November 20, 2013
Life’s Too Short
There are people who get caught up in daily drama, complaining about someone annoying them, being stuck in traffic, bad day at work, or something else. There are people who have a knack for always finding something to complain about. Other people get caught up in their worries and get stressed out and miss out on God’s miracles within the difficulties they are going through and the one thing all of these people have in common is they forget that God is in control.That’s right, God is still on the throne and he is in control of your situation.
The death of a loved one should help put things into perspective for people and it is good when it does. However, not everyone who has lost someone close to them has realized they were being given a wake-up call to stop complaining and to stop worrying, and to stop focusing on their problems and turn their attention to praising God, being thankful they are still alive, and realizing that God is in control and that a change needs to be made in their lives so that when it is their turn to die, their life is not full of regrets or a long list of complaints and worrying that didn’t get them anywhere in life.
It sucks when you lose a loved one and your friends or other people in your life are focused on their drama and bring it to you when you are in the grieving process. It is selfish. If someone you care about (who is not related to you, since chances are if you are related then you feel the loss too) loses a loved one, then take time out from your drama and your “all about me” existence and be a good friend. Offer condolences and be there quietly with them and give them a break from hearing about your senseless drama that won’t mean anything in 5-10 years from now. This is not to belittle anyone’s troubles or say all troubles people are facing are meaningless when put next to someone grieving over the loss of a loved one, but if it is something stupid like someone is getting on your nerves in some way and you feel the need to complain about it, stop it! Keep your complaints to yourself and be a good friend to your friend who is going through the loss of a loved one and remember what it was like when it was you who was grieving over the loss of someone you were close to. If you have never lost someone close to you, then you are seriously blessed and should thank God daily. Life is too short to always be complaining, worrying, stressing, or doing any combination of these things.
On the other hand, if something major is going on with you like you are having a hard time paying rent or you have an urgent need that only God can provide for you, then you should let your friends and loved ones know so that they can help you out directly if they can, or pray to God on your behalf if they are unable to help you directly. The earnest prayer of a righteous person offered with a sincere heart have powerful results. Remember that when Elijah prayed earnestly for it not to rain, no rain fell for 3 and 1/2 years (1 Kings 17-18 – in 17 Elijah prays for it not to rain and in chapter 18, we see that he prays for rain and God sends down rain).
It is important to know the difference between drama that should be kept to yourself and you should deal with and when it is something important that your loved ones should be informed of, and that you and your loved ones can help out with or need to be praying to God for solutions to. It shouldn’t even take the death of a loved one for you to know the difference. However, when a loved one does die, it should be a wake-up call for us to shift our perspective if all we do is complain, worry, stress, or any combination. If you are a genuine believer, unless you are new to the faith, you should know that God is in control. And for new believers, get this into your head and heart, that God is all powerful and is in control, and he has you in the palm of his hand. He will not let any of life’s situations crush you. In fact, in Psalm 145:14, God promises through King David, “The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads.” All of God’s promises are true and he keeps them all. God is faithful and incapable of breaking promises and incapable of lying so when he will do something, he will do it. God promises in Deuteronomy 31:8 to never leave us nor forsake us. It says, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will never fail you nor abandon you.“
Have you lost someone close to you? Did you take their death as a wake-up call to get your priorities in life straight and to make sure you are right with God? If not then you need to do both of these things and if you start with making yourself right with God, then he can show you what your priorities should be. God should always be number one in your life. When God is number one in your life, you are too busy praising him and thanking him for the amazing things he has done for you (including being alive) to be complaining about minor nuances or difficulties you are going through. When you are in praise mode, you are instead choosing to trust God to deliver you from your current difficulties into better times. It is hard when you lose someone you were very close to, but you cannot let their death end your relationship with God or make you angry with him. You must hold firmly to your faith and believe that you and everyone else affected by the person’s death will make it through and that the loved one you lost is in a better place without suffering or pain. You must continue to have faith that things will get better for you and your loved ones who are still alive.
It is important not to question God why they took your loved one away because you are questioning his authority. Trust that God had a good reason, if you don’t understand it. It could be he was saving your loved one from the evils of this world or taking them away from pain and suffering they were enduring due to illness. Maybe God needed to call them home to help him. Whatever the reason, though it may not be revealed to us in our lifetime, we have to trust that God did not do it to be mean, but had a very good reason for doing it. Life is too short to be angry with God for things you do not understand. If you are angry with God about something, then shift your perspective and lean on faith in God and trust that he had his reasons for whatever it is that happened and that he will bring you to better days when you refuse to give up and hold firmly to your faith and hope in him and in his faithful promises.
Life is too short to live life bitter, angry, hateful, stressed out, worried, and working yourself to death trying to make ends meat when God promises to provide all of your needs. If you are guilty of doing even one of these things, then take a moment to ask yourself a few of questions: 1) Will this matter in 1 year? in 5 years? in 10 years? 2) What would Jesus do in this situation? 3) What would God want me to do in this situation? 4) If I were to die tonight or tomorrow, is this how I want my life to end? Answer these questions openly and honestly in your mind and then decide that you will make the changes that need to be made and pray to God to help you make these changes and he will do so willingly. The apostle James tells us in James 1:5, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” However, in verse 6, James goes on to tell us to make sure we are asking with faith in God alone and that we are not divided by faith in God and the world. We need to have unwavering faith in God to receive what we ask for and what we need from God. Today let go of all bitterness, all unforgiveness, all hate, stress, worry, frustrations, and all of the bad stuff and place it all at Jesus’ feet in return for peace. The peace God offers cannot be found in this world, it is an inner peace of mind and heart. When you trust God with your worries and with your life, you can have this kind of peace from him. You are not alone in your struggles. God knows all, sees all, and hears all. God will bring you through all of the difficulties you will ever encounter in your life and each time you will come out better off than you were before the difficult time started. Today, if there is someone you’ve been holding a grudge against, decide to let it go and leave revenge to God. The apostle Paul warns us in Romans 12:19 not to take revenge but tells us God will pay them back. That also means that we should not hold a grudge because it will hurt you more than the other person and nothing gets solved by remaining angry and letting yourself suffer for something someone else did. You need to let it go and decide not to be angry anymore. Decide peace and joy are more important and trust God to take care of the situation once you have let forgiveness in. Spend each day as if the Lord could be coming back tonight or tomorrow or as if today is your final day on earth and live it (each day) giving your love to others, showing forgiveness, serving the Lord, helping others when you can and going to someone else who can help if you are unable to, and living in peace with God, with yourself, and with others. Not to say you should be morbid and think you will die at any time, but the truth is that it could be your time at any given time so hope that your day to go will not be anytime soon but that you can live a long, full, joyous, peaceful, prosperous life serving God and at the same time, live each day filled with joy, peace, and kindness towards others and with love in your heart.
Apologies for the ranting and if there was any harsh tones to any part of this blog, but reality can at times be harsh. We all need to face the truth today, while we are still alive and we need to live our lives in this truth. God’s word is truth and Jesus has set the standards by which we should be living our lives. May peace be with all of you and if any of you have recently suffered the loss of a loved one, may God bring you and your family and everyone else affected by this person’s death comfort, healing, peace, strength, restoration, and everything else you stand in need of, in Jesus’ name.