Ever felt like this? O.K., maybe not literally, but has life left you feeling like you're drowning emotionally? It could be big like a job loss, serious illness or a family tragedy. It could be small like being stuck in a job you don't like, financial pressures or the constant daily demands of small children. Whatever it is, I think all of us can relate to that "drowning" feeling.
What can we do? How can we keep from succumbing and totally giving in to the pressures placed upon us? I'm sure no one has learned this perfectly, no matter how experienced, and most of what is learned is in the midst of the trial. However, here are a few things you can try if you find yourself in this situation:
- Cling to the Sustainer of Life. You knew that was coming since this is a "Christian" blog, but how do we do this? That's probably the secret--we don't do anything--we simply trust. Trust that all is under God's control and we are simply a small piece of the puzzle to be placed when and where He wants us.
- Reach out to those closest to you. The ones that are right beside you, drowning with you, need your comfort and encouragement as you reach out to them. You may not have anything to give, but simply being there as one who is intimately acquainted with the issue as they are, gives help. Keep each other afloat while waiting on the Life Saver.
- Spend time in the Word. I will admit, I have been through things that have so drained me that I couldn't seem to get any help from the Word of God. I would faithfully read, but nothing would seem to speak to my situation. I once heard a lady who teaches children say that they are like a basket being filled with water. The basket will not hold the water, but the more water that filters through it, the cleaner the basket becomes. If we think of ourselves as baskets and the Bible as the water, we can keep running the water through us and eventually, it will cleanse us from our pain and hurt.
- Check how you got to be here. Sometimes, the situations in which we find ourselves are the direct results of our lack of wisdom and seeking God's face beforehand. In these cases, there may be something we can do to reverse our problem. If not, we can only leave it at Jesus' feet, admitting our failure, seeking forgiveness if necessary and claiming His grace to remedy it.
- Talk with those who have been there. In some tough situations in my life, the most effective encouragement was the presence of someone who had been in my situation and knew exactly what I was feeling. Talking wasn't even always necessary--just knowing that they were there and understood meant so much.
- Resolve to get out of the water and to reach out to others that are "drowning". There are many others that are experiencing your difficulty or worse. As soon as possible, and with the help of the Lord, get to the safety of solid ground, but with the purpose of remembering what it was like and being a help and encouragement to others.