What a difference 24 hours can make.
You know when people say ‘sleep on it’ before you make a decision? Maybe that’s good advice.
Do we wake up with a fresh perspective after catching 40 winks? Maybe.
I think it helps me when I return to a piece of writing after a while to look at it with fresh eyes.
Maybe that’s good advice, and that’s all it is.
It takes something more than 40 winks to help me make a decision, get out of a foul mood or gain a unique perspective on something. I tend to ponder, overthink, stress out and get anxious. That’s not good. It’s something I struggle with, but read on to find out more about this interesting turn of events…
I have a tendency to worry. Even about the small things. Some days I can get by without it being too much of a big deal. But then there are the other days…
One of my favourite quotes is by Corrie Ten Boom, a Christian Holocaust survivor:
“Worrying is carrying tomorrow’s load with today’s strength- carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying doesn’t empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.”
This is a hard lesson to learn, but if someone can come out of a concentration camp and say that, then maybe I could gain some perspective. Should I sleep on it?
Last night I felt so low. I was over-thinking and the tears started to fall. I felt desperate. Sad. Confused. A barrel of emotions. I cried to Joel telling him the same old stuff that I normally worry about. I even cringe thinking about it. My voice must have sounded like an old record, cassette, CD, or iTunes download depending on what decade you associate with most…
Do you know what Joel did?
Then 24 hours happened.
This time last night the tears fell down my cheeks.
Tonight, I am reflecting on a day of the unexpected. A day of answered prayer. I feel like rejoicing! Singing!
The meaningless became meaningful.
The messiness became a message.
Sadness happens to all of us at some point. But I am learning that when I am uncomfortable with something, I take comfort from the Comforter.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
There is a whole lot of comfort in those verses!
So what changed in 24 hours? Firstly, as I said, there was prayer. That was the most significant thing that happened because it paved the way for purpose, conversation and the joy that I experienced today.
Prayer in my despair because God cares.
Secondly, I have found that I need to trust God. I need to depend on Him. God is not a crutch to help me work through my problems. He is the very foundation upon which I walk. He is a fortress in times of trouble. He is a stronghold. These are characteristics of a God who wants to protect his people.
What about suffering and hardship? Maybe I could ask you this question. Have you ever thought that there is a greater purpose behind the hardship? The bible is full to the brim of suffering. But alongside each story of suffering, there is a greater purpose at work. At the core of the bible, God is working out a plan where Jesus Christ would provide freedom from a world of suffering and hardship.
The suffering and the heartache is momentary compared to the everlasting freedom we have in Christ.
Maybe we need to come to a point when all that we have is God.
Thirdly, I need patience and perseverance. I need to learn to wait. If I am finding certain aspects of life tough, that’s not reason to give up. It’s not a good reason to quit. There is perfect timing for everything. Why should I rush ahead when God already has a plan to work it all out for good? Patience produces character and character produces hope (Romans 5:4).
Random tangent – but what about Christmas?
Like most of us know, waiting is really hard! Just like the night before Christmas as a child. The temptation is to stay awake when 40 winks is necessary! But maybe we could take a lesson from a Christmas Eve child.
Let’s wait with a sense of great expectation!
We don’t need to stay up worrying if we have been naughty or nice, or try and take a glimpse at Santa coming down the chimney.
God and Santa. There is an interesting comparison. Some people may say they are on the same spectrum. But Santa cannot deliver. And if you put your faith in Santa, he only delivers one day of the year.
Jesus Christ promises something greater than any present on Christmas morning. He gave Himself for all of us. And He is with us always.
Let’s wait with a sense of great expectation.
Life passes us by like a breath. We are like a breath of air and the days are like a passing shadow (Psalm 144:4).
24 hours can make all the difference.