I’ve been “reading” a book for a while now. I put reading in quotations because I’ve read it off and on since August. It’s only 194 pages; you’d think I would have finished it by now. But, being the way I am, unless it’s a novel, I rarely even finish a book. I tend to get bored about 1/3 of the way through.
For whatever reason, I’ve continued to push through this book. (And We Are Changed by Priscilla Shirer)
It’s a good book, and I’m glad I’ve read it, albeit very slowly.
But I do believe today I benefited from my laziness.
Life has thrown me some curve balls in the last few months, and I’m trying to keep my head above water. For whatever reason, the changes coming at us are challenging me more than I ever expected. There’s nothing I can do to avoid the coming changes, and I often feel hurt and confused. With the wise words of my sister-in-law marching through my mind, I’m daily trying to
“in my frustration, avoid sin“.
It’s not easy.
And then today, on a whim, I dug this book out of the pile that sits collecting dust next to my favorite chair. I wanted to read a different book, but I feel strangely obligated to finish this one first.
Here are some phrases and thoughts I underlined today:
“When life gets painful, don’t hang your head in despair. Look up. Keep your eyes open for the next move of God. He is preparing you for something big. Your heavenly Father’s next move is…
God’s next move is awesome, and He is preparing you to receive it. You must now position yourself to change paths.”
“… Our task is not to spend our time looking at the circumstances but rather to look up–to turn our attention to the Lord.”
“…don’t stare at the heartache and the hurt. Position yourself for change by looking up!”
“We need to make sure that in these times when we feel most vulnerable, we are carefully making wise choices. We must look upward to see what the Lord would have us do and what He is trying to teach us so that we can make the right decision.”
“When you and I are saddened by life’s trials, it is acceptable to be sad, upset, and even angry, but it is not acceptable to allow these emotions to overtake and control us. This is precisely what the devil wants. You do not have to be consumed with bitterness, fear, sadness, or depression … you can choose a different emotional path.”
These are words I desperately needed to read. And listen to. And so, though I feel like an incredible loser for taking more than 8 months to read a 194 page book, I am pretty sure God worked in and through my laziness and spoke to me this morning.
I can’t control what’s happening. I can’t talk it away, obsess it away, or charm it in a different direction.
I can allow my emotions to dictate my days, choose to tear myself and my relationships apart, and let Satan and my own selfish desires get a foothold in my heart.
Or, I can “choose a different emotional path” and “look up.”
I think that’s just what I’ll choose to do.