Stop and Think


There is hope in the turning of the page.

Sometimes we get stuck on one page, one chapter, one day.  We feel trapped in a situation or in a mindset and can’t remember when things ever looked or felt different.  It’s as though the pages of our story have stopped flipping.  As if someone reading our book stopped on a page and walked away.

It is very easy for one day to melt into the next and before we notice, a year has passed and we seem to be in the same place.  Habits form and the day-to-day living takes over.  Rather than waking up excited for what God has in store, we wake up and fall into our everyday life.  Busyness has a way of creeping in without making a fuss.  While we are busy packing our bag for the day, tossing something that resembles breakfast down our throat, and running off into our day of work or school or life, this sneaky character of busyness begins to take over. No longer do we have time to look at the clouds and find a hidden picture in the fluffy shapes.  No longer do we have time to call that old friend who you’ve been meaning to catch up with or read a book just for fun.  No longer do we take the time to stop and think.

I felt as though my story had come to a halt.  The book was lying open, faced down, it felt.  Not knowing what to do in a situation, I did nothing.  I sort of hoped it would just sort itself in a matter of time.  I felt stuck in my prayers, like a broken record singing out to God – and I was tired of the song.  I wish I could tell you that upon feeling this way, I asked God to give me a new song – but instead I did nothing.  I packed my bag for work and continued my everyday busy life.

I was so caught up living my day-to-day life this past year that I let busyness take over and watched my thoughts take a back seat.  I didn’t even realize how harmful it was until during a conversation with an old friend, I found myself searching for the answer to “how are you” as though I’d been asked the million dollar question on a game show.  I had been rushing through life and ignoring all sorts of thoughts allowing them to pile up in the back of my mind, hoping they’d just disappear.  But they didn’t.

The problem was not with God.  He is our author of salvation, the creator and giver of life and He has never forgotten us or ignored us.  Even in those times when nothing seems to go our way, and everything piles up in a big mess – God is there and He always has a solution.

This past year has been a revealing time for me, and has reminded me of just how much I need God’s hope.  On my own, I become busy and overwhelmed and hopeless…but in God there is life and peace and hope for the future!  He brings purpose to the everyday.  And he brings clarity to the mess.  As I enter into this new year, my desire is to see change and to live with His mission guiding me each day.  I love how Moses says in conversation with God in the Bible, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here” (Exodus 33:15).  He recognizes his absolute need for God to be with him and the Israelites in their journey, for without God there is no point in going.  I want to live with that kind of dependance on God…seeking His presence each day because I need it to live and to breathe.  It’s so easy to forget how much we need God when we are taking care of every detail on our own.  We pay the bills, and drive the car, and we feed ourselves all the while forgetting who the source of our life is.  Trust is a difficult thing to live by, but when it is put in God who is Faithful and Loving and Kind, it is the best kind of life!  God always has a way of doing more than we could ever hope for or imagine when we put our trust in Him!  But we need to make that choice and take that step – responding to His invite to be loved and cared for.  He provides in perfect timing and loves without measure.  He is the best person to wake up to each morning, and the perfect friend to walk with on your way to work.  He comforts and He guides, and He desires to be in relationship with each one of us.

Perhaps you feel like your story is on hold, or forgotten all together.  But I encourage you, God has not forgotten about you.  He is writing a beautiful story for you and invites you to walk with Him though each chapter.  Take the time to stop and think about His amazing love and allow Him to bring you back to life.  No matter the hurt and disappointment you have faced, He is able to bring you peace and hope and joy.

I love the lyrics to this song called “Alive”  that beautifully illustrate God’s message of hope for us:

This is a call to all the dead and disappointed 
The ones who feel like they are done 
This is a word to all the ones who feel forgotten 
But you are not 
Oh you are not

We’re alive, alive, alive we’re singing 
We’re alive, alive, alive and we’re shaken 
We’re alive, alive, alive, alive in You

We are soaked in all the grace that we’ve been given 
Unchained from all that we have done 
Your mercy’s rising like the sun on the horizon 
We’re coming home 

We’re alive, alive, alive we’re singing 
We’re alive, alive, alive and we’re shaken 
We’re alive, alive, alive, alive in You


I’ve also attached an amazing video by Francis Chan.  It is clear and concise and speaks of the importance of taking the time to Stop and Think.

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. “

Hebrews 4:16

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Originally posted to Stories