For the past (almost) seven years, I have battled an inner ear condition that limited much of what I was able to do. I had to limit stress, salt, caffeine, exposure to certain atmospheric conditions, and avoid a host of other things to best manage my wellness. The process, at times, was grueling. It was hard to see this “storm” was bringing about a “new me,” step by step. Are you working on a New You?
Recently, the Lord showed me how that extended battle had affected me far beyond my physical health. The unwelcome six-year illness had also affected my thinking, my emotions, and as a result, my habits, bringing on somewhat of a mid-life crisis. The chronic severe vertigo attacks and loss of equilibrium shook my self-confidence and even challenged my identity. It seemed everything I had been or had once done well was being ripped away.
Do you feel as though you can no longer do things you once did well? Have you suffered a loss so great that your mind is reeling, and you can’t imagine how you could ever recover? Perhaps you’re turning over a new leaf and want to change your routines? Maybe you made progress in the past only to fall short of achieving your goal more often than you liked.
The “New You” Is Emerging
As a believer, the key to coming through my crisis began with Christ. In John 6:22–29 (AMP), people who were amazed that Jesus had crossed the Sea of Galilee without getting into a boat, asked Him the next day, “…‘What are we to do, so that we may habitually be doing the works of God?’ (v. 28). Jesus said, “…‘This is the work of God: that you believe [adhere to, trust in, rely on, and have faith] in the One whom He has sent’ ” (v. 29).
Jesus hit the nail on the head. Often, we focus on what we either can or can’t do. This creates the mental framework for who we think we are. I had subconsciously done this for years. But, in truth, what we do comes from who we are—and our identity comes from God. So, we must ask ourselves: what do we really believe? That stormy night Jesus walked on water, and then calmed the sea, the disciples came to terms with just that.
God’s work in you is that you believe the Lord. He gave you gifts and callings (corporately and personally) that He’ll never take back (see Romans 11:29). However, your assignments can and will change through the seasons of life. In and through it all, Jesus remains the same, and He never stops leading us in taking our next steps.
Ask! Seek! Knock!
If you have been through a crisis or are in the throes of transition, be encouraged! Jesus can keep you afloat and get you to the other side, even if you can’t see how it’s possible. I once wrote that you can come all the way through and keep your momentum by learning to “Pause and A.C.T.” according to Luke 11:9–10:
- Admit your feelings to God. Go to Him in prayer, and with thanksgiving, be brutally honest. Then “ask” the Lord (v. 9) to help you sort through your emotions and see things clearly. But don’t stop there.
- Come into agreement with Him. While in His presence, “seek” Him by opening your Bible and letting the Holy Spirit guide you. Use your concordance, if necessary, and read what the Word says about your situation. But, once again, don’t stop there.
- Take action. Start “knocking” by submitting to God and accepting His instructions. Then SAY what you’ve read; declare and personalize God’s Word. When you emerge from your quiet time DO what has God revealed for you to do.
New You: Keep Crossing Over
Yes, even after the most violent of storms, the “New You” emerges! Jesus promised in Luke 11:10 that when we keep asking, we receive; when we keep seeking, we find; and when we keep knocking, the door opens. I’m excited about where God is leading you! We have much to explore what it means to believe, but let’s pause here. Go to Jesus, my friend. Ask Him to call you out of the “boat” you’re in and begin to walk on the strength of His Word. You’ll get to the other side…one step at a time.
“…‘This is the work of God: that you believe…’ ” (John 6:29a)