We all have different seasons in life. Some seasons are filled with incredible blessings where things just seem to work and we are left at peace and feeling like all is well. But, other seasons are more like a desert, where conditions are filled with extreme heat and cold, and sustaining rain seems like it will never come. During the dry seasons of life nothing seems to go our way.
Are you there?
Pain prompts us to face who we are and where we are. What we do with that experience defines who we become. John McDonnell
Wow, what wisdom! We will all face hardship in life, and some seasons are filled with more difficulty than others. But, it's a great truth that good management of bad experiences leads to great growth.
My mom has had more than her fair share of pain due to rheumatoid arthritis. I have learned so much watching how she deals with the daily challenges.
Here are a few suggestions I see from her life, with a little help from author, John Maxwell:
1. Choose a Positive Life Stance
I remember as a young person learning the game of basketball, coaches drilling into us the importance of proper defensive and offensive stances. Early on it was difficult to stay in the proper stance, and I had to be reminded often to get in the proper stance. I had to purposely choose to make myself get in the right stance. But, as time went along it became more second nature. A person's life stance is how they choose to look at things overall. Do they tend to be positive or negative, brave or timid, generous or stingy? We cannot control most of the bad things that happen in life, but we can be in the best position to choose a positive life stance. This doesn't mean that we don't have bad days, where we are overwhelmed, it just means that generally we are going to choose a positive life stance.
Here's a progression of truth from John Maxwell:
Life is filled with good and bad.
Some of the good and bad I can't control - that's life.
Some of the good and bad will find me.
If I have a positive life stance the good and bad will become better.
If I have a negative life stance the good and bad will become worse.
Therefore I choose a positive life stance.
2. Embrace and Develop Your Creativity
When I traveled to the Gulf of Mexico, south of Houston, a few years ago I noticed something I had never seen before: the houses next to the beach were all built on "stilts"! The homeowners embraced and used their creativity to deal with the hurricanes and storms that were inevitable with living on the beach. Tough seasons in life can definitely push us to use our creativity.
Using another word picture, how does a flower in the desert bloom when there is so little rain? By using creativity to find enough moisture until the rain comes. Creativity may never solve our life picture
3. Lean into the Rainmaker
Sometimes we think of the rain as bad, but when we are in the middle of a drought all that is desired is the relief of a cool, sustaining rain. When bad things happen, we have another choice, we can be mad at the rainmaker, or deny that there is a rainmaker, or trust the rainmaker.
Some things in life that happen are devastating, unexplainable and are with us not just for a season, but for the entirety of our lives. I have chosen to trust God in my life. This doesn't mean that life will be all good and that all my pain will go away. It doesn't mean I will understand all things, or that I will get what I want. But, it does mean that I have Him to lean into when the pain comes.
Troy Vande Lune
Big Rock Leader
P.S. Is it flower in the desert or flour in the dessert?