The Hopelessness and Frustration of Being Becalmed

5869860560_2bc007c206_zThe period beginning in late 2015 and continuing through 2016 turned out to be a very challenging time for my family and me; thus, I have not actively posted since October of 2015. Without going into details now, we have experienced the loss of family members and I have been dealing with some significant health issues. The whole of these events was rather overwhelming and served to take the wind out of my sails and set me adrift for a considerable period as I struggled with discouragement and doubts. I apologize and ask for your prayers as I strive to get back in the fight.

Life is rough and unpredictable; throwing events and circumstances in our path that can ruin our equilibrium or sweep us completely off our feet. However, if we seek God’s help in these times of distress, these same obstacles and setbacks can make us stronger as we garner strength and understanding from the process of ‘going through’ the difficulties.

As we go through the “weather” extremes of life, we can often experience both ends of the spectrum in quick succession. Whether we set out in rough seas or are experiencing the ‘calm before the storm’, we oftentimes find ourselves fighting to stay afloat as the storms of life are raging around us, threatening to take us under. It is only once the tempest finally dissipates that we see the broken and tattered remains of our rigging and sails. It is then, amidst the relief of having survived, the eventual realization sets in that we are now becalmed, stalled and stagnant, drifting aimlessly. Unless we have prepared ahead of time and had the foresight to ensure we had the necessary tools onboard with us to get out of the situation, we can sink into discouragement, hopelessness, depression which, if left untreated, can lead to death.

Preparation is essential for our survival when life leaves us drifting and hopeless. If we have a foundation of trust in God, we can go before Him in prayer and ask for help from the Holy Spirit; seeking His strength and guidance in getting moving and making the necessary ‘repairs’ in our lives. However, the longer one waits to act, the weaker they can become from exposure to the (negative) elements. Positive actions will prepare us (repair our ‘sails’) to be able to, once again, catch the Wind as the Holy Spirit moves through and around us, propelling us towards the joy that awaits us as we continue in our recovery and in a life dedicated to His service. Hebrews 4:14-16 tells us, “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

With the proper knowledge/training and tools we can take steps towards getting out of our predicament, but they will do us no good unless we first determine to take action. In a physical sense, we could have canvass, rigging, or even oars at our disposal, but we would need to actually put in some ‘sweat equity’ to get ourselves moving again. Just as in recovering mentally and spiritually, both oars and repairs may take a lot of time, but at least progress is being made towards recovery. Beware of the weariness of slogging through with, seemingly, no results. The Scriptures tell us to persevere, “But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good” (2 Thessalonians 3:13 NKJV) and, in Galatians 6:9, we are assured that eventual success can be ours if we continue on: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (KJV).

What tools are in your toolbox: Friends, Family, Accountability, etc. …? Whatever you keep close at hand, I implore you keep God and His Word the closest of all: But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31 NKJV).

Taking Every Thought Captive!

Scott Pipenhagen
Recovery / Transition Chaplain
Serve & Protect
2 Corinthians 1:3-4

 

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About Scott P.

Scott is a retired Military LEO and a Volunteer Chaplain with Serve & Protect (www.serveprotect.org) where he seeks to provide transition services for First Responders and Military personnel by mentoring and connecting them with local 12 Step or similar Faith-Based recovery programs, local Chaplains, and Trauma Therapists to continue their recovery journey following residential care treatment. Scott contributes these devotions to the Serve & Protect ministry Facebook page: Guns'n'Hoses (https://www.facebook.com/GunsHosesMinistry). Scott has been involved in Faith-Based recovery programs since 2006 and has a Bachelor of Science in Religion through Liberty University and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies through Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary. He currently resides in Fredericksburg, VA, and can be contacted at spipenhagen@liberty.edu.
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