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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Getting through or being brought through?

Have you ever felt yourself move from a place of relative safety and security into a place of what most would call "trouble and uncertainty"?  When you do, the immediate response of your body and mind is to begin to muster those hormones we associate with the "fight or flight response" and your mind begins to consider the various scenarios which could play out.  In those short moments from feeling totally secure to the place where you feel like the bottom may be dropping out, your body and mind are responding - but what about your spirit?  In those moments between peace and chaos, what is the response of your spirit?  If you are truly trusting in God alone as your source of protection and provision, you will likely be able to say the chaos doesn't actually disturb your peace!

When I walk into the thick of trouble, keep me alive in the angry turmoil. With one hand strike my foes, With your other hand save me. Finish what you started in me, God. Your love is eternal—don’t quit on me now. (Psalm 138:8 MSG)

When we walk into "the thick of trouble", we "feel" the turmoil of the trouble. It is almost palpable to us.  This is because of the immediate response of our bodies and minds.  We begin to internalize the transition - because our bodies are made to have this fight or flight response.  What we do next is what determines if we will feel the overwhelming sense of panic or if we will move back into a place of settled peace.  This is the exact moment where our spirit can override our minds and settle our emotions.  

Learning to respond in the spirit instead of with our emotions or our natural instincts can be a little bit tricky, though.  It seems to be the thing which gives us the greatest struggle because it isn't "naturally" our first inclination. It is a learned habit!  One thing I have learned about my heavenly Father is that he doesn't begin stuff he isn't willing or capable of finishing.  That said, when I feel the pressures coming in around me, the "learned thought" I have is that of reminding myself he doesn't bring me "in" to leave me there!  What he begins, he has a perfect plan to finish!

Notice I mentioned this was a "learned thought" pattern on my part.  This is probably concerning to some because we think this "spiritual" stuff is supposed to be all God and not us.  The truth is, I have had to have my mind retrained in relation to how I view life's issues - those stressful points of transition into which I find myself walking which will produce those immediate "natural" responses of fight or flight and "scenario flipping".  It is only as I take those thoughts captive - get them under control by reminding myself who is actually in charge in my life - that I can see the moment as less than overwhelming.

The same will be true in your life as you determine in your heart to continually remember who is in charge, that he doesn't bring us in to leave us there alone and his plans are going to be fulfilled - he doesn't leave undone what he begins in us.  He is faithful to finish what he has begun.  It is not a bad thing to remind him that you are counting on him doing this, though.  As a matter of fact, it almost affirms for God that you and I are aware he is in charge of the moment and we are trusting him to bring us out the other side.  Notice, I didn't imply he magically delivers us "from" the issue, but rather gives us the wisdom and strength to walk through it.  "In" the place we find ourselves he is capable of "bringing" us through.  Not us getting through on our own, but him "bringing" us through.  

Think that one through a little.  When you "bring" something from one room to the other, what are you doing?  First of all, you determine the best location for that item at the moment is in the other room.  You know where you want it and have determined to get it from one location to the other.  Next, you actually have to do some of the moving of the item.  I am not able to just imagine my couch in a new spot in the room - I have to actually exert the muscle strength to move it to the new spot!  To get the item to its new location, you and I have to be engaged in the movement of the item.  For God to "bring us through", he has to be engaged in the movement of us from here to there, as well!  Just sayin!