It was a good one.
I actually (and please don't laugh at me when we run into each other later) put that song on my "EF-Faith" songlist compiled after the tornado.
You fall down.
Or maybe you get the
Either way....you have to (eventually) get up again.
You'd get pretty wet and cold and dirty if you just stayed laying there on the ground.
You might even get stepped on...or run over.
Gotta get up.
And for the most part, we do....right?
Something happens that takes our legs out from under us...and we regroup....pull ourselves upright...and go on.
And those little "knock-downs" can happen all day every day.
Somebody cancels on you or shows up late and your carefully to-the-minute scheduled day goes down the drain.
Two out of your three kids walk into school teary-eyed because you forgot to pack their lunches.
Your spouse calls to tell you of an IMPORTANT event you HAVE to go to and so you cancel the coffee/lunch/dinner/ with your friend that you've been looking forward to for weeks.
Your washing machine literally explodes sending waves of water, plastic and weird metal springy things across the laudry room.
(ok....maybe that last one is just me.)
All minor things, really.
Nothing salvational or life-threatening.
You stand up, brush off your knees, wipe your hands and go on with your life.
Sometimes the "fall" is a little more treacherous.
You get knocked down by a much bigger force, and the weight of it on your back and shoulders makes it harder to just spring right back up again.
But still we do...
...because we are alive
...because we have people who need us
...because it's just what we do.
And then there are those times that kind of remind me of going to the beach when I was a little girl.
You skip out into the ocean to frolic about in the lovely surf.
Then you meet Mr. Monster Wave.
After that wave takes you down, you get your feet secured in the sand and stand back up...
...only to have another (maybe bigger) wave send you crashing to the bottom again.
So you use your knees AND hands to push yourself back to an upright position just to have another wave send you sprawling.
Now it's hard to figure out which way is up and which way is down but you have to breathe so you feel for the sand and just as you are pushing your head almost above water.....
Well....I think you know how this little allegory ends.
Sometimes the things that "knock us down" seem unrelenting.
Sometimes you feel that you really can't get a full breath in between crises.
Sometimes it's maybe hard to even get the energy to TRY and get your head up high enough for a full breath.
One of my favorite bible verses is Philippians 4:6-7.
Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything by prayer and supplication,
with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds thought Christ Jesus.
This is something I've prayed about for myself and for other people SOOOOOOOOOOO many times.
Wouldn't that be awesome??? To be in the middle of something horrible and still feel peace?
I have been able to feel peace before during a time when...had God not done His thing....I should NOT have.
(for instance....when I couldn't find part of my family during and right after the tornado and I knew they were in a truck somewhere nearby...)
But to be honest (who me?)....there have been many times I haven't felt even a teeny tiny smidgen of that peace.
I will get knocked down...and all I can think about is how this is the FOURTH (or third or fifth or seventeenth) monster wave that seems to be directly aimed at me and (seriously) how flippin' much can I be expected to take?!?!?
I've read that when you get disoriented underwater, you should stop moving, open your eyes, and see which way the bubbles are going so you know the direction of the surface.
When you are freaking out--well, you make a LOT more bubbles and there 'ain't NO way you can tell which way to go for air.
But....if you can make yourself calm down...
(be anxious for nothing)
Ask for help....
(by prayer...let your requests be made known)
And watch for the bubbles...
(the peace that surpasses all understanding)
You can find your way to the surface again
(your heart and mind is protected).
So really....is it that easy?
Stop, ask, watch and find?
Yes and no.
Easy in theory (and reality!) but really really hard in action.
Sometimes life is so overwhelming.
Sometimes all we can do is sit down and cry.
(but hey...there's a season for that too...even Jesus cried!)
And I'll be the first to tell you that a good cry
(and by good I mean that shoulder shuddering throat hurting snot dripping chest heaving kind)
can really truly give your brain some relief.
It's like a release valve.
So if you just want to sit down and mope....
Call a friend and vent...
Lock yourself in a room for a few hours....
Go for a 7 mile run...
Scream into a pillow....
It does NOT mean that your faith is weak.
It simply means that you are human and have to let off that steam....
and then your "internal pressure" will be low enough for you to pause and search for bubbles.
My hope is that with enough practice I can "pause" after only eating 2 concretes.....
even after only eating one.
(But that one concrete is probably always going to be pretty important.)