I overheard a conversation the other day of some parents of playing children discussing a common acquaintance who is tending to a child with severe health issues. The kind every parent fears. A life battle and struggle that perplexes the mind, shakes the soul, and crushes your very core. Somehow the parents are pushing thru this with strength, faith, and joy for every day. The child has already lived 3 years past doctor expectations and I'm pretty sure the parents view everyday as a blessing to be filled with love for their child.
The common response:
"I could never do that. I don't have the ________"
I've heard this before. I've said this before.
I've heard this about everything from homeschooling (patience), singing (stage fright), preaching (embarrassing), teaching (not smart enough), infant's health struggles (doubt), leading a Bible study (don't know enough), basketball (too short), limbo (too tall).
Not picking on the partakers in this conversation but it bothered me. It's doubt. I wouldn't want to go thru that, but I'll deal with what's in front of me.
Mostly the Moses examples comes to mind. God directly calls Moses to action and he squirms behind "I can't do that, I can't speak". (Exodus 4:10). God works with him using Aaron. But before long Moses is the one talking to Pharaoh, leading the people and doing what God had planned.
It is all doubt - for believers it's doubt in God, a worldly view would say it's doubt in yourself (sshhh - you are who God made you so it's still God and his potential for you that's being doubted).
I see this conquered in 2 ways.
A) Mountains in front of you.
Often a look at a mountain will lead you to say "I could never climb that". Start 1 step at a time and get moving. Building a house, completing big projects, etc. Eat the elephant 1 bite at a time. You see it's a big project and that can be frightening.
B) Valleys behind you
You're into a situation where you just go thru focusing on 1 foot in front of the other. Usually you aren't asking for it, you're thrown into it and it's get moving or be stuck. You move, you get through. At the end of the day (rarely), week, month, year or decade you look back and say "WOW! look how far we came." Recovering from a family tragedy, working thru a crisis, etc. The perspective on the otherside is of the whole valley, and until you are through it you don't see it. You're deep into it and may not see the way out.
Parenting tends to fall under the B. Everyday you work; pouring your heart, mind and soul into beings where you get no understanding of thanks or what the outcome will be until it's over. I now know why parents (and grandparents) cry at graduation. I get sappy watching my kids. I get sappy at movies relating to kids and family.
The other side is that I could never sink so low as to do that. Stealing, drugs, embezzling, facemask penalty, flopping to draw a red-card, etc. Things start small and are gotten away with until it slowly turns the heart and blurs the vision. The heart, thinking and actions move from what is right, to what is allowed, to what can I get away with. Until you don't care if you get away with it, you can't resist doing it.
Are you being sharpened for use or dulled to be put away?
Daily discipline. Decide daily if you want to move out of the valley, move up the mountain. Generally going with the flow only cuts deeper into the valley.
I understand relaxing, pausing and remembering, be still and know. But I know when I'm being lazy, or procrastinating, or taking a needed break. I know when I'm delaying because I don't have the full perspective. I know when I'm trying to wallow or get lost in the valley.
"Beards aren't grown on a whim."