It never fails. I am in the midst of a crisis, no matter how big or small and I find myself at wits end. I am emotional, can’t seem to make a decision, at least a good one. So I stand there crying, wondering where it all went wrong, why I am here again. How did I fall into believing lies again? Why do I feel like I am falling apart?
I am weak. I forget my weakness. I call a friend and she reminds me that I haven’t been sleeping, I’ve been in pain and my defenses are down.
She has had to remind me many times. I have forgotten all to easily. Too many times. But she is patient, she sees what I do not. She knows that eventually I will get it. There will come a day when I will be prepared before I am tempted to fall.
That day is today. I do understand better that when I am weak physically I will be open to attacks spiritually. My enemy knows that when I am tired and in pain I am more vulnerable to his attacks.
Today I came across something written by Charles Stanley which is an excellent reminder. He uses the word H.A.L.T. but I also added an S. When we find ourselves about to lose control or we feel ill equipped to make a decision we need to remember to stop or “HALTS” and evaluate ourselves.
1) HUNGER – Am I hungry? Have I given my body proper nourishment? When can get cranky when we are hungry. And we we are hungry we are less likely to make good decisions or react in a good way.
Am I hungry spiritually? Have I been in the word consistently or am I starving myself of spiritual nourishment.
If I am hungry then I must eat. Eating something healthy is wise. If it’s spiritual hunger I need to run back to the word and read it. I need to drink deeply of His truth.
2) ANGER – Am I angry? Is there something I haven’t dealt with or someone? Anger can distort our judgment. Anger can also cause us to lash out or over react to our current circumstances.
If I am angry then I need to deal with it. I need to talk to someone about it, forgive or do whatever is necessary.
3) LONELY - Am I lonely? Have I isolated myself? Do I have someone I could reach out to.
If I am lonely then I need to call a friend. I need to reach out and make new friends if I am in a season of not having many.
4) TIRED - Am I tired? Having I been getting less sleep? Sleep is essential for our bodies. When we are tired we can find it harder to be nice. We can find it harder to think straight or make good choices.
IF I am tired then I need to be intentional about getting more sleep.
5) SICK – Am I sick? To I have a fever or a cold? Am I in pain or just overall feeling sick? When we are sick we often feel miserable and in that mindset we are not thinking clearly. Again, when sick, we often are less likely to be kind or patient with others.
When I am sick I need to take care of my body. I need to be aware that when I am not feeling well I may not act well.
So what can we do?
Most of us find ourselves in one or more of the above. We must remember that when we are tired, sick and hungry that it might not be the best times to try to make a major decision. When we are feeling lonely we must remember that we become more vulnerable to the lies of the enemy.
We must also be honest. Be honest with yourself and those around you. Share with them that you are tired and in a lot of pain and while you aren’t using it as an excuse you want them to understand.
We must pray. Admit to God where you are at. Ask for His help, His strength and His Spirit.
And finally we might want to delay any further decisions or actions until you address some of these things. You can deal with them later when you are better equipped to approach it with prayer, patience, and godly wisdom.
We can choose to not fall apart. We can choose to look at where we are physically, where we are spiritually and then take these things to the cross of Christ where we have unlimited access to His love, grace, strength and help.
Please hear me on this. If you are not in a good place spiritually or physically then it will effect you emotionally. It will effect your coping abilities and your decision making. You will be more likely to “fall apart”. But it does not have to be that way. You can choose differently.
Now that I understand how these things effect me I am better able to choose to rise above my emotions. When I am aware that I hurt and I am tired then I can be on guard and better prepared. I don’t have to fall apart! That my dear friend is freeing.