How Do You Spell Relief?
by Robert J. Thompson | November 10, 2014Most of us experience anxiety on a daily basis. It is important for us to realize that life never goes the way we want it to go. So, it doesn't make sense to try to make it be exactly what we want it to be. I'm sort of like the Preacher (Teacher) in the book of Ecclesiastes in this respect. His conclusion was that despite all that we do the one thing that matters most is for us to fulfill our duty: "Fear God and keep his commandments. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil" (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
No matter how much we study life, it never remains the same. Just as time is inconsistent in all things except change, so are the people who make up our world. Can we make up our minds? Yes, but the decision that we make today may not be the same decision that we make tomorroww. In fact, it will not be the same nor can it be the same because time has changed.
If God expects change, why do we anticipate things being the same? The best thing to happen to us is the transformation or renewal of our minds so that we can function better as people of God. Our ways are not the ways of God, and our thoughts are not the thoughts of God. There is a vast difference between the two. Therefore, God instructs to not trust our own understanding, but to let him direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).
So, my question is, "When will we learn that God's way is the best way?" Even if we don't like God's way, it is still best for us to go with the flow than to try to swim upstream. Life hits hard, but God can condition us to take every blow. With the shield of faith, we can put out every fiery dart that life throws our way (Galatians 6:16).
Muhammad Ali, the great heavyweight boxer, testified that George Foreman was the hardest hitting fighter that he ever fought. Yet, Ali was able to wrest the title from Foreman and even by a knockout. How was he able to do that? He devised a strategy called the "rope-a-dope." While Foreman was punching with all of his might, Ali was leaning back on the ropes and rolling with the barrage of punches that Foreman threw. Eventually, Foreman was too tired to fight back, and Ali still had enough energy to knock him down. Foreman wasn't knocked out, he just didn't have the strength left to rise from the canvas before being counted out.
We should face life more like Ali rather than Foreman. When we try to fight the flow of life, we only get more weary as time goes by. Our failures make it more difficult to find peace with our growth process. Our faith is put to the test, and we are admonished to be happy about it all. In the end, we will be better off when we roll with the punches. Life hits hard, but our faith in God can keep us from being knocked out.