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A little manual for difficult times
Through trials and difficulties I’ve learned some valuable lessons and I want to share them with you!
Before I get started, I want to tell you a little bit about myself, so that you can better understand the context of my story. If I were to describe myself, then I would say that by nature I am very sensitive, possess a pronounced imagination, am creative and can empathize well with others. And sometimes I’m too much of a perfectionist. This is the package of characteristics I got from God. So that’s that.
Now a little about my path so far in life: I’m not your typical young person with a lot of energy and drive. Actually, I’m quite the opposite…
For my age (mid-20s), I have been through a lot. My circumstances are not exactly standard, and they are different from what I had ever imagined my life would be. At the age of 16, I became very ill and it took me a long time to recover to some extent. I had to repeat one year of school (which for me, as a good student, was a nightmare). My whole life was turned upside down. I still have to take medication to compensate for certain substances that my brain lacks.
In the following years, until I graduated at 20, I managed to struggle through, in terms of strength. Then I spent some time abroad, and I was doing very well and thoroughly enjoying myself. But then my illness reappeared and I had to leave all that behind and go home again.
7 things that I learned through all of this
Why am I telling you this and what do I want to get out of it, you ask? Through all of these times my God has carried me and I have received help. I have gathered the things that have been – and are – a help for me. Here is a “little manual for difficult times.”
1. There is a song called “In God’s safe hand I always rest secure,” by Connie Christensen. I have heard this song several hundred times, without exaggeration. I highly recommend it. In God’s hand I’m safe and nothing becomes too hard for me. In God’s safe hand there is no cause to fear. No one can tear me out of His hand, unless I decide not to trust Him. It’s only when I don’t trust Him that things become dark and too heavy.
2. “He leads me to where peaceful waters flow; with care He shows me where green pastures grow.” Another line from this song (derived from Psalm 23). Green pastures and peaceful water, what does that mean? For me, it means peace, happiness and everything the heart needs deep within. I myself often do not know what is good for me. Then I just have to trust God – He sees the whole picture.
3. Jesus loves me and He has confidence in me that I will pass these trials. Trials are meant to free me from that which is not good for me – i.e. the sin in my ownthat is brought to light through these trials. (Philippians 1:6; 1 Corinthians 10:13; James 1:2-4.)
4. Do not ask “why?” I decided a few years ago not to question my circumstances and not to ask why exactly this was happening to me. I’ve found this to be a good habit that has only made my life easier. (Philippians 2:14.)
5. One day at a time. I can manage one day, because I get exactly that much power from God. (1 Corinthians 10:13.) Today is a gift from God that I should rejoice in. (Psalm 118:24.)
6. If I don’t understand something, I leave it alone. It is written in Psalm 131:1 that I do not deal with things that are too high for me – those things I do not understand. God made us humans to be limited in our understanding. When I leave the things which I do not understand, I save myself from many thoughts and worries and unnecessary burdens.
7. The best reading: Psalms, Psalms, Psalms. David was often in great trials and poured out his heart to God, and always found help. I too can always find help by reading these words.
I am incredibly thankful for the help that is available every day, and that it carries me through, especially in turbulent times. There are so many things that are unimportant and superficial in this world, it is easy to lose the right focus.
Everyone has different circumstances in life and it does not help to compare myself to others. But there is help for all different times and people. For me, this little manual has been very helpful. I hope it’s something that can help you too!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.