Thank you to each of you who responded to my blog “Living Outside the box! Doing it when you don’t feel like it!” This is an important part of life that will be covered in my new book, “Fully Alive.”
If you haven’t read that blog and the comments my friends left, click on the link above and read the very inspiring stories of how my friends face difficult circumstances.
I promised to give you my response to the question, “How do you keep doing it when you don’t feel like it?”
So here it goes. You have to want to live.
In USA today this morning I read a story of a pilot who crashed a small plane into Lake Huron. He had to tread water for more than 17 hours. I guarantee that after the first several hours he “didn’t want to” take another stroke. He was probably tempted to give up. He is alive today because “most of all” he wanted to live. So he did take another stroke, and another, and then another and was finally rescued. So many comments reflected this desire to live.
You have to take the next step.
My dear friend, Patsy Clairmont,tells of panic attacks that caused her to develop agoraphobia so severe that she couldn’t do anything or go anywhere. Eventually she wouldn’t leave her bed. How could she escape this little box that had become her prison? Patsy say’s that as she cried out to God, she clearly heard His response….. “Make your bed!” This simple task seemed almost impossible, but Patsy got up and made her bed. It was a tiny step, but it was the first step to her recovery. Patsy is now a featured speaker for Women of Faith and inspires thousands of people throughout the world, including me! Why is she is such a vibrant example of life today? Because in the middle of darkness she took the first step. She made her bed.
You have to have hope.
In the middle of the storms of life it is easy to feel overwhelmed and be tempted to just stop trying. But storms don’t last forever. A few days ago as I faced some pressures of my own, I stepped out onto the porch and saw the scene below. A violent storm had just passed and was still tormenting the Arkansas Valley. But in the midst of the storm was a beautiful rainbow, reminding me of God’s promises and reminding of an old song sung by Cynthia Clawson titled “It won’t rain always.” I am inspired most by people who continue to walk in the midst of the storm…….. because they have hope.
Again, thank you to each of you who commented. Your words blessed me and many others who read the blog.
Decide to Live! Make the bed! Don’t give up Hope!
I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalms 121 NIV
It’s been a stormy couple of weeks for me and, being an american man, I tried to weather the storm by myself. I should have called upon my best friend to calm the storms just like he did many years ago as documented in Matthew 8:23-26
Roger, Still looking forward to talking with you. Hope the sun will break through soon for you.
I really needed to read this today. I am in the midst of what seems like the monsoon that won’t ever end. I first heard Patsy’s story just before I crashed and ended up in the psych ward 13 years ago. I was 5 months pregnant with our first child and literally freaked out about being a parent. Here it is almost 13 years later to the date and I am in the midst of a storm of another color. As I walked through the house to take the trash out this morning, I thought, ” I really don’t want to get out of bed today.” I don’t have a choice with 5 children and a puppy dog in the house. So for today, I will make my bed. Thanks for all thT you allow God to do through you!!!!!
Whether in sunshine or rain, the only way to move forward is one step at a time. So glad you are taking the steps.
I think I am still asleep, or at least my fingers are. “thank you for all the work that you allow God to do through you.” That’s what me brain was thinking, my fingers didn’t get that same message though.
I got the message loud and clear. Thank you.
My husband and I went to your show when you were here. We laughed, we cried, we loved you. You are a true inspiration. “Hope in the middle of the storm” is an awesome reminder of all the things we take for granted and need to be reminded of. Thank you for that! Have a good day!:) Deb
You are welcome. Thank you for the comment and kind words.
Love this post Ken, thanks for sharing. It is amazing how once you have made the bed, how God can instill in your heart a desire to help someone else makes theirs!
You are so right.
whenever I have gone through a storm in my life i listen to the song til the storm passes by, I also turn my storm over to God in prayer I know that God will give me a sign or make it just work it out itself. I know that money isn’t everything but their are times lately that I worry about having enough money to pay all my bills but I then pray about it and cut cornors where needed , and it always works out, finally when weathering a storm always think to yourself wow you know you are not that bad off and someone else somewhere must be going through the same storm and more servere storm . and then always turn to God for answers for your storm and at the same time pray for other people who are going through storms as well.
Donna, Sound like you and Erica think alike. Thank you for your comment.
Ken, you know what my storm is. I’m still going through it but with a different attitude. Now, I’m looking around every corner waiting to see what job God has for me. He hasn’t shown it to me yet, but I know He will. It doesn’t take much for me to slide back down that hill into the valley so I have to watch my footing so carefully.As I went white water rafting last Sunday I felt so totally free and blessed, I knew that God was going to take care of me. Now I just need patience. I’m so thankful to have a friend like you!
If you ever find yourself with an overabundance of patience please send the surplus to me.
I am grateful for your friendship as well.
God absolutely blessed me beyond measure the day we met. Thank you Ken — you have no idea the power and divine timing of these words today.
I am so glad!
Someone said, that in each life, some rain is bound to fall.
And each one shares his share of tears,
and troubles, troubles us all.
But the hurt, cant hurt forever and the tears are sure to dry.
And it won’t rain always.
The clouds will soon be gone.
The sun that they been hiding,
has been there all along.
and it won’t rain always.
God’s promises are true.
The Son’s gonna shine,
in His own good time, and He
will see you through.
(((LOVE THAT SONG)))
So do I
Thank you Ken!
I am a recovering addict, and will be for the rest of my life.
I have a new addiction it is God. In addition you and many like you, like Dr Dobson, don’t cha just love Dr Dobson? 🙂
Have a wonderful day!
