August 16 Reflections

Have you ever been between a “rock and a hard place?” Have you ever faced a troubling situation that cannot be easily escaped? These dilemmas are nerve-wracking and uncomfortable. They often bring us to the end of our resources and threaten to drive us to despair. We see a perceived threat…something is going to negatively happen if we do not decide. But what is it we are to do? A young man was offered a job, but if he accepted it was low pay with long hours, if he did not accept, he would lose his livelihood. Maria is in a car accident. She is physically okay. But the accident left a huge dent in her car. She can spend what little money she has on repairs, or she can not spend a dime and ride around with an unsightly dent in her car. Both options are undesirable to her. She is between a rock and a hard place. Joe is diagnosed with cancer. He can undergo chemo treatments and go through the side effects or do nothing and let the cancer takes it course and most likely die within a year. Neither option is desirable.

When Moses and the Hebrew people were facing the Red Sea in front and the Egyptian army behind, they were between a rock and a hard place. Moses’ advice from God was this: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today…The LORD will fight for you; you need only be still.” (Exodus 14:13-14) Admittedly that is hard advice to hear during the situation. Do not be afraid. Stand firm. The LORD will fight for you. Be still. In other words: trust. Trust that God is for you and not against you. Amid the situation it is easy to think that God is pouncing on you to make your life miserable, not fighting for you.    

Faith Walking, a spiritual transformation movement, in the module that speaks of facing anxiety gives a short process that helps manage anxiety during the rock and hard place experience. This is if you have time and it is not an emergency.

  1. Stop…Don’t just do something-stand there.
  2. Think…what are the facts? What is threatening here?
  3. Calm…breathe
  4. Listen…to yourself…to others…to God
  5. Say…what is true for you
  6. Stay…don’t run away…don’t ignore.
If you can calm your heart, soul, mind, and body lowering your anxiety I believe God will speak. God spoke to the Hebrew people, “move forward and trust me.” On Sunday we are going to look together at the truth of being still and moving forward during the rock and hard place experiences. Some passages to read: Exodus 14; Psalm 37:1-7; Psalm 46.

Grace upon Grace,

Pastor Verlyn