By Leo Hellyer
Many men strive to plan their lives out in advance. In most cases this is out of a sense of responsibility as well as a sense of needing to be in control of their own destiny. I think it is fair to say that during the last four months, whatever plan we had has been drastically changed by events beyond our control. How we adapt to the changes in our lives shows what kind of men we are deep down in our core. What do we do when our foundation is shaken? What, or who, is our foundation?
There is a great secular business book that many of us have read before, and possibly should read again. “Who Moved My Cheese?”, written by Spencer Johnson, M.D., explains the truths about dealing with the stresses (changes) that happen in our lives. The course of action that we take greatly influences the quality of life that we experience.
When our cheese is moved, when our plan changes beyond our control, when our world seems to be dysfunctional beyond our control, we must remember one basic thing that sometimes is hard to really accept in our humanness: God is in control!
God is always in control. The closer we are to Him, the more in control we will be. Now we may not be in control of things around us, but we will be more in control of ourselves and our emotions if we are as close as we can be to God. When life gets the best of us, and we get nervous, anxious, or fearful, we need to run — run into the arms of God. There is nothing wrong with these emotions; we just need to make sure they are dealt with in a godly way. In 1 Peter 5:7 we read, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Jesus Himself tells us, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)
In times of turmoil, it is easy to be taken off of the path of righteousness and onto the path of destruction. To stay on the right path, to keep our minds on what is good, we must control what we let into our mind; said another way, we need to be careful who we let rent space in our head. What we see, hear, and say has a huge influence on how we act and feel. If all of a sudden we find ourselves on the wrong path, we need to right our course.
Solomon teaches us in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and He will make your paths straight.” We need to go to God in prayer and worship; we need to study His Word. Just as David loved godly music in times of trouble, we should saturate our ears with godly music in difficult times. If we go to sleep at night listening to God’s message through song, He can minister to us through those instruments, voices, and harmonies, even in our sleep.
People are always searching for the meaning of life, the worth of life, and yes, the joy of life. It can be difficult to be joyful when you feel like a prisoner in your own home. If we spend a good portion of our time concentrating on what is wrong in our life, what is difficult in our life, we will more than likely not have a very positive attitude about the quality of our life. However, if we will really take a good amount of time to honestly examine our lives and search for what is good in them, we will see that we are truly blessed. We need to turn the negative parts of our life over to God and let Him take the blinders off of our eyes so we can see how good our lives really are. As we go through troubling times, as we experience bad things that come our way, as we even experience the loss of someone close to us, we must remember that we are not alone. In Psalm 34:18 David writes that, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
The wisdom of God is on the pages of His Word. The more we bathe ourselves in His Word, the wiser we will become. When we try to survive the challenges of life in our own strength and understanding, we fail miserably. Our life experience would be so much more enjoyable if we would learn to seek God in all areas of our lives to begin with.
Those of us who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior have a loving Heavenly Father who only wants the best for us. We are loved unconditionally. He loves us so much that He will not force Himself upon us. He waits for us to come to Him.
There is no virus, earthquake, storm, no leader and no country that is more powerful than our Heavenly Father. At the first sign of trouble, anxiety, illness, whatever challenge we face, we need to humble ourselves before our Lord and seek Him. It is time for us to let God wrap His loving arms around us and love us, guide us, protect us, and fill us with His Spirit.
If you feel like there is no love in your life, then turn to Jesus Christ, or return to Jesus Christ, because He Is LOVE! Remember this: He Loves YOU!
Leo Hellyer is a non-staff pastor with a local church and has been married to his wife Norma for more than 45 years. The couple volunteered with the Boise FamilyLife Ministry Team for 20 years. They are both employed by Boise Rescue Mission Ministries, Norma at City Light Home for Women & Children and Leo at River of Life Rescue Mission. Leo is also the President and Chief Firearms Instructor with Helping Hands Firearms Training LLC. If you have questions about Real Man’s Toolbox, or need other assistance, Leo may be reached at [email protected] or 208-340-5544.