As a recovering addict you know the power of “one step at a time.” I am grateful for your new found love of God. Praying that He will continue to give you strength and surround you with his love.
Waiting on the Lord right now. Have had a hard and painful marriage for almost 3 years now. My husband is rejecting myself and my 3 girls. Silence hurts. I know that there is nothing anyone can do….i just have to wait. God is the only one who can help and im tired and my heart just feels like it is bleeding. Would appreciate prayers. Guess i am just putting my thoughts out there right now as im sitting at work feeling like i am screaming inside. Lord, please, please heal my marriage….i dont know how but please.
I feel as though the ‘storm’ has been going on and on around my family and I. Within 1 year I lost my grandmother, husband’s grandmother’s, husbands grandfather & only 6 short months ago we lost his dad. That was the hardest blow of them all! I was finally able to see what an earthly father looked like. My dad left when I was 2 so I had no idea. So when my husband and I got married Jay took me in as a daughter.
After he passed I was very mad, hurt & couldn’t understand why God took him from us….I’ve been battling this for 6 months!!!!
Last weekend we stayed with my mother in law; it was very very hard! Saturday night I couldn’t sleep at all, I could just see dad there…So I starting praying asking God why again, but then I stopped. I begain to tell God thank you for letting me have a wonderful husband and for letting me know what it was like to have an earthly father that loves me uncondtionally. After that I felt such a peace!
Today was a hard day, but I again starting thanking God for what he’s given me. …I’m making my bed…
Thank you Ken. God is good, all the time. I love watching to see how He works!
Jesus walked to Peter in the storm. Jesus calmed the sea in the storm. I know in my life Jesus really shows up in power in the storms of my life because I call on Him. It seems that when things are going well, I choose not to call on Him as often. Thanks for writing this, I need to make Him my every day Jesus, and not my stormy day Jesus. God bless
Kevin, I’m not Ken… (not by a long shot, I’m afraid) However your comment that you needed to make Jesus your Everyday Jesus and not just your Stormy Day Jesus struck me. By the time I was 17 that was my harshest (I DON’T mean hardest) struggle.
After battling Cerebral Palsy, Epilepsy, 3 brain surgeries and a Pacemaker-like implant… I’d forgotten quickly what a ‘normal’ Jesus was like. If I wasnt planning A funeral (just in case) I was begging God for one. I was that tired.
But through that, God showed up in so many ways I was blessed to see God in the storm. And I clung to Him because I knew I was a fool not to, but there was no reason in Heaven or Hell to make me turn away. My Jesus shown brightly during my darkest nights, and I learned to treasure those harshest storms.
So, when God decided to give me what the world deemed ‘a break’ .. I just about had a heart attack. I actually had to CHOOSE God? There were days that I actually had to REMIND myself on an hurly basis that 1. I needed Him and 2. That I needed to look for Him.
Talk about a awkward culture/life shock. This was a blessing?
But let me tell you, Friend, as hard as it was to get used to having a Normal Jesus… when I finally let myself see Him, He became even more Beautiful. He is now my Best Friend because He walks with me in the mundane as well as the scary. He’s not just my life-preserver or EMT. He’s what He promised He’d be. My ‘Everyday Everything’ and the Lover of my Soul… no matter my circumstances.
I know your struggle – all Christians do in some ways, I thnk. But let me encourage you to keep fighting for that familiarity, because it’s the sweetest thing you’ll ever know. Don’t give up just because it may not feel ‘right’ or ’emotionally charged’ enough. Because honestly, anymore, its those days where I see him in the simple ‘ignored blessings’ that He seems to shout the loudest.
I know you don’t know me, but know that I’m praying for you
Cass, I was touched by your comment. How powerful to see you continue to trust in the face of such difficulty. Know that your life and your honesty blesses people. ME!
Thank you for your comment Kevin. It was so great to run into you the other day By the way if you didn’t click on the picture of the rainbow in the storm go to the blog and do so. It was taken right here in this community.
I love that our God is a redeeming God and uses the tough times in our lives to make us into His image, to give us our testimony, and He uses those times for His honor and glory. I like Laura Story’s song, Blessings; it says it all. She concludes the song with these words:
Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the achings of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise.
I love the lyrics to that song. I have to remind myself that it is the difficulties in life that build character and resilience. Let’s see, Gold is purified by……… fire.
Thank you Brenda you blessed me.
I’m coming out of a stormy season. I’ve realized that hope is more than a feeling. Hope is an attitude — a mindset. Hope is a rock solid determination declaring that boxing life up is not an option. Like the guy in Lake Huron, hope won’t let you give up. Take one more step. Make one more stroke. Giving up and giving in are not an option. This kind of hope comes from the Holy Spirit. He coaches and encourages us all the way through.
Mark, I love your reference to the Holy Spirit as “Coach”
I spent my whole childhood in church. We were required to memorize the scriptures. As I take each step and especially each first step those scriptures play back all the wonderful promises of our Lord. I will never leave you nor forsake you. I am so grateful to have learned how to draw on the power of the Holy Spirit and to lift my eyes to the Lord. It is always good to hear testimony of the Lord being there for all.
Sarah Hope, Over and over scriptures I memorized as a child, come to the rescue of my spirit. “Thy Word have I hid in my heart” Not only keeps us from sin, also keeps us from sinking.
i am in a very hard time now i dont even have 1$ to get my self a food i dont know what to do any more God i put my trust in you pls dont let me down