Fellow patriots, please listen to this short, inspiring message from General Flynn. General Michael Flynn exemplifies patriotism, courage, and love of God and country - despite some of his own countrymen relentlessly attacking him. Donations for his defense are greatly appreciated. If you can only give $5.00, please do so - every little bit helps. Thank you so much, and God bless. Letter from General Flynn.
But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
[James 1:4; NKJV]
In my life, patience and frustration are on two opposite sides of a coin. Candidly, I don’t see the patience side very often until my frustration blows a gasket, and I realize (again) the sum of my poor choices.
Yesterday I wrote a piece entitled, “Where Are The Jeremiahs?”, and thinking about that piece early this morning, I realized how unbalanced it would possibly sound to anyone not living in my brain, so this piece is the balancing sequel.
God is definitely not above using frustrating, pressure-filled circumstances to shape our lives. Many times I’ve prayed to become the person God created me to be, but in doing so, I set myself up for laundry cycles from hell. What do I mean?
My pastor says the laundry cycle from hell is when you go around and around the same problems until you finally give up and learn the lessons God is trying to teach. What fascinates me is that I’ve never been clever enough to see it coming!
In the laundry cycle, you will most likely be surrounded by people who do the same dumb things over and over, almost as if they are purposely trying to drive you crazy. Worse than that, they refuse to change or appreciate just how insightful and right you are. And they might be working within an organization full of folks just like them! Sooner or later, the pressure within us reaches proportions that block out objectivity, and all we can see are the negatives, which are compounding daily, pacing our mounting frustrations. At this stage, the voice of God stops being heard. There seems to be no guidance, and we feel abandoned.
As our frustrations mount with a compounding vindictiveness, a Vesuvius begins to heat up inside of us. The pressure finally releases in some kind of explosion, but as the pressure goes away shame and guilt fill the vacuum. Once the shame and guilt has been dealt with, and we’ve eaten all the crow we can choke down, the cycle resets and begins all over again.
If this sounds familiar, here are some practical steps to breaking free and even benefiting from this horrible, repeating cycle:
1. Realize that God Himself is solely in charge of our circumstances, and
2. He is for us, not against us.
3. Realize that only we are responsible for our reactions – we can’t blame anyone else.
4. Ask, and seek God concerning what He wants you to learn from these circumstances, and
5. Make peace with the concept that your character only forms under pressure – like a diamond.
6. Finally, let the uncomfortable pressure complete its work (James 1:4), and
7. Learn to be, and remain grateful…God has not forgotten us, and He’s on the job all the time.
While the laundry cycle might originate in hell, God uses it to form up those who are destined for Heaven. If we kick against it, we will ensure the lessons and the cycles will continue. Leaving the company, church, spouse, city or state is not going to fix anything other than set us up for new frustrations in new environments, eventually dumping us into other hellish cycles. Remember, ‘wherever you are, there you are..’
God is forming us up to reign and live with Him forever, and in the light of that, our earthly discomforts and frustrations are just some of the tools God uses to make us ready for the grander part of His Grand Adventure.
It’s far easier and restful for us to go with the flow of God’s Spirit than to oppose Him with our “better” ideas of how to run the universe, and while I absolutely hate the laundry cycles from hell, I also appreciate them as something I desperately need.
We are being conformed to Him, and we are being made ready. It’s worth it.