A man’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way? – Proverbs 20:24
Pebble beaches are a bit of an enigma. Instead of soft sand, these beaches are primarily made up of little stones and other types of coarse material.
On a first visit, the term pebble beach can be misleading; they’re rocks, for crying out loud. This isn’t like the warm, soft, sandy beaches we’re used to – the kind of sand that envelopes our feet. So how do we navigate our steps?
It isn’t until our bare feet actually touch them that we realize the anticipation was worse than the actual experience. The stones are smooth and can be quite slippery. Perhaps we don’t move as swiftly as we do on hard sand, perhaps it’s not as squishy as dry sand, but we can definitely walk on this type of surface – even with bare feet. It’s not nearly as painful as we thought. In some cases, it’s not painful at all.
We anticipate certain events in our lives the same way. We dread performance reviews, report cards, medical test results; we delay difficult conversations with loved ones; we set ourselves up to be defensive with customer service. The list goes on.
We get hyped up about situations and conversations, just knowing they’re going to be awful. Especially if we’re the one who has messed up.
This kind of thought process is defeating. We assume that we already know the outcome, as though we can read minds and predict the future. We can prepare for certain conditions and should. If God knows our steps, however, then we also need to trust Him with our path. We may even realize how much time we’ve wasted building up this situation in our heads instead of praying for wisdom and words.
So much can be defused by sincerely saying, “I messed up, and I’m sorry. Is there something I can do to help at this point?”
Before building a crisis in your head, stop the rush of thoughts, and pray.
Pray for peace, pray for wisdom, and pray for words. Ask God to calm your anxiety and guide you.
And even if you don’t completely understand what’s going on, there is a point when you simply have to take off your shoes and walk through it – with Him. It’s the only way to get to the next destination.
Father, when I am approaching tricky life terrain, I spend a lot of time in worry and anticipation. Then I build up my defenses when I don’t even need them. When I encounter adversity, let me draw upon Your wisdom so I will know how to face the situation. And grant me the assurance that, no matter what the outcome, You are with me.
Excerpted with permission from Devotions for the Beach by Thomas Nelson, copyright Thomas Nelson, 2012.
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Do you tend to build up crises in your head? Do you avoid dealing with what you’re just sure is going to be really hard or painful? What issue in your life is stealing your thought life and causing your anxiety? Stop right now and ask the Lord for His peace and His direction, but most of all for His presence! ~ Devotionals Daily