Did you ever have one of those days, weeks, months (or maybe years)? Well, I am happy to say that, for me, it was one of those weeks (not as good as a day, but better than a month). Frustration seemed to abound everywhere - at work, at home, in the car - it seemed to follow me through every step of my week. By Thursday evening, I was exhausted by consistently being frustrated. Where did it come from? That certainly is a loaded question!
Before we discuss the question (and subsequent answer), let's chat for a while. We live in a world where our daily lives can perpetuate frustration. The daily activities of rushing from one place to the next and ensuring we get everything done on "the list" can leave us feeling a bit stressed. Add into the equation anything that derails our plans and life can lead to frustrations. The biggest wrench in my day, I can share honestly, is technology. I have realized over the past few years, but certainly even more so over the past few days, that with the technology of this world, we really don't shut down. With iPads, smart phones, laptops, and having "wi-fi" everywhere, we are constantly connected. Our children are also constantly connected - to friends, to fun, and to challenges. We don't seem to have the ability to just say STOP and disconnect. How about YOU - are you feeling any of these similar frustrations??
Living life in today's world can give us many wonderful things, and can provide us many challenges.
So, back to Thursday evening. After the running around and pressures of work, I thought I would come home to dinner made by my family. Although they had other ideas and we enjoyed dinner out, once again, my plans were diverted. I came home that evening and just SAT on our front porch. It was a beautiful evening and it was worthy of me enjoying it. I decided to put my life on hold for a few minutes and give God what he so justly deserves, my time and my thoughts. As I "chatted" with my Lord, I asked the why questions. Why was I feeling so frustrated (it's not like I don't face similar challenges other weeks)? Why was my focus derailed? Why did I feel like I could scream? As much as I wish I could see God's face as he chatted with me, I could feel His tug on my heart. Once again, the Holy Spirit was doing the job - helping me to see where my frustrations lied.
I looked over the last few days and had realized that as I entered some of the challenging conversations or situations that faced me, I was missing a huge component, going to God in prayer before I entered the conversation/situation. When I seek God's wisdom and understanding before going to a tough meeting or responding to a difficult email, a sense of calmness comes over me and my ability to handle the situation is greater. When I don't do that, I am not putting God first in my day and frustrations abound. That was it - and it was clear. As I asked for forgiveness and prayed for help, a sense of peace filled me.
When I live my Simple Faith, my life is more fulfilled, more at peace. When I stray from that faith, thinking I am too busy to include God in every moment of my day, life's challenges become evident. How about your life? Do you see a difference when you include our dear Lord in prayer for decisions, in discussions during challenges? Maybe this is your week to STOP and disconnect - reprioritizing your life as I needed to do with mine. As soon as I took a different look and focused on including my Lord in my day, my frustrations seemed to melt away. I'm not saying I didn't face difficult challenges on Friday, but I did notice how I reacted to them. The Lord was with me - holding me - ensuring that the steps that I took and the words that I shared were evidence of my faith in Him.
We have the week ahead. I ask that you join me, that we begin this week having a strong and simple faith that Our Lord is greater than we are. HE makes our world better, brighter, and fulfilled. Ask Him to join you this week, during your day - not just at the beginning or end of it. Think of Him, pray to Him, talk with Him as the activities of your days unfold. He would love nothing better than to be part of your day. As for me? Yes, we will always have challenges, but this week - I'm facing them with my Lord right beside me - I know this because I have asked Him to be there - and my simple faith helps me to know that it is true! May your week ahead be God-Filled, less stressed and frustration free. May your frustrations lead you to a stronger faith in Our Lord. Blessings~~
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." (NIV) Psalm 46:1