If you are like most people, you are likely dealing with difficult challenges in your life, or the life of a loved one. You may be new to the challenge, deep in the middle of it, or on the upside of the experience. Challenges can come in the form of depression, mental illness, anxiety, addiction, relationships, etc… I know when I have been in the middle of my challenges I use to think that no one else could possible understand my situation and what I was dealing with. So I tried to find solutions on my own and take the challenge square upon my shoulders… and sometimes it really weighed me down and drained the life out of me.
I have battled with depression and anxiety, as well as recovering from an addiction to pornography. There were many difficult days and challenging times for my family. But, because of my experiences, I have learned some valuable lessons that have helped me and my family better face the challenges that come our way over the years.
I don’t pretend to know the dynamics of your life and your circumstances, and what life has thrown your way, but I do know that each individual has their own challenges to face, or their own crosses to bare. Sometimes the storms are raging, and sometimes they are calm. So, if the storms are raging, please know, you are not alone, and that there are people who care about you, and more importantly, God is there for you, even at those times you may feel alone or distant. He is there.
Lessons Learned from Quicksand
Last year my wife and I went to hear a talk from Brad Wilcox, who has written a few books on God’s grace. It was a wonderful talk where I learned something that has been a valuable tool for me to help when challenges come up. He spoke about Quicksand. I’ll do my best to relay the message.
Quicksand is often portrayed in movies incorrectly. When one of the characters in the movie gets stuck in quicksand you see them quickly sink and start to suffocate (like on the Pricess Bride). Sometimes the hero or heroin jumps in and is able to pull them out miraculously. And sometimes, they sink and die. This isn’t how quicksand works.
What happens in real life is that when you get stuck in quicksand you don’t die by sinking and suffocating. Instead you get stuck, sometimes to your knees, sometimes to your waste, but you don’t sink down and disappear. Often when someone gets stuck they struggle to get out of it and it only gets them more stuck. The dangerous and fatal part of quicksand is when you get stuck alone, by yourself. People don’t die from sinking, they die from exposure to the elements over a period of time and the inability to get out on their own.
In life we often get stuck. Sometimes the “quicksand” is easy to step out of, especially at the beginning, if we notice it. But there are times when we really get stuck and struggle, and if we try to get out of it alone, we often just get more stuck, and it is no fun being stuck alone, and can often times lead to despair and sadness, and in some very unfortunate cases, death.
Reach Out… at all Costs, if Necessary!
I learned, from my experiences, that I needed to reach out, and so did my family. It may be hard to do, especially if we are embarrassed or ashamed of the “quicksand” that we are stuck in. I was, and it was hard at first. We may believe that “we should have know better” or “I got myself in this mess, I need to get myself out of it.” As a family, sometimes we get stuck together in our efforts to reach out to help each other.
I have learned that there are many people who have got stuck in the same challenges we face. By reaching out, I learned that I was not alone in my struggle, and that there were people who wanted to support me and share with me the things that helped them, and it gave me a boost and just what I needed to get out of my challenge, as well as my family.
For me, the most important outreach that I accepted was that of our loving Heavenly Father. His hand is always stretched out towards us, and He is always there waiting to embrace us, and support us in our trials. Sometimes He calms the storms around us, and sometimes He allows them to rage so that we can learn some valuable lessons that not only benefit us, but can be a huge blessing to our families, and loved ones. I know that you can trust in God. He has the power to help you through your situation.
Sometimes we may think He is not there because we are still struggling with our challenges. Things haven’t gone away, or gotten better, despite our prayers or pleadings to Him. It takes some soul searching to be completely honest with ourselves and ask ourselves how much have we truly trusted in Him, or turned things over to Him? After our prayers did we take any time to listen for His response? Did we take any time to seek Him and what He was doing for us? Did we see the people He sent our way to help? Did we listen to them?
Time and time again I have been able to look back and notice the tender mercies my Heavenly Father placed on my path. The answers He was giving to me. The “rope” He was constantly throwing my way and all I needed to do was grab hold.
Again, I hope that whatever life throws your way that you can remember how quicksand works. Reach out. Receive support. We all get stuck at times. It happens in life. You don’t have to go it alone. People love and care about you. Your Father in Heaven loves and cares about you as well, and is making efforts to reach out to you. Pay attention and listen, and look around you. Peace is possible. A refuge from your storm is possible.
Give yourself to The Captain of Your Soul and receive the blessings that are constantly being offered to you, and see the tender mercies He places in your life each and every day.
-From A loving brother
Share With Someone You Want to Reach Out To
Sometimes people may reject your efforts to reach out. They may not see that they are “stuck”, or they may believe that they got themselves into the mess so they have to get themselves out. Either way, you never know when an effort to reach out to someone you care about makes a difference. And, it could mean life or death in some extreme situations. The timing may be perfect now. It may be down the road. Life would be much easier if we simply accepted the loving reach and support of those around us, especially in our time of need. Whether accepted or rejected, your loving and supportive efforts are extremely valuable and meaningful. Is there someone you know that could benefit from this message? Please feel free to share and reach out in loving and supportive ways.
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