Yes, it is another not so exciting photograph : ) I don’t think I will be winning any awards!
I took this from in the car on a cloudy, wet day. So?
Well, the red light saying “Stop!” triggered some reflections in my mind.
Sometimes we experience times in our lives when something happens that makes us have to stop. Perhaps it even feels like life crashes! It may be something very unexpected and also very tough. How do we respond in those times? What do we put our trust in?
I have been thinking a lot about trust in recent weeks. The New Testament word for trust along with that of faith, have their roots in a word that means “to be persuaded”. What we are persuaded by, that is what we trust.
Take a look at these words from Proverbs 3:5-6,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight” (New International Version)
May be life has hit an unexpected stop for you. May these words be a comfort and encouragement to you that you can trust the Lord for a way ahead. I am not saying it will be easy and a quick fix but you are not abandoned!
Who could you be honest with about your situation? Part of God’s answer in our lives can come through journeying with others.
It is also good to regularly build in moments to ‘stop’ in our lives. There are so many demands on all our time (both real and imagined/imposed demands)1. It can be so easy just to go from one thing to another but never to truly be still.
Perhaps we fear stopping because we are afraid of facing up to some things? Yet can we trust the Lord that even if there are painful things to face; that with His help, it will be worth it? That He can give us the strength to face up to whatever it is?
To ‘stop’ is so vital. In order to worship, to pray, to reflect, to receive from the Lord through what we read in the Bible, to get fresh perspective on life… So many things that could be named! To ‘stop’ is crucial regularly in our lives.
Stopping also gives us the opportunity to allow gratitude to rise up in us. There is always something to be grateful for. Today is American Thanksgiving Day (it was the Canadian one back on October 10th). Americans all across the world will be expressing thanks and having meals together (either tonight or on the weekend). You may or may not be from the USA, but who or what are you grateful for today? Why not ‘stop’ and reflect? Then somewhere along the way, why not write to some others and thank them?
Also, what about gratitude towards the Lord?
“…give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Note the word “in” all circumstances not “for”!!
I encourage us all to take some time to “stop”. And if we are in an unexpected “stop” in our lives, to trust there is a way forward.
Speaking of stopping…
- Note from above – I am re-reading “Boundaries” by Drs Henry Cloud and John Townsend. It is well worth a read and touches on dealing with ‘demands’, both from others and what we put on ourselves. The book is also a help with exploring how we can build more “stop” into our lives.