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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Change the Channel!!!

by Cyndi Coleman
A few days ago Catheryn, our youngest daughter, lost the remote to her tv. This was not the first time; it happens frequently - at least once a week. So, once again, Catheryn was lamenting the lost  remote. She was frustrated because she could not change the channel - it was stuck, and she was, too. As I was plundering under stuffed animals and between Barbie dolls, trying to help her find it, I heard her exclaim, “I know! I can borrow Sissy’s remote!” Within 30 seconds she had asked her older sister, changed the channel, and was back to enjoying her TV time.

Do you ever feel like that? Like your life is stuck on the wrong channel and you’ve lost the remote? I know I have felt this way many times. Sometimes, I know that I get my heart stuck on something and I cannot seem to change it. No pun intended, but I’m definitely channeling something and it’s not positive! I get frustrated and get even more stuck. It can be a vicious and depressing cycle. 

So, what are some areas where we tend to get stuck? The possibilities will vary person to person and depending on our lifestyle; but, here is a list of possible channels we flip through as we surf through the many episodes of life: joy, sadness, contentedness, brokenness, self-pity, anger, annoyance, laziness, procrastination, grief,  unforgiveness, bitterness, depression, avoidance, self-loathing, pride, and self-sufficiency.

To be fair, life is hard and there are seasons in which we suffer more than others. There are some pretty harsh things we watch on our televisions, but in reality, some of our lives can look a lot like that. When we are watching television, it is as simple as clicking on another channel, or turning off the television, but what can we do when we cannot seem to change the channel of our own lives?

I often realize that I am stuck, but for the life of me, I cannot seem to help myself.  Read that last sentence again; that, my friend, is the key! Life is harsh, I get stuck, and I cannot help myself. Are we hopeless? Certainly not! We just need to borrow someone else’s remote!! Just like the illustration with my daughters, we can get help to get unstuck! We can get help to change the channel; however, the first thing we must do is admit we are stuck and ask for help!

We can certainly ask our friends for help; sometimes I just need to have a hot cup of coffee with my best friend. Sometimes I need someone to watch my kids, so I can get out of the house. Sometimes I need a simple hug, while other times, harder times, I need prayer and godly council.

Authentic, trusted, genuine friendships are a beautiful gift from God, himself. He created us to be social, communicative beings. We need each other. However, we must realize that even our truest friendships, alone, cannot help us solve all the problems we face. We must turn to God. When we turn to God for help, we can ask Jesus for help to change the channel. He is our ultimate and mighty help in time of need. Here’s two verses I love to cling to:

  • Hebrews 4:16 - “Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” 
  • Psalm 41:6 - “God is our refuge and strength, and ever-present help in trouble.”
So, just like Catheryn turned to her big sister for the needed remote, we can turn to Jesus Christ, for the needed grace and mercy to seek refuge from the current channel or path our life has taken. The Bible says we are joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17). Christ can give us the strength to do what we need to do. Sometimes he offers us the perseverance to cross a tumultuous channel, while at other times, he offers the wisdom and discernment coupled with the strength and courage to change the channel.  He is the lover of our souls and the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

How are you doing with your thought life?

What would it look like if you could change the channel?

Where do you draw your strength from when you are frustrated?

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