Another day in the desert.
Sand in every direction.
While it’s true that I could reach the other side any day now, it’s just as likely that I’ll die here.
The kind of desert I’m talking about comes in a variety of circumstances and situations. Financial struggles, health battles, relationships gone sour. Maybe a feeling of hopelessness or loneliness. Your desert may not be like mine, but eventually—and more than once—each of us will be forced to cross a wide, dry, desolate expanse that tests us in ways we never expected.
Today, I’m reflecting on a lesson I’ve learned in recent years that has had significant impact on my future. Had I learned it sooner, perhaps I would have been spared a decade or more of wandering.
Joe and Brandon were good friends who had worked together for over a year. They had gotten to know one another while sharing lunch in the office break room. Even though they discussed personal issues like relationships, family, and politics, the subject of religion had never come up. So, during one of their usual lunch breaks, Joe thought he would get his friend’s thoughts on God.
“Do you believe in God?” he asked.
Brandon gave a casual reply as he chewed his food. “Yeah, I guess. I mean, I believe something created the universe. I don’t know. Good question.”
“Do you ever go to church?”
Brandon took a break from eating his sandwich to answer. “I went with my parents when I was a kid, but I quit going after I got out of high school. I haven’t been back.”
Joe pressed. “Do you ever think about giving it another shot?”
“Nope,” Brandon said, “Churches are full of hypocrites. I remember the time when one of the deacons in our church was messing around on his wife. And most people in church think they’re better than everybody else. I don’t want to be around people like that.”
Joe paused for a moment to think about what Brandon had said. Yeah, he’s got a point. I don’t want to get involved with people like that, either.
How much control do you have over the problems in your life? Does having a positive attitude really work? Will God help you and will He answer your prayers?
This is a four-step process that will help you overcome problems in life and stay strong emotionally and spiritually.
Our circumstances often dictate how happy we are. If work is going well, we’re happy. If our spouse is happy, we’re happy. If everyone in our family is healthy, we’re happy.
But it’s unlikely everything in life will be going well. Life is plagued by one problem after the next. Sometimes, we’re bombarded from all directions. It’s as if there’s an ambush waiting around every corner.
What happens when life turns against you? Do you get frustrated? Do you get anxious or depressed? Do you get angry with God?
Do you wonder if there’s anything you can do?
Well, there is. Here’s a 4-Step process that can help you stand strong in the face of adversity.
I looked over at the clock on my nightstand. “1:13 a.m.,” it said.
I tossed and turned. After what seemed like an hour or more, I looked at it again.
Yet another sleepless night in a string of four (or was it more?), a symptom of the turmoil I had faced over the last few weeks.
My mind drifted. I started thinking about how to change things. What could I do to end this misery? Certainly, there had to be something. What was I missing?
Dear God, help me.
Speaking of God, where is he? It seemed he was everywhere but where I needed him most. It’s as though he was on the other side of the world. Why doesn't he talk to me anymore? Sometimes, I wonder if I ever heard him at all.
Was this my fault? I wasn’t sure, but it had to be something I did, or shouldn’t have done. The loneliness was proof.
You don’t have faith.
What is faith, anyway? Is it just waiting, hoping against hope that things will get better? Is it believing that everything is going to be alright—suddenly—as if nothing had ever happened?
What time is it now?
“1:53 a.m.,” the clock said. I could almost hear it laughing.
It was going to be a long night.