Picture a day where you are cruising along with all your favorite tunes playing on the radio, and somehow catching all the greenlights. It’s a great day to be alive, and your energy and expectations are high, when out of nowhere BAM, you are sideswiped by someone else’s bad day. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could freeze time right here to evaluate the situation and collect your emotions so you could be intentional about your reaction. You have a decision to make, but unfortunately it’s a snap decision. What do you do? Do you do the easy thing, and just speed away leaving them to deal with whatever has caused their bad day on their own, or do you join them in their misery and let their negative energy overtake you, or do you offer them some of the peace you are currently enjoying? I hope you are thinking about choices, because if you’re thinking about choices, then you realize that while you can’t control anyone else’s attitude, negativity, unbelief, doubt, anxiety, depression etc., you can control how you react to it.
It’s fascinating that two people can be in the same exact place, surrounded by the same exact energy and people, but have two completely different experiences. Perception is key. I’ve learned that when I keep my focus on me and how people perceive me, or my perception of how people perceive me, then I get caught up in things that ultimately don’t even matter; however, when I keep my focus on the Father and give it all to him, I become fully aware that He is the preeminent one, the one who created everything, I am in His hands, He is holding me through the good times as well as the bad, and He is my hope and my reason. Werther I surrender control or not, God is on His throne, He is the preeminent one, and by holding onto the reigns so tight, I am actually putting myself in a power struggle with the creator of the universe. How silly, how ridiculously arrogant, how self destructive to think I am better equip to handle anything better than God. So perception of life’s events is based on where your focus is placed. Let go and let God; so simple, yet so hard.
STARFISH; THE POWER STANCE
Feet planted firmly, hands lifted high with palms open wide giving everything to God. Praise is our weapon, and there is surrender in an open stance that says, “It’s all yours God.” When you start your day, take your power stance and give your day to God. Ask Him to equip you with the grace you need to be salt and light in this world. Whenever you’re sideswiped by someone else’s bad day, ask God to open your eyes to see and your ears to hear the need in your brother or sisters life. We are all travelers on this earth, and have all sideswiped someone with our bad day. How much more wonderful would it be to offer encouragement, peace, and love to a hurting traveler, than to speed away, let them steal your peace, or even worse, kick them when they are down.
Whatever life throws at you, ask God to show you the lesson and the blessing. Give thanks to the Lord for what His is doing, whatever He is going to reveal through the situation, and whatever He is changing through the situation. God’s ways are bigger and He doesn’t do things in the way we think they should done. Thankfully, He sees the whole picture, and in the end, we always look back and realize how God turned things around and used them for our good. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 You can trust Him in ALL things. My prayer stance has become one of a starfish. Feet planted firmly, arms lifted, and fingers fully extended letting go of everything. Body language experts acknowledge that this stance is impowering, and fuels confidence if you are headed into a situation that requires confidence. Imagine how much more powerful this stance is when your hands and heart are open letting go and giving everything to God the Father.
With an attitude of surrender and gratitude, and a heart focused on the Father, You’ll be prepared for whatever life throws your way, and you won’t speed away from a fellow traveler who is in need of encouragement, Instead, you’ll be equip to offer them a hand, and specific encouragement with prompting from the Holy Spirit, and with full awareness that God is in the situation, you’ll be thankful that He allowed you to be His hands and feet. We all encounter situations that are not what we would have chosen, but with a heart full of gratitude, not only for the things our human eyes see as good, but also having faith that God is using even what we perceive as a bad situation for good, you will be the salt and light in this world so desperately needs. How can you be salt and light if you’re ruled by circumstances? It’s important to remember that God doesn’t always reveal His plans to us immediately. We don’t have to know what He is up to to be obedient, and to offer encouragement, peace, and love to others.
In church we sing about freedom. You are free, and you don’t have to be beat up by life. Take your power stance, standing starfish giving everything to God: your praise, your fear, your disappointment, your anger, your love, your hopes, your dreams, and even your relationships, because He can be trusted with all of it. By doing this, you won’t be angry when you’re sideswiped by someone’s bad day, You’ll be better equip to be an encouragement to fellow travelers. This world is hurting and dying, and so very thirsty. Be a wellspring of God’s love; stand starfish and let Him fill you with more of Him.
Take a minute to think about what you are holding onto so tightly; what you’ve been afraid to trust God with. Open your heart and open your hands and release it to Him. Trust Him to take care of it. Open your heart and open your hands to release praise to the one who does all things in love. Let faith rise up in you, and be an encouragement to others. Ask God to open your eyes to see the hurting and the lost, and rather than joining them in their misery, or speeding away, bring them into your peace so that they may see the love of God the Father.
Pray with me:
Father I’m sorry for all the times I sped away from people who were hurting and lost, I’m sorry for all the times I joined them in their misery, and I’m asking You to increase my faith, help me to remember that it’s not about me, it’s about bringing You to the lost and dying people who desperately need to experience Your love extended through the lives of Your church. I want to be salt and light Father. I want to be a balm to the wounded, and I want You to shine through me so bright that when I enter a room, the darkness has to flee. I love You Lord. Thank You for reminding me that it’s not about me or my feelings, it’s about You. Thank You for changing my heart and changing my life, and thank You for allowing me to be Your hands and feet in this world. I pray all things in Jesus name.