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Recued for a Reason

I have been telling a number of people lately, “With the extension of life expectancy in our modern world, it is turning out that our most influential years are our fifties and sixties. As a result, there is a battle that rages in our forties to keep us from reaching the level of influence for which we were created. The battle takes place at a spiritual level, a social level and a personal level.”
The typical response I get from people sounds like, “I can think of six people right now who fit that description. They have gone Tasmanian devil on their family and friends as they are wreaking havoc with their lives. Everything seemed to be going well until one day it seems a war broke out in their hearts.”
This is certainly not a new concept. The idea of life being a battlefield in which we work out our decisions, attitudes and behaviors is part of what it means to be human. During “normal” seasons of life, we get in a groove and carry out our responsibilities. The transitions of life, however, are a different story. They arrive on the scene with a vengeance and challenge everything we claim to believe.
Psalm 18 is a graphic example of the process. In verse 4-5, we encounter a man (David) who is thrust into a dark season of life without much warning and without a say in the matter. “The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.” In a short period of time, life went from peaceful to threatening. At a human level, David had lost control of his circumstances and was now scrambling to hold onto the life he knew.
I believe God included passages such as this in the Bible because we will all find ourselves in similar circumstances at some point in our lives. Health issues create a crisis. Financial setbacks shake us at the core. A spouse abandons the life we committed to build together. Personal needs overwhelm us. Unscrupulous people seek to take advantage of us or ruin opportunities we have built. When any of these take place, what will we do? Will we shrink from the battle? Will we give in to the devastation and let it ruin our hearts? Will we cling to the Lord in an effort to rise above the circumstances?
As a challenge to all of us to get prepared, David proclaims, “In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.” (v. 6)
I hope your life is going well today. If it is, please enjoy the privilege and grow to be the strongest person you can be. If it isn’t, I encourage you to call out to Jesus like David did. I can’t promise that everything will instantly get better but I can guarantee God will hear your voice and will walk with you through the valley. Step by step He will strengthen you to influence others when the light shines once again on your journey.

5 Responses

  1. Thank you Bill!

  2. So happy to receive this timely message! I have missed your blog! So thankful to see it in my mailbox!

  3. Hi Bill,

    I love “Looney Tunes”, but don’t like chaos in my life. At our church yesterday, New Community Church of Vista, Pastor Dale was speaking about depression. He was talking about how he has seen a lot of people at the church working through big struggles lately. He mentioned 1/3 of the Psalms were “laments”. He said three lies that people struggling with depression start to believe about themselves is that they don’t matter, they are alone, and they are hopeless. Depressed people make destructive decisions that can hurt themselves and the ones that love them. He suggested getting honest with God about their struggles, getting help (medical/psychological), and getting connected with healthy believers. He said depressed people struggle often have no desire at all to move toward making healthy choices for themselves, but that they should try to just take the first step, even though they don’t feel like doing it.

    I can’t say I’ve ever had the level of depression I know many other people have struggled with. I have had a lot of challenges and adversity though. Just this morning my biggest customer told me they are switching to use one of my competitors. I had a nice start to the year but the summer has been slow for us at work so this was not welcomed news. We have friends facing cancer, financial hardships, and many other personal challenges. We have teenagers which keep us praying seemingly non-stop.

    It seems God uses hardships to keep us dependent on Him. I’d love to stay dependent on Him without the hardships, but I know life doesn’t seem to work that way.

    Anyway, thanks for the blog post; I know we all appreciate it!

  4. Welcome back.

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