached the man He asked "What do you want me to do for you?" Clearly the man was blind, and Jesus most likely knew this. But I believe the question is the most relevant question of all time. Because what Jesus was after was the man's perception. "Who do you think I am?"
This is the same question we have to be brutally honest about ourselves. Who is God to me? What do I believe? It's always personal! Every. Single. Time. God's ability to be Lord in every aspect of our life is determined by what He is Lord of. If He is only Lord of my migraine headache, then at best I should only seek to have Him take it away. But if He is Lord of my life, then every situation, circumstance, and hardship is under His control. If we would only dare to believe! Is it easy to move our belief that God is that big from our head to our hearts when we need to believe the most? Absolutely not! But as Corrie Ten Boom proved, it's not impossible to believe when the cost of believing seems impossible. How big is your God? How much do you trust Him? Forget everyone else's life and walk with Him, where is He at in your heart? What can you believe Him for?
When we get our perspective back. When we get our perception back. When we get our faith back in order. When we put our trust back in Him. When we let our God be bigger than any other thing in our life...
Let's get it back!