It’s October, but there’s winter weather advisories and blizzard warnings throughout the Dakotas. Sometimes you know what to expect when it comes to the seasons, other times you’re hit with snow before you want it.
Of course, don’t get me wrong: I live in North Dakota, so I know you really should expect snow in October. When I was younger, I remember stuffing my Halloween costume into snow pants. It doesn’t change the fact that it feels like it instantly hit you before you were ready.
So how do you trust God when you are suddenly thrust into a new season?
1. Take deep breaths.
It would be nice if everything was straightforward and predictable. You can plan as much as you want, but that’s when the roof leaks or you get into a car accident. That’s why it is important to take deep breaths. It serves as a reminder to slow down, relax, and realize not everything is under your control.
Breath in, breath out.
By refusing to trust on God, we are choosing to remain stuck in the desert. If we take time to stop, we can better remember God is still good even in the middle of chaos.
2. Remain hopeful.
Henri Nouwen writes his about hope:
“Hope means to keep living amid desperation and to keep humming in the darkness. Hoping is knowing that there is love; it is trust in tomorrow; it is falling asleep and waking again when the sun rises. In the midst of a gale at sea, it is to discover land. In the eyes of another, it is to see that he understands you. As long as there is still hope, there will also be prayer. And God will be holding you in his hands” (Henri Nouwen, With Open Hand, p. 85).
3. Celebrate the good.
When I was a senior in high school, I took some classes at the local Bible college in my hometown. My class started at 8:00 AM, so when it snowed over night, that would mean waking up early to shovel out the driveway in order to get to class on time. In those moments, there is not much I want to celebrate. But I know that spring will still come. When the good comes, it is important to celebrate. Celebrate the first flower to spring up from the ground. Celebrate small victories. Celebrate random holidays (did you know there’s a National Grilled Cheese Month? That’s worth celebrating).
Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors posted this on their Facebook page:
If you don’t learn how to celebrate, there is not much point in pursuing your dreams.
It seems a bit over-the-top (and I’m not saying to stop pursuing your dreams), but celebrating is important.
Obviously, these three things are not the answer to everything, but I know they would help. By trusting God, we can learn he’s in control. We, on the other hand, are not in control. Things in life happen, but our response can impact our attitude and outlook.