Do You Have Trouble Being Still?

 

479345205Waiting. Late Gen X’ers and Millennials have never really had to do much of it. In fact, we cringe at the thought of it. Thanks to fast food retailers, express trains, HOV lanes, and supermarket “10 items or less” checkout stations (just to name a few), we’ve gradually lost any and all tolerance for waiting.

I’ll be the first to confess that I have a low tolerance for waiting. (If you want proof, just ride to work with me one morning and see how well I handle traffic jams.) Recently, as I grumbled to myself about having to sit still for a few extra minutes, I had a revelation. I realized that I get easily frustrated when someone doesn’t answer my call, text, or email promptly. I never want to wait in line at theme parks. I start to steam when that friend (whom I love) says they’ll be there at 6:00 pm but doesn’t show up until 6:10pm. I often don’t even have the patience to wait on the elevator to move two floors (ridiculous, I know).

While processing all of these instances, I realized that I have a serious problem. Is it really such an inconvenience to my schedule to have to be patient for just a few tiny moments of my day? Of course, the answer is no. But there’s a greater lesson to be found here: Waiting is a part of life. No matter how advanced technology may become or how many more choices we’re offered in this life, we’re always going to be required to wait on something or someone.

Whether it be in the work environment, relationships, or leisure, waiting is never comfortable or pleasant. But we could all testify to the fact that waiting has proven profitable at times. We must remember that the big thing God has waiting for us just beyond the horizon is only found through seasons of being still and patiently trusting a greater plan.

Scripture is full of great examples of how waiting proves valuable in the end. Psalm 46:10 provides probably the best advice ever for waiting: “Be still, and know that I am God.” In other words, breathe in, breathe out, and simply trust the one who knows us best and what’s best for us–our Creator.

Consider your own life. Do you have a low tolerance for waiting? Do you feel entitled to have everything “your way, right away”? Do you need to take time to be still, trusting in the Lord’s perfect plan and timing over your own?

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When You Feel Defeated (Part 2)

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If you read my previous post, “When You Feel Defeated (Part 1),” I shared the first 20 statements of a personal 40-day challenge of shifting feelings of defeat into positive perspectives that reflect God’s goodness. Many of you expressed affirmation and encouragement regarding this challenge. So, as promised, here’s the follow-up post with the final 20 statements.

If you’ve been battling defeat, my prayer is that God will use these words to help you overcome defeat and emerge victorious. As you trust the Lord, may He do a transformational work in and through you. If you know someone who may be feeling defeated, hurt, or experiencing loss in some way, please feel free to share these words of encouragement with them.

21. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is bottle your frustration. But the best thing to do is burst with joy.

22. When you feel defeated, the easy way of thinking is “The end.” But the better way of thinking is “Endure.”

23. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is stop dreaming. But the best thing to do is dream bigger.

24. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is be bitter. But the best thing to do is be better.

25. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is reflect on the wound. But the best thing to do is focus on the healing.

26.  When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is mourn over the destruction. But the right thing to do is celebrate the restoration.

27. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is pull the covers over your head. But the best thing to do is make the bed.

28. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is raise hell. But the best thing to do is raise hope.

29. When you feel defeated, the easy way of thinking is “It’s over.” But the better way of thinking is “It’s on!”

30. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is cave in. But the best thing to do is work out.

31. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is close the book. But the right thing to do is turn the page.

32. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is wade in negativity. But the best thing to do is swim in optimism.

33. When you feel defeated, the easy way of thinking is “There’s a long road ahead.” But the best way of thinking is “Look how far I’ve come.”

34. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is focus on the ugly. But the best thing to do is concentrate on the beautiful.

35. When you feel defeated, the easy way of thinking is “They got it wrong.” But the right way of thinking is “God got it right.”

36. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is fight back. But the right thing to do is turn the other cheek.

37. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is hang on tightly. But the best thing to do is let go freely.

38. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is be wasteful. But the right thing to do is be generous.

39. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is make excuses. But the right thing to do is create solutions.

40. When you feel defeated, the easy way of thinking is “I’m done.” But the better way of thinking is “I’m just getting started.”

When You Feel Defeated (Part 1)

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At some point along life’s journey, we all experience the feeling of defeat. It’s one of the worst feelings…ever. Defeat can be humbling, depressing, and just plain frustrating. But if you allow it, defeat can be life-changing in the most positive ways.

In my own recent season of feeling defeated, God did a great work in me. Where it’s easier to bask in the blah-ness, God opened my eyes to something better: His perspective. And I’m learning that where we often see defeat, God sees victory.

Through it all, I challenged myself to 40 days of shifting those feelings of defeat into positive perspectives that reflect God’s goodness. My goal is to use these 40 statements to encourage others who are also experiencing a similar season.

Here are the first 20 days’ statements:

1. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is give up. But the right thing to do is look up.

 2. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is bask in discouragement. But the best thing to do is encourage others.

 3. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is blame somebody for your pain. But the right thing to do is love somebody even harder.

 4. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is be jealous. But the right thing to do is hi-five everybody.

 5. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do to bring others down. But the best thing to do is build others up.

 6. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is sob and mope. But the better thing to do is smile and hope.

 7. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is be angry with God. But the right thing to do is to exalt Him.

 8. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is question God. But the right thing to do is trust Him all the more.

 9. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is distance yourself from others. But the best thing to do is invite everybody over.

 10. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is binge on something. But the better thing to do is fast from something.

 11. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is surrender to depression. But the best thing to do is embrace happiness.

 12. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is punch somebody. But the best thing to do is hug somebody.

 13. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is judge somebody. But the right thing to do is love everybody.

 14. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is play the victim to everybody. But the best thing to do is be a hero to somebody.

 15. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is criticize someone. But the right thing to do is compliment everyone.

 16. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is break something. But the best thing to do is build something.

 17. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is cry for help. But the right thing to do is lend a hand.

 18. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is yell profanities. But the best thing to do is shout praises.

 19. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is beat yourself up. But the right thing to do is fix yourself up.

 20. When you feel defeated, the easy thing to do is be mean. But the better thing to do is be meaningful.

*Stay tuned for Part 2 of “When You Feel Defeated” in the coming days.