Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Week Eight - How Long You Gonna Stay There?

My heart's burden this week has been for the many who seem overwhelmed with our current global situation. Gloominess, depression, and fear grip their hearts, and the road back to normal looks way too long.

A cartoon reminded me that normal is only a setting on a washing machine. So, since we each have a different definition of normal, it becomes a place with too many variants to apply a liberal definition. I think we are trying to say that we wish our individual life would be as it was before this pandemic altered everything. We are longing for the good old days.

But I want to challenge you to think today about where you were, how you felt, and the things you personally dealt with before Covid 19. If we are honest, most of us would say we still dealt with feelings of gloominess, bouts of depression, and a certain amount of fear of the future. That was our normal.  If we aren’t careful, we will be in the same boat when all this is through. We will be stuck in our bad attitudes, feelings of failure, and fears that keep us from moving forward. We will not have benefited or learned anything from this trial.

So, let’s ask ourselves a few questions. Were we struggling with the same personal issues before Covid as we are now? Has Covid heightened our inadequacies, fears, and trepidation? How long have we struggled? How long do we intend to stay there?

When I look at the life of Elijah, I see a similar pattern. He had fears, bouts of gloominess, and depression, and when the heat of the battle pressed the issue home, he took refuge in a cave, vowing to never again see the light of day. He settled into his despondency.

Yet, outside the cave came the noise of a great wind, the crashing of rocks, and an earthquake. Fire lit up the entrance, and a still small voice called him out. God got his attention. 

The sad thing is, Elijah held onto his complaint. And God? God asked Elijah twice, “What doest thou here, Elijah? “  In other words, “How long you gonna stay there?”

You see, God knows running from our problems, allowing the loss of hope and courage to drive us inward, and hiding from God’s face are not healthy ways to manage mental health – and especially spiritual health.

There comes a time when we must face our fears and solve our problems. And when we do, when God calls us to trust Him, we move forward.  That is when we leave the cave of despondency and move back into useful service – to our normal.

I don’t know about you, but I want to come out of this cave of the pandemic more energized, more prepared, more hopeful, and ready to serve. I want my new normal to be better than the one I left behind.

To do that, I must set my eyes forward. I must deal with the issues that confound me, giving them to the Lord and asking Him to teach me the truth. I must set my hope on things eternal and remember that God is at work, even when I feel like I am in a cave. He is doing miraculous things, making noise, and calling to get my attention.

I’m heading out to see what’s going on. How about you? How long you gonna stay there?

If you are struggling, let me encourage you to check out my YouTube channel -Gail Gritts. There you will find devotional videos about facing anxiety, controlling your thought life, and facing hard times. Subscribe to this blog and you’ll receive weekly encouragement. Or, check out my website where you can purchase devotional books-gailgritts .com. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s walk that way together.

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