Tuesday, December 02, 2008

when on the brink

There are times in our lives when it seems all is crowding in on us and we're about ready to be thrown over some kind of cliff. Yesterday for a time that seemed to be the case for me. By faith I hung in there, and soon was experiencing the consolation and help of the Lord, and the word was alive on the pages of the psalms, specifically Psalm 139.

Too often during my life I've tried to manage living on the brink. Trying somehow to get myself out of it, but failing in the process to really trust the Lord. I think we need to learn to take baby steps of faith, committing ourselves into the Lord's hands by prayer and by waiting on him. And as we learn to trust the Lord, we can end up both being a witness as people of faith, as well as growing through the trial ourselves. Of course quite often a large part of our trials come from our own struggles (sometimes sinful) within. God permits the difficulties to come so that we can learn to trust him in them and find his salvation in those places. But we must beware of thinking we'll ever be above encountering such trials in this life. Yet at the same time we can be assured that God will make us stronger through them.

What about trials in your life? What do you do when you feel like your on the brink or the edge?


Crowm said...

"Consider it pure joy my brother..."

At first glance, I think we all have a problem with that phrase. But after some maturing (which is so evident in your life Ted), it becomes a bit easier to trust God for the growth.

I too often attempt to "live on the brink". Many times I attempt with my own strength and ulitmately fail. But isn't it great to know that God's faithfulness and grace is always available - even when we do what we do?

Mama K said...

Usually, I pray. Sometimes I cry first, then I pray. It might be a raggedy, pouting prayer at first, and I might know how selfish I sound even as I do it, but I figure I am safe in His love and He listens even when noone else could. Then as I pour out my frustration to God, my mind and my prayer smooth out, and I find the direction of the prayer changing from my perspective more towards His. I often am surprised to hear myself saying in all truth, "just help me be faithful", and agreeing to follow His will. It is pretty awesome how the Holy Spirit guides our prayers.

lorenzothellama said...

I try to turn negative trials into positive trials. If you look on the negative things and think 'I'll learn from this' then they become positive. Or at least they do in theory. In practice I just tend to keep messing up.

Matthew said...

You are in my prayers during this season of stress.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks and amen, Mike. Yes, consider it pure joy, a good word from James for this subject.

Growth might not be that bad if we could choose it on our terms, but then would we really grow. Not in ways needed, I'm afraid.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Mama K.,
Amen, and thanks for that. Good words indeed, and you point out the importance of prayer as well as God's good work in changing us to be more and more like Jesus. At least in saying, "Not my will, but your will be done." We need to want what only can be from and of God.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes, it's good to try to find the good in the midst of the bad. Your comment reminds me of how God seems to have to take me back to the same places until I learn what God wants me to learn in those places. And as I'm changed, then there's more ways I need to grow, so more trials will come. But as we go on in Jesus, I think we will learn to meet those trials with more of a faith, or a stronger faith in God and his promises to us in Jesus.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks! And blessings on you and on yours, and on your ministry.

Diane said...

Hi Ted.

When on the brink, I just hang on and know it will pass. Usually, if I'm on the brink, prayer is hard, but I do it anyway, not feeling at all connected, but still hanging on. These periods are good reminders that there's much wrong with this world (usually what will start a funk is my general sense not of problems so much as the overwhelming and sanctimonious bs or delusions of the world) and these periods help me not to be self satisfied. They also help me realize that what I get worried about is usually completely superficial.


Ted M. Gossard said...

Hi Diane, and thanks for the great words. I concur with all you say here in my mind, and pretty much in my experience as well. The trials do help us grow, or those hard places. And they do come and go. Usually not as long for me as they used to be, though in some sense I guess I've learned to live under or in certain things better, knowing those things are just a part of life in this existence, and a big reason why we must keep growing in learning to walk by faith, and not by sight.

Thanks again.