Have you ever been stopped – without warning? A door slams shut, a hand goes up, a tragedy halts your path. Your breath disappears. Your heart races. You are dazed for a moment as your brain screams, “What just happened?”
I believe, because it has happened to me a few times, that God uses this dramatic interruption to jolt us. Like being t-boned from the side in an accident, we are trapped, shaken and helpless. Our lower lip quivers and the tears begin to trickle as the built up pressure crashes through the dam of normalcy we’d built. Then, with all our strength drained, we wail in distress, “Why?”
Does God hear? Yes. Does He want us to dig our heads into His shoulder and cling to Him? Absolutely. But, do we?
Not always. Some folks turn to drugs, alcohol, food cravings, reckless adrenaline adventures or sex to try and adjust to what has happened without warning. Maybe you have tried one of these things first. Like digging a deeper hole, right? Eventually you shovel so far around you the ground lets loose and you slide into it. It’s called hitting the bottom. And you stop – because you have nowhere else to go.
Someone once said, when you hit rock bottom you discover Jesus is the rock. I have learned not to go that far. As soon as I begin to slip I look up, find His nail-scarred hand and take the faith-chance to grab onto it. I stop and let Him “go“, knowing He will never let go of me. Inevitably when I do hold on, helplessly dangling and dependent on His strength,, the purpose and lessons become a bit clearer. He carries me through the emotions of bewilderment and hurt, and begins to pull back the darkness as my eyes readjust to the light.
And, having gone through the process, I learn to trust His way instead of trying mine. By the time the light turns green again, I am stronger, wiser and more gracious.
There are many things to be thankful for this year. My books are selling, getting great reviews, and I am excited about the next five contracted, which are in various stages along the path to publication. I am grateful when one of my devotionals or articles or blog posts touch a heart. I am blessed to know so many wonderful folks who support me and love me.
But most of all, I am thankful for a God who cares enough to stand by as I trip and fall, but never moves out of hand-grabbing reach. I am thankful for the times when I have whopped into the stop sign and He has guided me into wisdom by redirecting my attention. And, I am thankful He cared enough to die in order to draw me into life.
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57
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