Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Courage Under Fire

We all experience life changing moments - some good and some exquisitely painful.  I have been facing just such a course altering situation which has been quite difficult and I can only trust in my God will prove eventually for the progression of all involved.  At these junctures, the stress level escalates and we find ourselves more vulnerable than usual to a great many things.  These are the times that try men's souls and often the pressure will induce us to turn to alcohol, drugs, and other vices that sabotage our peace and even sometimes our futures.  

So how do we face such situations and come out conqueror?  Prayer is the best tool we have and as to those things for which we do not feel we have immediate help from heaven, the key is always perspective.  As a friend reminded me, "This too shall pass."  But while we find ourselves in the midst, light seems to diminish and totter precariously in an open thrashing sea in what seems like a very unfit vessel.  All things seem dark and we lose our sense of direction.  But some things can hold us steady.  Firstly, know thyself.  We all have our weaknesses, and these tend to come out more powerfully when we find ourselves under stress.  Some of us may prove compulsive eaters - I promise you do not need that second doughnut to weather this storm.  In fact, you really didn't need the first one.  Giving in to our weaknesses at such a time does not fix our problems - it creates more of them.  We eat the pan of brownies, then feel guilty about it, which can lead to depression and self doubt to say nothing of the health issues involved.  My own weakness tends to be brutal self analysis.  All of a sudden I look terribly fat, terribly thin, completely out of shape, too muscular to be feminine - you get the drift.  In truth I look no different than I did a month ago (perhaps a little better toned) but my mind is in a whirl and for the moment the perceptions are distorted.  Breathe, have patience, and trust your better judgement.  We need accept the fact that our minds are under pressure and our worst vices will surface.  I believe God does this that we may know ourselves better and be able to weed out more fully those aspects of our characters that do not become sons and daughters of God. Use this as a gift from the Almighty to become more like Him.  Remember that He is in control and has a plan for you. 

Another terribly important key to survival in desperate times to be honest with yourself. Recognize that this is a difficult situation.  Do not try to make light of it.  Look at the situation and understand that you will do your best, but that right now you are in a bomb shelter of sorts.  And just as you would in a bomb shelter, understand that now is probably not the time to overstretch yourself unwisely.  You may not have much time, but you have time to breathe deeply and express gratitude for all the things your body does for you every day without your even asking.  Talking things out is oftimes helpful, but continually whining or grinding one's teeth in anger accomplishes absolutely nothing. 

May the Lord bless you in your times of trial and need.  My heartfelt compassion reaches out to you in your sorrows.  God is over all.  He knows what you suffer and knows intimately every tear you shed.  There is a purpose.  Hold true and use this time to your advantage.  And always remember to pray.  Blessings and love. 

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