There are moments we feel like we are on a spiritual high that narcotics could not compete with. You know exactly the moments I am talking about. The moment that we see a Bible verse in a completely new way.
The moment that we pour out our hearts to God and for no logical reason His presence comes pouring into our lives. Utterly overwhelming us with His goodness in every way. The cry of our newborn baby or basking in the wonder of a heart that has been changed.
It is in these moments that we feel our time with God is the most powerful. It is as if we can physically feel the smile of God warming our cold hearts. While His word feels more like a letter from a dearly loved family member. But
But then life happens......
Bull riding and life have one thing in common. It isn’t a matter of if you will get hurt but when. We’ve all felt that moment when life knocks the breath out of us.
Like you I remember the moment I received the news that our loved one wasn’t coming home. And coming face to face with the ugly reality of death. I remember vividly the electrifying joy of a positive pregnancy test. And the soul crushing image of an ultrasound without a heartbeat.
When life knocks the breath out we can falsely believe that God has gone with it. That is when the enemy swoops in like the predator he is and tries to pry us from the all providing hands of God. The devil uses this time to talk us out of talking to God.
“Why talk to Him when He let this happen to you” is exactly the words the enemy blasts our mind with. He wants to completely destroy the communication between God and you so you are left helpless. So how can you and I pray when we are mad at God over our painful circumstances?
choose reflection over reaction
When bad news and circumstances in life knock us down we do one of two things. Some of us reflect on what is actually going on trying to find some sort of answer.
The other group which I am all to often found in chooses a less than pleasant in the moment reaction. Our way of coping with our circumstances can become like the shrapnel from a bomb that injures not only us but those around us. Including the very heart of God.
Think about it for a moment God gave up His only son so we could have a relationship with Him. So when we shun Him in our darkest days it hurts us and breaks Gods heart. So when we are angry at God the first step is to postpone all fiery rants that we want to throw at God. Give God some time to explain Himself before assuming the worst.
What does that look like practically? get outside, go for a run, watch a beautiful sunset etc. I personally love to get out on the water just to let the wonder of a beautiful creation point me to a beautiful God. Even in the midst of an ugly situation.
As you are waiting take advantage of the gift of music to realign your heart to the truth about God even in a dire reality. This along with creation will allow God to reflect his goodness into our hurting hearts. After a time of reflection the next step is to change the channel.
Change the channel
Each television channel has a culture and so do the people you listen to. When tragedy strikes and you are angry at God. The people you choose to have around you and the media you choose to absorb determine your future.
In order to have the peace of God in these times you will have to refuse to listen to some people. If they continually feed you a message of negativity and entitlement of your forever heartache then you have to change the channel.
Change your peers to ones that want to help you and not leave you where you are at in your pain. Trade them in for voices of people who have dealt with your same situation in a positive way. Whether that is a couple at church or a facebook group. After this we have to choose to stop giving tragedy control.
Install a fear filter
Once you have a uplifting spirit around you it is vital that you install a fear filter. When life crushes our soul the enemy loves to remind us of every little thing that has ever gone wrong in our life.
That is because he knows if he can show a false pattern of Gods unfaithfulness then he will have won. So the key to surviving is to do the exact opposite . That is when you are angry at God because you are afraid , begin to record all that God has done for you.
The foundational item on the list being that God killed His son so that you and I could be in heaven with Him one day. Then continue on from there. The idea being that if God did not spare His only Son then He is and will provide for you and me today.
This changes the focus to the provision of God and creates a thirst for us to speak with the creator of all our blessings. If you still struggle with God at this point then it is time to find evidence.
Investigate your insecurity
some of us just want evidence and that is ok. Oftentimes tragedy that makes us question God makes us feel insecure. This is because life has taken away our sense of security.
So we desire to find some evidence in all this that God is truly a place of security and will walk with us through this.
That evidence can only be found by searching out similar situations in scripture. Whether its the death of a loved one or whatever we are dealing with.
Once you and I find people that went through the same issues we can read their entire story. You can find them by searching in the search bar of your favorite Bible apps a word that describes your struggle. Here is the great news,all of there stories end with God doing great things.
What does this evidence tell you and me? that just like them if we keep the conversation flowing towards God that He will make the end of our story amazing.
It is a whole lot easier to talk to God when you know there is something better coming. We can look at the unavoidable troubles in life as a nutritious meal that leads to the decadent dessert of Gods glorious plan.
You will not be sorry
You may be filled with sorrow today but in the words of the prophet “joy comes in the morning.” Choose to be still and allow God to bring your story to a glorious ending. He can’t do that if you quit on Him halfway through.
So build your confidence up in who He is through putting at the front of your mind all He has done for you. And I guarantee this is one relationship status that you will not be sorry for staying with.