Sometimes it is easier, or perhaps more comfortable, to deny our current reality than to face up to it. We see the brutal facts and we do not like them and so we try to hide from them, run from them, deny them or pray against them. I have been in that situation before. I detested what I was facing and so in order to navigate around the problem I either denied it flat out or I prayed fervently against my horrible reality. The truth is, none of that helped me and it certainly did not help the situation I was going through. You see, facts are our friends not our enemies.
Some of you reading my blog this week might be facing some difficulty and challenge in your life, your ministry, your work place or in your relationships. You may be finding it extremely challenging to navigate the situation you are currently faced with. May I make a few suggestions that I believe could help you through your difficulties?
1. Face the facts: If you have been told that you have a terminal disease, then the best thing that you can do is to face your reality. You can face it with strength and courage or with denial and fear. If you look at the facts and accept them as your reality it will help you to make wise decisions in moving forward. The same goes for relationships that have faltered or the job that has ended or any other situation you might be facing. Look at the facts, be honest about them and then make a decision on how you will move forward and navigate your current reality. Denying the facts will not help you, your situation or anyone else.
2. Facing the facts won't ease your pain, but it will help you to navigate your journey more effectively: No, your pain will not diminish when you face your facts, that much is true, but as you face your reality, look to Jesus, and make wise choices God will see you through. Denying the facts will only lengthen the process and the agony. The only thing that denial will do is make your journey more arduous. I had a friend who had avery sick family member. She kept pronouncing that he wasn't ill. She thought that denying illness meant that she had a strong faith. In fact, the only consequence of her denial was that it kept her from making wise decisions about his medical treatment, which he desperately needed. No, facing facts is not easy, but it is best.
3. Facts and faith do work together: Some people think that by denying the facts their faith can grow. That is nonsense. The Bible certainly does not teach us to deny our reality. It teaches us to look to Jesus in the midst of our problem—Hebrews 12:1-2. When my son had a terrible motor accident the doctors told us that he would not survive. We faced our reality square on. We knew our son was hovering between life and death—he was in a critical situation. The situation did not negate my faith it strengthened my faith. I knew that medical science had its limitations, but I knew that with my God, "All things are possible." My faith was strengthened by the gruesome facts. I did not like the facts, my pain was intense, but the brutal facts certainly made my faith strong. Facing the facts also helped us to make the kind of medical decisions that would benefit our son. Facing the facts, mingling it with prayer and wisdom is the best route to go.
4. Facts will not diminish you: Facts will not destroy you as a person—it is your response to the facts that will impact you. How you respond to the facts is the all important decision you will make through your time of crisis. Your response can make you a better person or a bitter person—you decide.
5. Facts are not enemies: Do not make the facts your enemies and run from them. If you are facing financial challenges, do not try to deny your reality—face it, pray about it, ask God to help you, make good decisions, cut your cloth according to size, and navigate your reality with God at your side.
My friend, we all go through times that are challenging and stretching. Facing your current reality with courage and a deep faith in God is the only reasonable pathway to take. Don't try to manage this situation on your own, give your reality to God, look it square in the eye, pray for wisdom, and ask God to help you navigate this journey with grace and courage.
I leave you with a verse from the book of Isaiah 41:13 "For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." This was an ancient promise that God gave to His people, but His promises still stand today. He will hold our hand through the difficulties of life. Put your hand in His today and let Him guide you through your reality—don't do it on your own, He wants to walk with you through your challenge and trial.
I am and always will be
recklessly abandoned, ruthlessly committed and in relentless pursuit of Jesus,