Lorri Dudley

Be moved. Be changed. Love because you are loved.

Tag: facing problems

Boxer throwing a punch

Facing Battles – Are you a Warrior or a Captive?

Tankman - Photo by Jeff Widener
Tankman – Photo by Jeff Widener

He stood in front of a line of tanks of at least fifteen or more—one man—grocery bags still in his hands. This lone man made a stand. He refused to let the artillery vehicles pass. When the tanks moved to drive around him, he moved with them, blocking their path. It was him or them. His identity and what happened to the lone man was never discovered, but the man will go down in history as Tankman. Whether he’d lost a loved one or merely had had enough of the Chinese regime and the killing, on that day in June of 1989, he’d had enough. He faced off with a tank.

“No one avoids battle. You’re either a warrior or a captive.” – Pastor Derrick Frye

David watched the entire Israel army cower in fear in front of the Philistine’s prizefighter, and he’d had enough. David says, who does this guy think he is that he can defy the armies of the Living God? He decides to go all in and challenge a giant. (1 Samuel 17)

Bonfire

Elisha burned his plow. He was all-in. There was no going back to planting fields and farming. He left everything to follow Elijah and become a servant of God. (1 King 19:21)

To me, Jacob was the most daring because he fought God. (Crazy right?) Jacob spent a good chunk of his life running from his brother’s wrath and then his father-in-law Laban. After an ominous note from his brother, Jacob divides his family and sends them on different routes so they all won’t be killed. After aiding his wives, children, and livestock across a river, darkness falls, and he finds himself alone—or so he thought. I can imagine the hair lifting on his neck and him calling out, “Who’s there? Show yourself!” Whether Jacob or God made the first move is unknown. The Bible just says, they wrestled until daybreak. Jacob’s all in. He’s desperate. He clings to God and says, “I won’t let you go until you bless me.” (Genesis 32:22-32)

Jacob walks away with a limp and a new name—Israel, which means struggles with God. It’s not that God couldn’t take Jacob, my husband wrestles with my boys all the time (in fact they’re doing as I type this). I can imagine God pinning Jacob and making him voice what it is he wants. I want your blessing! I want to know I have your favor. I want to know You are with me, and I’m not alone.

Boxer punching

How badly do we want it? We are perpetually fighting the temptation of getting comfortable. It’s easy to stay on the sidelines, but we were meant to join the fight. How is God calling you to be a warrior? What is your fight? Is it to help kids learn to read? Is it to start a Bible study? Witness to the guy or gal next to you at work? Letting someone know you’re praying for them this week?

Our courage must be greater than our complacency. Whatever the tanks are that have kept you on the sidelines, it’s time to stand up and show them God’s firepower.

“Faithfulness isn’t holding the fort; it’s storming the gates of hell.” – Mark Batterson, author of All In.

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Buffalo in field

Be a Buffalo

Niagara FallsWith a wide-stance, I braced myself against the reeling of the boat. Drenched to the bone, I held my camera out to capture the splendor of Niagara Falls. The Maid of the Mist is a misnomer. It should be called the Maid of the Torrential Downpour. No matter what the name, the vast expanse of the falls is impressive and well worth visiting.

600,000 gallons per second of water cascade over just the Horseshoe Falls alone. The speed of the falling water can reach 68mph and the rapids below up to 30mph.  The Maid of the Mist’s engines revved and fought against the strong current to provide us with an up-close view of this natural wonder.

While in Buffalo, NY right near Niagara, I was told the difference between the cow Buffalo in fieldand the buffalo. When a cow senses a storm approaching, it runs away from the direction of the storm. The problem with cows is that they aren’t faster than the storms. They struggle through the wind and the rain as they try to outrun it. In doing so, they actually end up running alongside the storm prolonging their wet misery. Buffalo, on the other hand, wait for the storm to arrive then turn and charge into the tempest. Somehow the buffalo seem to understand that by heading into the storm they can minimize its duration and suffering.

Are you a cow or a buffalo?

I admit. I don’t like conflict. Not many people do. Which is often why individuals with debt problems ignore bills as they pile up. Calls to problem customers who need extra hand-holding get pushed off until later. And, why working spouses stay longer at the office instead of coming home to work out marital problems. One thing I have learned is that facing difficult issues is more effective than running from them. Just like the cow can’t outrun the storm, undealt with problems will also track you down usually increasing in strength as they fester.

So how can we be a buffalo and not a cow?

  • Acknowledge there is a problem. Is there something that you’re avoiding? A subject you’re extra defensive or sensitive about? Something that causes you discomfort or pain. Usually, that is a sign of an underlying problem.
  • Accept that God is bigger than your pain. Pray about the problem. Know that ultimately God is in control and trust he is looking out for your best interests
  • Address the problem. Communication is key. It is a crucial part of the healing process for both parties. Open up about the hurt and pain. However, be careful not to let your emotions rule you. If you need to go back and pray more until you can take a calmer position than do so but don’t use it as an excuse to continue avoiding the issue.
  • Adapt to the outcome. Sometimes the storm may batter us, but remember facing it will get us through it faster. God uses trials to develop our character. He is growing us as a person and making us more into his likeness.
  • Appreciate the transformation. Storms may cause some damage, but they also bring a much-needed change, e., cooler or warmer weather. Don’t focus on the aftermath, concentrate on what you learned and how you are stronger for it.

Always remember, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

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