Friday, June 27, 2008

Finding God In The Midst of Your Disappointment

How many of us have been frustrated and disappointed as a result of the activities or inactivity of other people? I think that we have all depended upon other people and have been disappointed at one time or another throughout our lives. For instance, how many of us have depended upon someone to provide us a ride to an important appointment and the person upon whom we depended arrives late or not at all?

I have learned that the level of frustration or disappointment that we experience is equal to our level of expectation placed on the person upon whom we are depending. In other words the more that we expect from individuals, the higher our level of frustration and disappointment becomes when they do not meet our expectations.

I think that we are just being human when we feel this disappointment or frustration. However, we should not succumb to or be ruled by these feelings. Depending upon the severity of the frustration, I think that it is okay to be bummed out for a while. But while we are being bummed out we should go to God in prayer and ask Him to help us deal with this situation that causes our frustration in a way that pleases Him.

Yep, that's right, we should acknowledge the fact that God is right in the middle of our situation. I am reminded of a prayer that I learned a number of years back while attending Unity Church of Christianity. It is called:

"The Prayer for Protection”

The Light of God Surrounds Me
The Love of God Enfolds Me
The Power of God Protects Me and
The Presence of God Watches over Me
Wherever I Am, God Is….
….And All Is Well.....Amen!

I have used this prayer many times when I have been in a deep, dark, funk. After repeating it a few times and meditating upon its words, this prayer almost always calms me down. It does so by reminding me that no matter where I am physically or psychologically, God's love surrounds me, protects me and watches over me. While this prayer does not change the facts of what has happened it does change how I look at what has happened.

Now, since we have acknowledged God’s presence in the midst of our problem and have asked Him to help us to deal with the situation; we wait for His guidance. Again, it is important to note that we should not respond to the problem emotionally. The cool thing is that God always responds to those who call upon Him in faith. Like the old folks say “He may not respond just when we want Him to, but He always responds right on time”. Just be patient and trust that He has our better good in mind.

NOW, when we respond to whatever it is that is causing our frustration we are responding from a position of spiritual calm and power. It may take a few minutes, hours, days or weeks for us to find this calm. That is okay because we will know when we find it.

Please note what we have just done. We have asked God into our lives to help us deal with a situation that is frustrating us and are waiting to respond to this situation until we have found God's peace and direction. Try it in any situation, if you have not already.



Sunday, June 22, 2008

Stand Up & Stand Still

The world and its disappointments, tragedies and interruptions will always be with us. Therefore we have a choice to make.

Either we can let this worldly stuff influence our relationship with God or we can let our relationship with God affect how this worldly stuff influences us. I choose to allow my relationship with God to influence how this worldly stuff affects me. In order to do this we should ask God to help us deal with this stuff in a way that brings Him glory. I have practiced this approach for the past 8 to 10 years and find that my life actually works better when God is involved daily.

It has not always been that way. I have failed many times in Finances, relationships, career, etc. It was not until I asked God to work with me did things start to get better.

For instance, I was $250,000.00 in debt once and kept asking God to tell me what to do in order to eliminate this debt. He gave me very simple steps to take that I thought were ridiculous. However, after my way had failed a number of times I decided to try it His way. WOW, each simple step led to another simple step and in less than 3 years my debt was eliminated.

This brings me to another point. When we ask God to help us, we must be willing to participate in the solution He provides us. That is to say, "If we don't do anything, God won't do anything." Therefore we need to submit our will/ego to His will and do exactly what He says.

For example, God kept telling me to make a simple phone call, but did not tell me why I should make it. It took faith for me to make that call because it was to a vendor whom I owed over $60,000.00.

When I made the call and asked for the owner, the owner stated that he was not concerned about the amount of money I owed. His reasoning was that people who owed him money and were not going to pay him back would not call him. He reasoned that since I called him then I intended to repay him. As a result, we worked out a plan for me to keep purchasing product from him while paying him back at the same time.

The point of the above story is that God asks us to do little stuff and we fail to see the big picture of how that will fix our problem. As a result of that lesson, I learned to ask God to tell me only what I need to do "Today" and I do it. I let Him handle the details of how this step fits into the big picture.

The point of this story is that we should not try to out think God. If I had never made that call, I would never have resolved that issue.