Focus Verse: Genesis 12:2
In my book, Ruth’s Garden, my main character, Karen, alienates everyone around her as she focuses all of her energy on her own troubles. Problem after problem crashes in on her, wave by wave and out of her control. And as she makes decisions to take back that control, she fails to see the hopelessness and troubles of those she loves as they struggle with their own problems.
We can call it self-centered, selfish, or vain, but chances are, if you’ve ever been in a season of your life where one problem piles on top of another, and major life circumstances compound your issues, you’ve felt a lot like Karen.
Unworthy of anyone’s time. Socially withdrawn. Embarrassed. Alienated.
We assume no one wants to hear our problems because even though they ask, “how are you?” once you actually start to tell them, fear clouds their eyes as they wonder what they’ve walked in to.
And when we seek wise counsel, we fear judgement and scorn because we must not be right with Jesus.
So, we go into Static Apnea. Static Apnea is a practice where one holds their breath underwater while not moving for an extreme amount of time – like longer than 5 minutes.
It takes years of training.
And similar to underwater breath-holding, we train ourselves over a period of time to hold our breath so that we can tread water on our own. Until we run out of breath and then have no choice but to sink or rely on someone who can hold their breath longer to save us.
But like being rescued from drowning in real life, we panic when others reach for us, pulling them down with us.
Maybe we’ve been denied help or been given prescriptive guidance for a unique problem so we have no idea how to react when someone comes to us with pure, life-saving intentions.
We must learn how to breathe.
I want to share a few things that have helped me remember the goodness of God and his people during times when I couldn’t decide if I wanted to push everyone out of my life or bring them all in and tell them every last detail:
1) People mean well. I believe that people get out of bed in the morning anticipating a good day. People don’t generally tend to set out to hurt others. Proverbs 27:6 says, “Friends mean well, even when they hurt you.”
2) Serve God anyway. Proverbs 16:7 – “When you please the Lord, you can make your enemies into friends.” When the prescriptive help comes your way or the look of fear takes over because you’ve shared too much, take quick notice that this is not the help you need and move on. While this may not be enemy territory, give them grace for the situation and pray for ways to help them.
3) Let people help. Maybe you are not a trusting soul or Introversion is your shield against any aversion you might have, but we all pray for help. Don’t act like a drowning person when help finally arrives, kicking and flailing about, bringing the person down with you. If you pray for help, know that if you pray in his name, you will receive. Don’t break God’s heart by rejecting the blessing he sent.
4) Give it back. “And so, encourage one another, and help one another.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11. Don’t be a drain on someone. Remember, iron sharpens iron. It takes two. Return the blessings you have received.
Like I mentioned, Static Apnea takes years of training – we could be holding our breath for a long time trying to figure this all out. But Static Apnea has a central purpose – saving lives. They hold their breath on their own so they can save someone else who might be drowning someday.
Learn to accept the help God sends your way so that you, too, may give breath to someone drowning.
Genesis 12:2: “I will bless you, and make your name great; And you shall be a blessing.”
While I am extremely late to the party, I am grateful to be able to share this post on THE BLOG PARTY! Please visit Carole Spark's Page by clicking HERE and my dear friend Julie Ann Dibble's post on her journey at THIS LINK.