My6inchchallenge's Blog

Tackling difficulties and overcoming the challenges life serves up – by Dona Halliday

Archive for calm

Experiencing the love of a gentle whisper

"Whispers of Love"

Some people have crushes and fall in love with movie stars, I fall in love with bible characters. I remember falling completely in love the first time I read King Solomon’s prayer at the temple dedication. I caught a glimpse of the king’s heart and I loved him.

Needless to say, I love the Old Testament stories, and at the moment my studies take me into the life of the prophet Elijah. I’ve just witnessed him on Mount Carmel as he gives his life transforming speech, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God follow him…? Then that “camp meeting” draws to a close as God manifests his presence with fire.

But now, I find Elijah sitting beneath a broom tree in the desert. Because right after his victory on Mount Carmel, Jezebel issued a death sentence on his life, he became afraid and ran away. This is where I get really excited because I get a chance to glimpse at the heart of another King.

Picture this, Elijah finds a little shelter in the desert — the broom tree,  sits down and prays that he might die, then goes to sleep. A representative (an angel) from the King (God) wakes up Elijah and points to a meal that had been prepared for him. Elijah eats and goes back to sleep. A second time he is awakened and again instructed to eat, but this time Elijah’s emotional state is addressed, “…for the journey is too much for you,” the angel says.  Elijah eats and is so strengthened that he travels 40 days and nights to Mount Horeb.

Elijah in this time of emotional despair most have sensed his need for companionship and communion with God, because Mount Horeb has great significance in Israel’s history as the place where some of the other “great’s” of the bible met with God. God does not disappoint Elijah, “What are you doing here?” God asks him. And because our vision becomes impaired, our faith weakened and our confidence shaken when we are operating in fear, Elijah basically answers that nothing is going right, your people aren’t doing right and I’m the only one left to handle this challenge.

Look at the King’s heart. In response the King says, “let me come spend some time with you.” The scripture tells us that there is a great display of power in the wind, an earthquake and fire, but when God shows up He comes in the power of a calming, stilling, gentle whisper.

Sometimes that’s all we need to dispel fear, calm our hearts and refocus our minds. Get away from the chatter, turn off that noise, and listen — there is that gentle whisper saying, “Let me come spend time with you, let me calm and love you.”

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Offensive Positions – When Something Within Cries, “Attack!”

Resist the Attack Mode

"Life's not a game, don't live it offensively."

The year is still young, and in spite of resolutions to grow, change and do better, we can find ourselves already taking familiar positions of offense. Offensive positions have once again been taken in families, among friends, with co-workers and even in churches. Familiar emotions of anger, bitterness, resentment and even envy have taken their places, and the calm resolve with which we may have determined to respond to challenges disappears, and in its place there is a voice that cries, “ATTACK!”.

With frustration, we realize that we handled this better,  just yesterday, but the lesson here is that growth and change is no one-time victory. We can’t declare victory without vigilance in maintaining and protecting it.

I’ve found that being honest with myself is always the best approach to uproot and avert the re-emergence of negative emotions and bad habits. These are the steps I take to make sure that even though I may have lost a battle today, I can regroup and refocus so that I can have victories tomorrow.

Take time to look at what I’m feeling and what the real issue is

• Be honest, no matter how ugly the truth

• Take action. Talk it through and be willing to own my part in the conflict

• Be willing to listen

• Be willing to forgive

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