When life gives you lemons how do you handle them? Do you often feel blindsided and react to the “bad cards you’ve been dealt?” Do you complain that what you really wanted was oranges? Do you spend months focusing on the “bad news” or do you find a way to make lemonade?
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not suggesting that you should be happy when life deals you lemons. In fact, it’s critical to validate your feelings before doing anything else. However, after you’ve processed your feelings, what then? How quickly do you look for options in the midst of the challenges?
For example, imagine you’ve just been told that your job has been eliminated. How much time do you spend feeling angry and upset, complaining about how unfair it is? How long do you remain in that “victim” mindset? Although the news surprised or upset you, can you look for the hidden opportunity within the situation?
As you process this, where does prayer enter the picture? Do you try to figure things out on your own, or do you pray and ask God to direct your next steps – for Him to show you the doors waiting to be opened?
Over the past fifteen years I’ve heard a lot of women’s stories. Many are filled with tragedy. They talk about unhealthy marriages or job situations, loss of a spouse or a child and toxic relationships with food, their body, alcohol or other substances. However, I’ve seen two very different approaches to handling those situations. One road is that of a “victim.” These women react as if thy were still a child – one without resources or power to turn things around. The second approach is the road of a” victor.” These women fully embrace their reality and then look for options that can help them move forward. They take steps to move from where they are to where they believe God wants them to be.
My question is this: Which one are you? Take a look at your most recent setbacks or trials, and see how you handled them. My prayer is that you’ve discovered those trials were actually trails that led you to something better. If so, you’re well on your way to a victorious life – or what I call “living wholeheartedly.” – Alicia
Imagine having a very wealthy relative. One day you get the news this relative has passed away. The second part of the news is that you have a huge inheritance to claim – bigger and more valuable than you can even imagine.
So, now what? You claim it – right? What difference would that make in your every day life? Would you use it to make your life better? Or, would you continue to worry about even small expenses, refusing to enjoy the inheritance? How foolish would that be?
Although you may not have thought about it this way, that’s our reality in Christ. Let me explain.
Christ died and left us an inheritance (Colossians 3:24): an intimate relationship with God. The question, then, is have you claimed your inheritance?
In order to do so, you must get to know Him: Spend quality time with Him, meet with Him as you read the Bible, and talk with Him (pray). Begin to look for Him in the beauty of nature, the smile of strangers, or new opportunities that come into your life.
Over time, as your relationship grows, you’ll become more trusting of Him and His direction for your life. Rather than trying to control things on your own, you can learn to trust that HE is in control. And that ability to trust Him brings peace, which is also part of your inheritance. In the same way that a child is confident when holding her Father’s hand, you can be confident as you put your hand in God’s.
Here’s to making 2015 the year you claim your inheritance!
I was recently out of town and ready to start the ten-hour drive back home. With a full tank of gas, some snacks and a bottle of water, I felt well prepared for the drive.
However, there was something that I hadn’t anticipated; a thick, dense layer of fog that covered all but a few feet of the road ahead of my car. I wasn’t prepared for that! However, I knew the one who always has provision and I called out to Him. I prayed, not just once, but every few miles. I asked God to provide a calm heart, clear sight and sharp focus. I then experienced the inner peace that comes onlyfrom relying on God.
Nearly an hour into the drive the fog began to lift, and by then I also had the advantage of daylight. The combination meant I felt much more confident of my ability to handle the situation and therefore, could have easily forgotten my reliance on God.
The more I thought about it, I realized that is a much more dangerous place to be. Relying on myself is where trouble begins, and to do so is absolutely ludicrous when I have an open invitation to rely on God.
It would be like walking through a heavy rainstorm and choosing to go by yourself (with just a newspaper for protection) rather than going arm-in-arm with a friend who has a raincoat and boots for you, AND is holding a large, industrial strength umbrella over your head. Why would anyone make such a foolish choice? And yet that is often what we are tempted to do.
The more I reflected upon the situation, the more I realized this simple truth: Only when I am as reliant on God as I was in the mist of the fog, can I truly experience the peace and joy that God has prepared for me. What a tragedy to bypass His perfect provision, in rain, fog or ANY situation.
Question: What is the “fog” in your own life? What situations prompt you to rely on God?