I blacked out once in my life. It was during a time when I was morbidly ill, to the point of months of hospitalization. My fever was so high that I became extremely dehydrated. But I didn’t know that I was that dehydrated until, one morning, I got out of bed and walked towards the living room. It only took a few steps for me to know something wasn’t right. I was walking and seeing, but everything went topsy-turvy. I knew I had to keep going, but I began to lose control of my limbs. And what started out as black specks in my vision turned into a big black wash of blindness.
Then I fell. And I fell hard.
It’s a good analogy for what painful times sometimes feel like.
Pain can cause an internal chaos that creates that similar sense of a topsy-turvy storm, one that clouds your view. You may know what to do, but, for some reason, you start losing the ability to act on it. And if there’s sufficient amount of pain and the overcast is dark enough, you can fall. And you can fall hard.
It’s funny because, oftentimes, when pain hits our lives, the first thing addressed is the need to get our acts together.
Shift your mindset! Stop complaining! Have a better attitude! Be grateful! Move on! Grow from this!
But let’s face it. Sometimes you just can’t. Sometimes you’re just stuck on the ground you fell on, incapable of breaking through or growing stronger like what is expected of you.
In moments like this, know that there is still enough grace for you. Your weakness cannot stop the goodness of God from working in your life.
His goodness still works, even when your strength doesn’t.
It actually says in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
If you are arrested by discouragement or stalled by the sting of life, the first thing you must be aware of is not what you must do, but rather, what God will do.
After my dizzying fall, I stayed on the ground, but my parents brought pillows for me to lie on. I was unable to lift my head without debilitating nausea. And from that very spot, I was given a steady amount of fluids for a couple hours.
Soon enough, I found my stability, strength, was able to lift my head, and eventually got up.
The promises of God have the same effect.
They bring life back into your soul, strength back into your bones.
Cursing your current state will never calm the storm within. Despising your weakness and blaming those that have hurt you only feed into the darkness.
Let go of what you need to feel like. Release yourself of the expectations to bounce back quickly, for restoration never begins with pressure or guilt.
If you need to lie there, lie there. But remember His promises, repeat them in your mind, dwell on them.
Just like I had to lie there and drink, all you need to do is just turn your attention to what God promises to do. What He can do. What He will do.
It’s easy to overestimate how much our own understanding can serve us. Sometimes, we brood our way through painful times, hoping that we can “figure it out.” This is the fact: your own understanding is not powerful enough to pull you out of pain. Rather, we must pull from the power of His promises.
Some of His many promises are provided below for you to begin your journey. As you make space in your heart and mind for these promises, may the darkness of the storm within you lift in due time.
Isaiah 40:31 “…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
James 4:7 “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Philippians 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”