By Dr. Holland
I have been privileged to sit under many great speakers and teachers in my life. Human behavior and spirituality have always been fascinating to me, and it’s an honor to be involved with the work of the ministry.
There are mysteries and complicated questions that we will never understand while we live in this realm, but, there are also practical lessons that God can reveal to us when we diligently seek Him.
Years ago, I knew a special lady that enjoyed a full life of adventure and was used as a blessing to many. Included within her life of success and respect, unfortunately, there was also a great deal of tragedy and disappointment. It’s not that this is rare or unusual, but it was how well she responded when things went sour. You could see the years of hurt and pain in her face and sense the agony in her soul, but she also had a strong will and fortitude to keep pressing forward.
She spent much of her career as a counselor, helping to comfort people in times of emergency with what is defined as psychological first-aid and was known for a simple phrase that she repeated constantly: “life shows up.”
This was her familiar battle cry and a coping mechanism that helped her endure the tragedies and disappointments in her own life. She taught that no matter what we go through, we cannot give up or stop trusting that God will help us overcome. This message of courage and faith are more than just words – they are a mindset and a key to victorious living.
There will be times when all of us will be shocked, surprised and caught off guard. These moments of crisis can hit us so hard that we can literally be “knocked out” for an eight count, but with God in our corner, He can help us get back on our feet. When things are going well, we have a tendency to enjoy the ride without a need to be cautious or prepared. If we have not invested the time to make sure our spiritual foundation is solid and our psychological first aid toolbox is loaded, we are vulnerable for an unexpected ambush.
When we are drifting too far from the shore and away from the safety of God’s protective harbor, our only defense is a weak collection of emotions which usually fail to provide us with the ability to think or act clearly. Christians realize there is no substitute for praying, but sometimes just saying a prayer is not always an automatic fix for our own problems or anyone that is going through a serious situation. In times of adversity we can react with a positive attitude, or we make things worse by piling on hopeless declarations. The best preparation for any type of situation is to live in the constant awareness of God’s presence. When we are walking with God and a serious storm comes upon us suddenly, His peace that passes all understanding can lessen the weight of fear and discouragement.
We have heard the old saying, “it’s not what happens – it’s how we react to what happens,” and since life will have its share of emergencies, we can agree this is important. As you go through this difficulty, may the Lord continue to give you His strength and endurance. I pray that you will continue to lean on His understanding and be surrounded by His comfort and security. He knows all about the situation, He has heard your prayers and is working on your behalf according to His sovereign will. If you are agonizing over someone in a crisis situation, be encouraged by remembering they know how much you care about them and are comforted with your love. If you are experiencing a severe trial and hurting deeply within your soul, reach out to the Savior today and trust Him completely. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,” (Psalm 46:1). The Lord never said that we would live free from difficulties and gut-wrenching disappointments, but He did promise that when life “shows up,” He would always be there to help us walk through it.
Dr. Holland lives in Central Kentucky where he is a Christian minister and community chaplain. You can learn more about his ministry at: billyhollandministries.com