America’s Funniest Videos always gets a snort or two out of me. I can’t help it. To me, there’s nothing funnier than watching people fall (as long as they don’t permanently maim themselves). Don’t judge me. I know you laugh sometimes too.
A few weeks ago at the beach, I got to witness a live episode that surely would have earned big money if I’d stopped laughing long enough to hold a video camera. For at least thirty minutes I watched a man trying to master the paddle board. With no waves in sight it should have been a good day to learn such a thing. However, over and over and over, he would flop his belly on the board and then try his best to stand. As he attempted to stand, he immediately began a pirouette that would make any ballerina proud. That is until his heels flew over his head and his rear end hit the water. The poor man stubbornly did the same thing, the same way, every single time – over, and over, and over. I admired his resolve, but I still laughed until tears dripped off my chin and my stomach muscles ached. (I said don’t judge me!)
Soon, a woman entered the picture with her paddle board. She maneuvered onto the board, rose to her knees, positioned her paddle, stood, and then gracefully paddled across the ocean. Easy peasy. The man watched the woman. I watched both of them. Then finally, he figured out the step he’d been missing. He hadn’t spent any time on his knees before trying to stand.
So, how long is your stubborn?
Are you doing the same thing, the same way, every single time, and getting the same frustrating results?
Do you keep trying to do things your way?
Are you simply trying to keep your head above water?
Have you forgotten who is really in control?
For many years now, God has allowed Satan to tempt me. Sometimes I give in, and sometimes I don’t. God has also sent me individualized tests one at a time to help me see the contents of my heart in need of a good purging. Most times my pride hindered me from seeing all the prideful junk I tried to hide. I valued my own strength rather than trusting in God’s. I felt like the man on the paddle board; I expended a lot of energy without going anywhere.
Then, like a good parent, God had to get tougher with me. He’d tried to be gentle by allowing one trouble at a time. He’d given me more than my fair share of chances to turn my trouble into His triumph, but I didn’t take the hint. I was stubborn. After all, my children, husband, and friends thought I was strong. They’d seen my resolve in the face of some tough challenges. I was even beginning to believe in my own strength – a little too much. But God knew it had been the Holy Spirit power working in me all along that helped me stand to my feet in the face of adversity. He knew it was time to turn up the heat to help me realize exactly where my help comes from.
For eight months God allowed trouble after nasty trouble. Without time to resolve one trouble, another would pop up. I lived in a real-life Whack-a-Mole game. I knew God had promised He would not give me more than I could bear – but I felt about as close to that bear as one can get. I knew if just one more thing was added to my stack of troubles, I would fall completely apart. So … God allowed one more thing, and I FINALLY fell to my knees – where I should have been all along.
If you feel like you’re being hit with wave after wave of trouble, check your heart. It might be that God just wants you to acknowledge HIS power. Fully trusting Him with everything lets your shame off the hook. It relieves your stress and calms your soul. Trusting God is good for the mind, body, and soul. He can take Satan’s calling cards of insecurity, worry, grief, failures, doubts, fears and depression and make something wonderful out of them.
These days, I don’t look at the first part of 2018 the same as I did. My stubborn lasted eight months, but I’ve promised the Lord who’s worked so much good out of my messes, that the rest of my days will:
“find me grateful,
find me thankful,
find me on my knees,
find me dreaming,
find me singing,
find me lost in Your grace.”
If you are in the middle of a storm right now, you may want to throw something at me. I understand how you feel. Just know that I’ve been right where you are, and I really wish I hadn’t waited eight months to realize how quickly God wanted to bring me to this place.
God truly is good, and you really are stronger when you are weak enough to fall to your knees. Why not go there now, and ask this of God:
“Like the dust that you first held
in a garden where you knelt,
pull me up against your face again.
Till the breath of your hope
fill the depths of my soul
till all I know is I’ve been found by Love.”
Stubbornly enjoy this song this week, over and over and over! 🙂 Happy Tuesday!