God still speaks
The last couple of days, all those negative thoughts and feelings that I have been trying so hard to change, have been lambasting my mind and emotions, like a tsunami hitting the coastline. And I keep wondering why. Why is a very dangerous question sometimes, because it makes you look for answers that just aren’t there. People across the globe suffer from anxiety – in fact, according to my post yesterday (courtesy of Discovery Health), one in 75 people suffer from a panic disorder. That is extremely high. I mean think about it – in my office of 150 people, that means there is at least one other person here, in this building, who battles with this as I do. That is so comforting to me – to know I am not alone. And in a high school (when most panic and anxiety disorders start) of about 1 000 scholars, at least 14 pupils will battle with this issue and take it with them into adulthood.
Well, very simply, I think that our society is moving just too fast. There is too much knowledge, too much media attention, too many ways to do things – we have forgotten and our young kids have not even learnt how to just be.
Anyway, I digress, because God still speaks.
So this morning I am feeling so frustrated because surely I should be past all this, I have worked so hard and still this negativity is hounding me and I am thinking of going of Paxil, but after how I have been feeling the last couple of days, clearly this isn’t a good idea…
…then I get this reading…
When You Feel Down (1)
‘…We will stand in Your presence…cry out to You…and You will hear us and save us.’ 2 Chronicles 20:9 NIV
|A parishioner asked his pastor, ‘Do you ever feel down?’ ‘Sure,’ he responded. ‘What do you do about it?’ the parishioner said. ‘I get up again. Being down isn’t my problem – staying down is. I’m either up, or I’m getting up. I’ve learned not to park in between.’ Although feeling down is universal, sociologists warn us to guard against its two most common causes: fear and fatigue. Let’s look at them:Fear: When Edomite armies marched against Israel’s king, fear gripped him and his nation. Feeling powerless, they feared losing their God-given land and possessions. If the stress of the last few years has left you feeling fearful, do what Judah’s king did. He turned to God and prayed: ‘Whenever we are faced with any calamity…we can…stand in Your presence…We can cry out to You…and You will hear us and rescue us.’ (2 Chronicles 20:9 NLT) Don’t let fear cause you to abandon your hope and your vision. Instead, stand in God’s presence, cry out to Him and watch Him rescue you. Throughout the Old Testament, God reminded His people of His track record of goodness. He wanted them to remember it and take courage. But sometimes fear would cloud their memory and they’d begin to doubt. Sound familiar? So He told them, ‘Do not be…discouraged…the battle is not yours, but [Mine].’ (2 Chronicles 20:15 NIV) In other words, ‘You don’t have to defeat the foe, that’s My job. I’m in charge; trust Me to work it out.’ So remember Who’s in control of your circumstances today. Stand in His presence, believe His promise!|
I mean, wow. When the stress of the last few years has left you feeling fearful… Um, yeah… Don’t let fear cause you to abandon your hope and your vision. Okay, Lord, I hear you. But sometimes fear would cloud their memory and they’d begin to doubt… Yeah, that sounds about right – especially over the last few days. The battle is not yours, but [Mine].’ (2 Chronicles 20:15 NIV) Okay, Lord, this is in your hands.
2 Chronicles 20:15
15 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the Lord says to you: ‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.
And now I am feeling much better – we can’t forget where our grace and strength comes from. And my only goal in this world is to be a good wife to my husband and a good mother to my daughter – and I pray for the grace and the strength to do just that.
Just came across this blog – well, a while ago, but only really reading it now. Fantastic writing. Can really connect to this.
A while ago hubby watched a movie one night when he couldn’t sleep. Me – I was of course so far in zzz land that I don’t think I knew that he was even up that night. The next morning, he told me of a movie that he watched and how much he enjoyed it and that he thinks I should watch it.
And so last night I did.
And it was wonderful.
It’s a story written by Mitch Albom of “Tuesdays with Morrie” fame. And it tells the true of story of Mitch’s experience of visiting his Rabbi who asked me to prepare a eulogy for him. At the time of the request, the Rabbi was 82 – he eventually died at age 90 and in the intervening years Mitch Albom used to visit his Rabbi regularly to prepare a eulogy based on who the man was, not just the man…
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Ebb and flow
To decrease and then increase, as with tides; a decrease followed by an increase, as with tides. The fortunes of the major political parties tend to ebb and flow over time. The ebb and flow of democracy through history is a fascinating subject. (Ref: http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/ebb+and+flow)
I have been giving my Pendulum Theory post a lot of thought and I want to change something – sometimes things in live are due to the normal ebb and flow, the movement that is around our universe all the time. The difference is that is that we have to consciously sow seeds for the pendulum to swing, whereas the ebb and flow it the normal course of life over which we have very little control.
To illustrate, Mr Joe Soap is an alcoholic and he can sow seeds of health and healing into his life to have victory over his addition – i.e. the pendulum will swing.
However, today Mr Joe Soap is full of energy and activity, tomorrow he is tired and needs a bit of down time and quiet. The ebb and flow. And this is true all in nature and in life – one minute we’re having drought, the next we’re flooding. Then the wind is blowing, and then there is calm.
The fact is that there is an ebb and flow to life. There are highs and lows. There is bitter and sweet. There are gray days and sunny days and it’s all part of the package. If it were peaches, sunshine and roses all the time we’d probably get bored pretty quickly.
The second level is that we resist the mood and immediately try to “fix” it or escape it. In some instances this takes the form of eating, drinking, doping, buying, consuming or indulging our way out of the problem. In other instances, we run, we hide, we deny or we slam on the brakes and shut down completely.
The bottom line is that the idea that we’re supposed to be on a high all the time is misleading and it can cause us to have false expectations. It’s no wonder that we live in a world mired in addictive behaviors aimed at escaping the lows that we all inevitably experience.
What I’ve been learning is that the best way to cause a shift in our mood when the darkness hits is to completely surrender to the experience of it. This means facing the feelings, writing about them, talking about them with someone we trust and sometimes, even laughing about them.
The more we resist the valleys of life, the more entrenched in them we become. But when we honor our darker feelings and accept them as part of the nature of who we are, then they lose their hold on us. When we acknowledge our feelings, give them voice and allow ourselves to feel the ugly, scary stuff, then the darkness passes and gives way to light.
Most importantly, when we’re having one of those days, it’s an opportunity to practice loving ourselves more, to dig deeper and have greater faith in our dreams, to build up our spiritual endurance and press on in the face of fear and uncertainty. It’s an opportunity to learn about ourselves and grow by getting to know a side of ourselves that makes us uncomfortable.
There is an ebb and flow to life. Rather than fight it or resist it, let us embrace it. Let us adjust our expectations of what is “normal” and practice accepting the highs, the lows and everything in between.
There’s a lesson in all of it and it’s by fully being wherever we are that we can maintain a sense of inner peace and remain empowered regardless of what the day holds or what the weather outside looks like.
These two theories are so closely linked but I think it is important not to confuse the two.
- Ebb and Flow (rjr10036.typepad.com)