Sometimes, life feels like a climbing a steep mountain on a hot, humid, summer afternoon, and there's no end in sight. The struggle in oppressive heat and pressure brings weariness to the bone. Our spirits naturally wilt in the afternoon heat, under the stress of these conditions.
We've all experienced these seasons of depletion, and troubles have a tendency to get the best of us, dragging us down into discouragement and despair. If we don't get the best of them, they will get the best of us.
Of course, it helps to remember that even Jesus had wilderness days when he was tempted, and he said, "In this world, you WILL have tribulation" (John 16:33). At least we're in good company.
Troubles and heartaches are a part of life, and so we need to learn how to bounce back. "Resilience," said Joe Batten, "is the central quality from which all other growth will flow."
Thankfully, God gives free refills!
If you've been struggling in a difficult valley, here are a few helpful suggestions I've adapted from Norman Vicent Peale's Power of the Plus Factor:
1. Always believe that God can help you turn any setback into a comeback.
2. Picture yourself as having a lot of rebound left in you. Your inner strength is still unimpaired.
3. Think positively, especially when you feel the lowest. Remember, the setback may contain the answer to your comeback.
4. Remember that God is always bigger than what's the matter.
5. Fear not! Stand up and face your fear with God. He gives faith and love that is bigger and stronger than fear.
6. Use the "12 Big Plan":
* Pray Big
* Think Big
* Believe Big
* Act Big
* Dream Big
* Work Big
* Give Big
* Forgive Big
* Laugh Big
* Imagine Big
* Love Big
* Live Big
7. Be willing to talk about it, and find someone who will hear your heart. Healing often comes with verbalizing.
8. Always be helpful to thers and you will have friends who will help you turn setbacks into comebacks.