What do we do now? Reality means evaluating what is happening right now and figuring out what to do about the problem now. Yesterday we considered what kind of relationships we needed/wanted when trying to solve problems in life. We need folks who can navigate the waters of life with us, those with whom we connect. Those relationships with solid connections can help us face reality in the now.
Relationships, ones with character, trust. People who maybe have demonstrated a good track record in decision-making. Those who know you and your tendencies and who love you enough to speak “truth in love.” These are the friends we turn to when times are tough. They have solid connections that allow us to quickly obtain help. You gain perspective and SOUND discernment and guidance. What a blessing, especially when the problem is so painful.
I can personally remember being “thrown into a tailspin” with a problem. The pain was severe, sudden and shocking…….but I had gleaned much from my resources and knew I had to immediately get quiet for just a short time. Afterwards I picked up the phone to call a trusted friend, a wise person who I knew would speak truth. I engaged her ear and listened to her suggestions.
What did I do during the time of quiet that I mentioned? It was a time of involving myself in prayer for direction and clear thinking…..God led me to that “right relationship” which provided a positive start in Real time to look at the Reality of the problem.
One of the best examples I can think of in scripture that gives us a visual of having the right relationships during those difficult days is found in Exodus 17:10-12. “So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.” The Israelites were winning as long as Moses held his staff in the air. When he became weary of the reality before him, Aaron and Hur were there….one on one side….and one on the other…..to steady him until the battle was over.
Don’t be afraid to enlist the help of good, quality friends. These are the friendships that provide the strength and encouragement the Bible talks about needing when facing a trial…….The friend I ended up calling had been a friend for years. I shared my heart. As I turned the conversation over to her and she started to share, I was shocked………..the miracle and confirmation came immediately…….
You see, she shared…..from her heart, she shared a time in her past that I had NO IDEA had ever happened…..what she had faced was soooooo similar to the problem I was NOW facing. I didn’t know her at that time in her life. She shared…….she took me down the steps she had taken to overcome the situation…..She shared the outcome…….I was having a “little walking on water experience” realizing I was utilizing the steps I had learned….and God was blessing…..and God was anointing the information I was implementing….Not only that……God was walking me through the steps to face the problem head on……in the NOW…..and walking me through the waters with a trusted……friend!!! We found new connections by sharing our struggles, our hearts, our Reality.
Let me just stop right here……the steps and advice I am writing about in problem solving have a definite starting point……God wants us to turn to HIM first and then He will direct us…..what I have gleaned over the last decade has been some of the most valuable wisdom I have learned and implemented. I very much want to share what I have learned with anyone who will listen…..writing is the most effective way God has given me to share and, hopefully, help….anyone…..reading!!!!
A word of caution: If you are like me, you want to be very careful to not lean on friends too much. Pray for wisdom there. I have learned to make sure I have more than one friend with the same qualities. When I do call on a friend, I want to be sensitive to their life, and where life has them. If they are in the midst of something themselves or are busy with their own family, I try to schedule a time to talk. Or I ask, “Hey, is this a good time?”
The friend I called when I was in a tailspin helped me over a long period of time. In fact, during that season of life, her mother was sick and hospitalized off and on and ended up passing away. I asked God for guidance and on the timing of our conversations. I often said, “Do I need to call someone else?” Often we would plan times to talk that fit around her schedule. If your friends are good friends, just be open about not wanting to take advantage of them. Ask them to be honest about their time constraints.
Some problems are quick fixes. Sometimes they require a friend to invest a long time to walk beside you!!! Thankfully, I had five friends who walked beside me during an ongoing problem. I feel it helped us all with managing our time and other commitments. It also gave me the advantage of learning from several perspectives and experiences. Open communication with these friends ensured boundaries were in place to keep from infringing on time they needed for their own lives.
Don’t let pride get in the way of being transparent with friends!! Trust me, God has friends in the wings to “throw life preservers!” Seek them out!!! Let them walk with you through the Reality of a problem. Putting your heads together to figure out what is actually happening. Incorporating the right relationships to discern the actual problem….is the second and really VITAL STEP to solving problems or facing trials in your life.
Tomorrow we will flesh out what it means to have clarity. As I have navigated the fairways of life, I have found major value in having clarity.
I have heard this quote and found it to be very spot on………”More important than the quest for certainty is the quest for CLARITY!!”