Monday, March 23, 2015

This is what happens when life gets too hard to stand.

Do you ever just have those days when life just seems to get you down?  And those days turn into weeks?

I've been there recently.  Usually I'm careful about what I let roll around in my head on a daily basis, because I know that my thoughts can be a dangerous place for negativity to creep in.  But these last few weeks have been rough.

It started with the lack of sun.  So I wanted to blame the cloudy weather.  

We've had our share of cloudy skies and no sunshine for a while now.  Of course, when it's raining, I don't want to be outside for the obvious reason of getting soaked.  I don't really want to be outside if it's overcast and cold either.  The cold now makes my bones ache, and I get stiff. The cold, the rain, the lack of sun - all contribute to my bad attitude.

But I can't blame the cloudy weather.

I have to blame my own bad attitude.  If my attitude was right to begin with, the cloudy weather wouldn't have much of an effect on me.

The devil knows my every weakness, and knows that if he can prowl around my mind and get me headed in a dark direction he will distract me from God's light.

So I turned to scripture for the warning from the Lord about remaining alert.

1 Peter 5:8 "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." (NASB)

I turned to the reminder from the Lord about keeping my thoughts in check.

Philippians 4:8-9:  "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.  The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you."  (NASB)

It continued with the negativity in the news.  So I wanted to blame the state of our nation.  

My husband loves to watch the news.  He can tell you what is going on pretty much anywhere in the world, and just about anything else you want to know about the politics behind our nation's news and world events.  

He does landscape and lawn irrigation work, so when the weather is too wet or cold he can't work. Since that's been our weather for a few months now, he's home with me more. That means the television is set on the news more.  Which means that my brain is being permeated with more violence, more hatred, more news of terrorism, and more evidence of the downward spiral of our nation.  

And that means my mind begins to focus more on the negative world around me.  The more I hear, the more I ponder.  The more I ponder, the more negative my thoughts become.  The more negative my thoughts become, the more agitated I become.  It's a depressing state.

But I can't blame the state of our nation.

I have to blame my own negative thinking.  If my thought process was in tune with scripture and what God would have me focus on, then the state of our nation wouldn't have as much of an effect on me.

I turned to God's reminder of His almighty power and status.

John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (NASB)

I found the reminder about praying to the Lord for His peace.

Philippians 4:6-7 "6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (NASB)

It came to to its pinnacle with debilitating back and hip pain.  So I wanted to blame my failing body.

I have degenerative arthritis in my lower back, arthritis in my knees, and a 'bum' shoulder. This makes it difficult to exercise.  It also makes it difficult to work for long periods of time. Along with that, I have fibromyalgia and live with pain every day.

I don't mention this to get sympathy.  I mention this because I've recently tried to exercise more, and unfortunately it resulted in my back becoming more irritated, which caused excruciating pain.  Pain that felt like someone was stabbing me in the back and that radiated out to my hips.  So bad that I woke up in the middle of the night in agony several times in the last week.

I had to stop exercising and only do my routine back stretches until my body decided to calm down. By the time I got done with my measly two-hour work shift, I went home and hobbled to the couch. Then sat there in pain....     In front of the news....     While it rained and stayed overcast outside. You get the picture of the cycle here.

Pity party - table for one.

But I can't blame my failing body.

I have to blame what Zig Ziglar would call "stinkin' thinkin'". 

I sat in the chair and thought "Why do I always have to be in pain?  Why can't I just exercise like a normal person?  I can't even work a regular shift anymore.  I used to be able to do so much more."  That, my friends, is "stinkin' thinkin'".   

I did what Zig Ziglar would recommend.  I turned the negatives into positives.  Instead of comparing myself to my former abilities, I began saying things like "I'm glad I can do these stretches.  I'm grateful that I can work for two hours each day and for the job that lets me do that.  I'm glad I can still walk.  I'm grateful that God still uses me for His kingdom work."

And with the change in my thought process, I turned to scripture for the reassurance that I can be used by God no matter what my physical limitations.

I sought out Job's words from when everything was taken from him and his foundation was God, to remind me I still have so very much when I have nothing but God.  I sought out the example of Paul, Peter, Silas, and so many others who were afflicted, imprisoned, and downcast, to remind me that I can find my hope, my purpose, and my light in Christ Jesus.

I found Paul's words to keep me in check and remind me of how, in spite of his suffering, he was used in a mighty way for the Lord's purpose.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10  7 Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! 8 Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

I praised the Lord for His mercy, forgiveness and provision in my life.

Psalm 69:29-30  29 But I am afflicted and in pain;  May Your salvation, O God, set me securely on high.  30 I will praise the name of God with song And magnify Him with thanksgiving. (NASB)

I found that strange comfort in the refining process my suffering brings.

James 1:2-4  2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

And Hallelujah!  I found the reminder that because I know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and have given my life to Him, receiving the salvation that only Christ can give, that one day there will be no more pain.

Revelation 21:4  and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

And when I couldn't stand because life - figuratively and literally - got to hard to stand...

I got on my knees.

I repented of that "stinkin' thinkin'", and humbled myself before the Lord.  I asked for His forgiveness for my pity party.  And I stayed there for a while.  When it became too painful to stay on my knees, I lay prostrate on the floor, and cried out to Him.  And waited.  And listened.

And after He calmed my soul, I opened my eyes, stood up again, and smiled.  At His love. His Word.  His grace.  His provision.  His peace.

My prayer for you, dear ones, is that you will kneel before the Lord,
and let Him help you STAND. 


  1. I had been in a bad attitude as those rainy cloudy days turned to weeks and just was so grumpy. I blamed the weather as well and with this sun and fresh air I have felt better. But that's not why its because I made the decision to be happier, I asked God to help me be happier, I thanked him for what all he gave me. I understand being in pain every day. I have lived that way most of the last 8 years and there really is no explanation as to why. It is my normal and while I wish to be like a normal person I realize that 1 I was made this way for a reason and 2 I don't think anyone is a normal person lol we all got something.
    Have a good week!

    1. It's nice to know there are other people out there who feel the same as we do isn't it Renee? I know I'm not a 'normal' person either! Ha! Have great week as well. Thanks for stopping by!


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