May 20, 2012
Earlier I wrote about a post about an article I read where a man was worried that he may not have saved enough to make it to retirement. My comment there was that if you do what you love, retirement takes on a whole new meaning.
This Sunday, over coffee, I want to tie back into the emotion of not feeling like we’re not going to make it.
How many times do you feel like you’re not going to make it?
- You’re not going to make it in your relationship?
- You’re not going to make it in your health?
- You’re not going to make it with your dreams, plans?
- You’re not going to make it with your job?
- You’re not going to make it with your numbers?
- You’re not going to make it with the proposal?
- You’re not going to make it with the kids at school?
I know the feeling so very well, too. I’ve had so many times where I wake up in the middle of the night, almost not being able to breath – I’m not going to make it, am I, God? I’m going to fail in spite of all of my attempts, my best efforts. I screwed up. I’ve been screwed over, I got hijacked along the way.
Crap. Now what?
What do I do now?
When I think about this my mind always goes back to a TV show (I know, deep right?) I don’t spend a ton of time with TV, but once I stumbled on a reality show where one of the man takes on nature shows is riding a fast moving current that takes him to what appears to be a dead-end. The canyon walls are in front of him, steep and slick. The current rushes under the rocks, disappearing deep under the canyon wall. And, here’s this guy at his end. If he chooses to risk riding the current under the wall, it could mean certain death – since there is no way of knowing what’s under that canyon wall. The river could run for a mile under the rock. And so we find our star slammed into a corner, he can’t go back and he can’t go forward.
Panic. Crap, now what, right? We’ll return after these messages from our sponsors.
What does he do? Will he make it?
Will you make it? The answer is yes, if you choose to go up. What he did in that situation is that he looked up, in spite of the slick, steep walls, there were places along the rock where he could grab, hang onto and pull himself up, then again, and again, slowly, but confidently moving out of a desperate situation.
That’s what a promise from God is when you’re slammed up against your own end that seems to have no way out, no way to make it. But you have to reach for the place in the rock (that promise) and you have to rely on it (believe) and you have to act on it (move with all of your strength leaning on that hold).
There are a ton of those holds along the wall that you’re up against, whether it’s your no way out in your retirement plan, or in your marriage, or with your kid, or you boss, or being accepting in the new class. It does not matter. But you have to know where to look for the true ledges, toeholds, or grabs that will not fail.
As you think about your own challenges, think about that river of life whose events are like a torrent that can wash you away before you know it, then think about how to climb up and out.
Strongholds about where those true grabs along the wall:
Psalm 90: 1-3
Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
PSALM 91:1 NLT
I live in the shelter of the Most High so I will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.
ISAIAH 41:13 NIV
For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
MARK 13:31 NKJ
31 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”
Guiding you up the wall:
JOHN 16:13 NKJ
13 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you….
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.
ZEPHANIAH 3:17 NKJ
17 The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
JAMES 4:2 NLT
2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.
You have to know the wall, familiarize yourself with the ledges that are true:
HOSEA 4:6a NKJ
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.
1 CORINTHIANS 3:21b LB
21 For God has already given you everything you need.
Matthew 19:26 (DRB)
But Jesus, looking on [them], said to them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
MATTHEW 21:22 NIV
22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
You have to ask
JOHN 16:24 NIV
24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
PHILIPPIANS 4:6 NKJ
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
He knows the wall, he’s been there:
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.