So my daughter and I have been sick for the better part of the last 2 months and now I'm just getting over bronchitis and a sinus infection, she's finally feeling great, and we're able to get back into a routine. But if there is one thing I've learned it is that the slightest things sometimes can drive us off course drastically. We can easily get distracted from our mission and get ourselves into a rut. I'm sure we have all experienced this. We kind of lose our way a little bit and feel like life is just pure chaos and full of stress and negativity. We find it hard to find the good things to carry us through, the blessings God has planted in our path. I have been in that slump for some weeks now and have not been feeling like myself. I've lost hope in my work, my home, and other areas of my life. I felt like I needed to just give up on things and start over. I was letting anger and miscommunications and misunderstandings tear at me and make me lazy and discontent. There are a few things I always have to remind myself of - or that I have to allow myself to hear from God - whenever I am in these ruts in order to change directions and get back on track.
Pray & Listen
Let the Lord hear your burdens and He will help you to carry them. So many times we hear "pray, pray, pray" but if we just pray with our ears closed what is the point? We need to be open to hearing what He has to tell us. We need to have our eyes open to seeing when our prayers have been given a reply. Call upon the Lord and He will hear you. Tell him your hearts' burdens and desires and let Him help you. Let him into your heart and heal you and lift your burdens and praise you. Praise Him and He will lift you up.
1 Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. Psalm 4:1
18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18
We are all called to suffer. Why? Jesus suffered in His flesh and we are called to suffer as Jesus suffered, but also to have the attitude about our suffering as Jesus had for His own. We are instructed not to whine and complain about our suffering and instead make the choice to identify with Christ. But what does that mean? It means a few things - first, we must make a decision to follow the will of God rather than our selfish human desires. Earthly things do not matter. What will come with us when our time comes and we are called to be judged? Ourselves and our souls. The life we lead and the attitude we have will show through, not the material things of this world. In order to identify with Christ we are also called to be baptized, love everyone (yes, even our enemies), be obedient to the Lord, and to suffer. Our priorities in this life should be prayer, love and serving others as well as the Lord.
1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. 3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. 5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. 7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4
Love the Lord, love your neighbor, love your enemies, and love yourself. It is easy to get into feelings of hatred like "I hate my job" "I hate that the person in front of me is driving 10 mph under the speed limit" "I hate that that person is causing drama" "I hate that my child is not listening". Don't do it! Don't think like that! Always have love on your mind as well as in your heart. We are called to not hate. Why? Hatred is for the Devil. We can't be true and faithful followers of Christ is we choose to hate. We need to be filled with love for all around us. It is not always easy - but nothing worth doing is ever easy. Sometimes the hardest things to do are the RIGHT things to do. Love your neighbor, love your enemy, love yourself and love God. Love has the power to overtake your heart and bring you peace and happiness.
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. 1 John 4:20
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34-35
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, Ephesians 4:26
Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8