Thrive! Don't Survive!
This past week has been one of the most difficult for me and my family in a while. As a military family, we tend to have more changes in one year than most families do their whole life. It is our reality. We go through seasons where everything is predictable. We know where our spouse is at all times. They come home the same day and at a decent hour. But then there are seasons where we may not know very much about anything. Nothing may be certain or sure. For my older three children, this is something that they know well. But for my youngest, this has not been the best of times for him. He was born during our predictable season. He knew that mom and dad will always be here. He knew that he would wake up and go to bed and have us both by his side. But for the last week, this has not been the case. His whole world has been shaken. He has not been held or kissed by his daddy and he is not ok with that.
But isn’t this how most people live? Aren’t we shaken when what we thought we knew so well changes, and it feels like our world had been completely taken from us? The reality is, this is common for most people, even Christians. But, the truth is, it doesn’t have to be. Actually, it shouldn’t be our perspective at all! We spend a few days out of the week at church. We go to Bible Study. We attend Small Groups in our community. We read our devotionals and pray daily. Yet we lack one of the most important aspects of who we are called to be…the ability to thrive. It isn’t that we don’t have it though. From a short sided perspective, surviving is easy. It only requires you to make it through the day. Surviving only requires you to do just enough, feel just enough, connect just enough, to make it to bed. But that is the complete opposite of who you and I were called to live. We were created to thrive!
When my children feel completely broken and unable to cope, I stop what I am doing. I hold them in my arms and just love them. I let them know that they are loved. That I am here and willing to hear their heart’s cry. But I don’t leave it there. I don’t let them stay in the sorrow as if sorrow is meant to endure. No. I remind them of the love that their father has for them. I remind them of the special purpose that we each have in this world. I remind them, that even in our sadness, we can thrive. We can move forward. Isn’t this what Jesus told us to do? Thriving was never just a recommendation. It is a requirement for healthy living. God created us to thrive. He designed us with all the tools to be able to thrive. Philippians 2:13 encourages my heart, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” It reminds me that I can move forward. No matter what I may be going through, He has given me all I need to move forward! I don’t have to struggle or push through. His grace leads me right through it all. Whatever my journey may require, I was created with all that I need to walk it. Whatever mountain I am meant to climb, I was given all that I need to achieve it. We were created to thrive.
Are you struggling today? When was the last time you crawled into your Heavenly Father’s lap and just released the weight of your day, your month, your whole season? He is waiting to lift those cares from you. Not to remove you from your circumstance, but to carry what isn’t yours and grace you for what is. He never designed us to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. But He did send His son to empower us to walk confidently through every storm that life brings our way. It is time that we as His daughters, stop running from life. It is time that we stop surviving. It is time to Thrive in this life that He has called each of us to. To walk confidently through each and every circumstance knowing for sure that whatever my day brings, He has already gone before me to prepare the way. Just as Moses told Joshua before he led the Israelites to the Promised Land, “Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deut. 3:8) Go forward in peace. He has it all in His hands. He knows all about your circumstance. Trust Him. THRIVE…