We don’t realize how powerful our thoughts can be until we’ve been set down for a season. Physically, we may feel like we are being held against our will, but our minds are still rockin’ and rollin’ and boy can they cause a stir when they’re all we seem to have left.
My husband was in an accident recently and it landed him in a wheelchair for three to four months. He is housebound most days and alone on some of those. We pick and choose where we go as it’s no easy feat to load him (and all that we travel with now) and go and we’ve learned quickly that not every “handicap accessible” bathroom is actually handicap accessible.
You could say we are in a season of slow down. That would be an understatement.
We move slower, cook slower, clean slower, make our money slower, spend our money slower…all of it. After the initial shock of the accident, gathering all of the medical equipment we would need, enduring some out-patient surgery and settling in, we reached a place of “what do we do now?”. The desks are cleaned off. The laundry stays caught up. We only go to the grocery store once a week now. We suddenly have all of this time on our hands and if I’m being honest, it’s been a struggle to adapt. Netflix marathons and sleepy days spent on the couch with a good book may sound good to some, but it kinda freaks me out.
When something goes wrong and we get set down, we may ask “why me, why this and why now?”.
We should be asking ourselves…
Are we striving to have a life without pain, interruptions, and hardship?
Have we created an idol out of the idea of living a worry-free life?
Because if these are our goals, we will never reach them. We are setting ourselves up to fail.
The Bible is clear that in this life we will have trouble. There will be suffering and pain. There will be widows and orphans and sickness and poverty. All of it. It’s not going anywhere. And the Bible doesn’t say that a particular people group will experience those things and that God’s children will be spared. He has made it clear. We live in a messed up world and bad things are just going to happen.
And sometimes they will sit us down for a season.
Has this ever happened to you?
Maybe an illness landed you on bed rest or in a hospital for an extended stay.
Maybe your spouse or child needed you to shift your focus from your own life to care for theirs.
Maybe you were laid off from a job, landing you at home for longer than you would ever want to be.
As a believer, there is purpose in all of this, and the quicker we get on board with learning, growing and renewing some of the attitudes that our flesh wants to produce, the sooner we can settle into having peace of mind.
And having peace of mind during a season of sit down is necessary for our survival.
2 Corinthians 4:16 tells us that our spirits are being renewed every day. Sometimes that process will involve a re-set.
The Bible tells us that “…God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” in Romans 8:28.
Do you believe it? Do we believe it?
If we do, we will use this time to stick close to Jesus. Embrace the time on our hands and let Him use it to prepare us for what new thing is coming right around the corner.
*We can re-set spiritually by evaluating our relationship with Christ. Spend time in prayer and reading the Word.
*We can re-set emotionally by paying attention to how we are feeling. Sometimes we can get so busy with life that we don’t allow ourselves the space to spend time in our grief or disappointments. We cannot heal from what we don’t take the time to acknowledge. We have that time now.
*We can re-set our relationships by connecting with friends and family we may not always take time for. Write that card. Send that text. Invite that family over for a meal.
This setting down season will change us. And we get to choose whether we will lean into our faith and let it, or fight and complain and kick and scream until it’s over, walking away with a bitter attitude and a head full of more questions.
Can I be brutally honest here? When we resist this process of renewal, it’s often our pride that is standing in the way. Pride can disguise itself as self-sufficiency and common sense, among other things. The problem with that is as believers, we are called to die to ourselves every day as we follow Jesus. Every. Day. Give it some thought.
It’s okay to ask the questions if we will accept the answers and use them to start anew.
Let’s not get hung up on the goal of a pain-free life. Instead, ask the questions “how can I honor God through this?”, “how can I grow as a person through this?”, and “how can I use my circumstances to serve others?”.
These are the questions that Christ is eager to answer.
And He will.
In the meantime, it’s okay to read that extra chapter and work that puzzle you’ve been putting off for so long. While this could be a season of re-set, it can also be a time to rest.
Only God knows what adventure may be around the corner.