How to Gut It Out When the Going Gets Tough

Some days, I am truly thankful my thoughts are NOT put on display for all to read!

This was one of those days.

To begin, I have to admit medical maintenance isn’t one of my best qualities. Um, as in something has to fall apart . . . or off, for that matter, and then I consider making an appointment. And, honestly, my son has so many medical appointments, the last thing I want to do is take an hour of precious time alone and go for a “well check.”

Here’s the problem: doctors have things that tell on me.  They can see things I can’t because they have tools big and small that reveal what’s going on under my skin. In other words, believing things are fine because I can’t see a problem doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem.

Guilty as charged.

Getting back to the other day. For a while—okay, maybe six months or so—I had a tooth ache. The pain got increasingly worse, and I finally called the dentist.  I assumed it was a little cavity, no big deal. Well, back to those detecting machines . . . the x-rays told a very different story. There was no sign of a “little cavity,” not even a blip on the screen. What he did see was a huge problem that had started years ago. I looked at the date of my last appointment and, once again, I was faced with the result of my poor choices. I was hit with a dental disaster.

Like many times before, I was reminded of a basic life truth: what may appear to be fine on the outside may not be well on the inside.

Proverbs 4 is titled “A Father’s Wise Advice” in my Bible. The entire chapter repeats words like:

  • “Follow my commands”
  • “Embrace wisdom”
  • “Listen to me”
  • “Do as I say”
  • “Pay attention”
  • “Look carefully”

The chapter is packed with such simple direction; do this and life will go well, do that and life will fall apart. It sounds so elementary but it’s the lifeblood of our lives. If we fail to guard our hearts with outstanding diligence, our sin nature will take deep root; avoiding the essential maintenance of closely caring for our spiritual wellness will take us down a path of destruction. There is no shortcut to living well, physically or spiritually.

It’s Time

In recent days you and I have been given time to evaluate our lives.  We’ve been called to keep a close eye on our physical health in order to avoid potential death. Behind closed doors, our neighborhoods have appeared quite lovely. However, I’ve been stunned at the outlandish, shocking words and actions of those in our “Christian” communities. In a time when the Lord could have our full, undivided attention, it appears our time has been spent glued to news feeds, TV reports, and fear-driven announcements.

Is this the way our Lord calls us to live? Have you spent this time in this health-focused “quarantine” attending to your soul health too? What happened to basic kindness, humility, and confidence in our sovereign, faithful Heavenly Father?

May I suggest one thing? Will you turn off all the noise and sit in quietness with the Lord, asking Him to assess your soul health? You may believe things are just fine because there is no obvious illness, which may also be a path leading to a massive life disaster. Like my dental problem that could have been avoided had I heeded my dentist’s direction, we MUST check in daily with Jesus. Allow our Great Physician to examine every part of your life, using His magnificent tools that see far into the deepest parts of our hearts and souls. In the quietness, as the Lord does His work, you will find peace and rest needed for living well.

Let Me Hear from You

I hope my words above encourage you to examine your spiritual and physical health. Would love to hear from you in comments.

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