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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Straightening Out Crooked Thinking

In the last year or so, I began patting myself on the back whenever I incorporated the phrase, “It is what it is,” into my life.

For an over-thinker of things, the resignation in “it is what it is” was a great coping mechanism, allowing me to surrender to situations I felt powerless to change. By verbalizing my acceptance of the status quo, I thought I was growing. I thought I was learning to lay aside analyzing everything and avoid getting sucked into the vortex of my own circular thinking. I even spiritualized my new strategy by saying this new outlook helped me to put away worries and trust God--anything for peace. But what it actually birthed was an internal passivity, a euphamism for lack of faith.

This week, in a response to the well-known Beth Moore study “Believing God,” Chel at Abiding Branch posted an observation that challenged me:

Do you ever feel trapped in the land of “It is what it is?” Boy, I have so been there. I have moved from angry to depressed to “it is what it is.” And quite frankly, eh hem, I don’t like the definition of ‘is.’ Seriously, the ‘is’ is not working for me, and the unbelief had to go!”

My initial response: Unbelief? Really? Ouch.

Chel recognized that this laissez-faire attitude is tantamount to saying, “This is beyond hope. This is my lot. God is in some of the details, perhaps, but we can’t expect Him to move in all circumstances ….”

As the newly-fired neurons in my brain began connecting all of the dots, I could see places in my life where I had decided there was little to no hope, and I had grown faithless, weary, and even unbelieving—not unbelieving that God could change things but that He would change things.

Case in point: praying for my close friend, Diane, who has been given a very discouraging cancer–related prognosis. I do not think I need to delineate for you the anxiety, fear and sadness my friends and I experience as we try to walk with Diane through this ordeal. In fact, in many ways, she’s faring better than we are.

Concerning the prognosis, circumstances appear to say, “It is what it is.” Faith says, “But God is always bigger than the apparent ‘what is.’”

God is up to the challenge of hearing our very specific prayers. In fact, He wants us to believe that He exists, and He wants us to believe in Him:

But without faith no one can please God. We must believe that God is real and that He rewards everyone who searches for Him (Hebrews 11:6).


We are certain that God will hear our prayers when we ask for what pleases Him. And if we know that God listens when we pray, we are sure that our prayers have already been answered (1 John 5:14).


I cannot foresee the way Diane’s situation is going to resolve, but I can trust in the character of the God whom Diane and you and I know and love.

To conclude, the only one who has the final word on “It is what it is,” is God, the worker of mysterious ways, which are His ways, and way above our own.


Questions: When you examine the chain of faith that has been forged in your life, do you see any weak links? (Marital issues, wayward children, chronic illness, addictions, etc.)

What step can you take today to grow out of that passivity?



Please visit Linda Crow at her personal blog:

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22 Comments:

Blogger windycindy said...

Hi, I can say that I have a few weak links. I do pray anymore in the manner of "Thy Will be Done." God knows better than I what an outcome will be and the reasoning behind it. I always hope for the best. Thanks, Cindi

August 13, 2008 at 1:17 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

This was awesome, bless you.

August 13, 2008 at 2:32 AM  
Blogger sailorcross said...

Believe it or not---this saying "It is what it is!" has become too familiar in my workplace!! This piece really hit home!!

Thanks for making me rethink!!

August 13, 2008 at 3:13 AM  
Blogger ChristiS said...

Thank you for this, Linda! I needed to read this before I headed into work where negativity is often abounding! Bless you!

August 13, 2008 at 6:16 AM  
Blogger lori said...

"God is up to the challenge of hearing our very specific prayers. In fact, He wants us to believe that He exists, and He wants us to believe in Him..."

You got me with this one...I'll take this with me today...HE is up to that!!

I stopped in today KNOWING you were up...I'm on my way out the door for a mammo and NO CAFFEINE...so this virtual 2nd CUP was just what I needed...
:)
thanks Linda...it's ALWAYS a blessing!
peace,
lori

August 13, 2008 at 7:04 AM  
Blogger April Watters said...

Linda,
What a good reminder this is! To not let the adverse situations be what they may be, but to believe God is bigger and is always who HE is!
serving one,
April

August 13, 2008 at 7:30 AM  
Anonymous annie said...

I have been living in the land of refusing to say it is what it is for a few years now with Izzy. It isn't what it is. I refuse to accept that. God's word has too many promises and I believe them.

Great post, I'll have to examine my heart in other issues in life in regards to this.

August 13, 2008 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

Hi Linda,
I'm prone to this kind of thinking and God has been challenging me on it lately. Thank you for giving me some new insights this morning. As always, I've been blessed!
Hugs,
Cyndy

August 13, 2008 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger Angie said...

Well Linda...your devotion today goes right along with the song that I was reminded of this morning and I sang it for myself---reminding myself---and praising the Lord this morning as I drove to work---it is from a choir that came to our church many years ago...but one song they sang stuck. "God is bigger than your need, He's bigger than your problem, just trust Him and believe, I know that He can solve them, Just trust HIM and obey---believe in Him and SAY---He's bigger---my GOD is BIGGER---my GOD is BIGGER..." then it continues on...but as I read your post...the words came back and I thought...He is bigger than "what the "IS" is in my life right now.
Power packed post! I love how the LORD just lines things up for me to get nourishment from daily.
Be blessed Linda...YOU have definitely blessed ME!

August 13, 2008 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Marina said...

I too have felt stuck in a land where it is what it is " and I have been wrong thank you for sharing these today I really need these.
marina

August 13, 2008 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

Thanks for the great reminder that "it is what it is" is trumped by "I AM THAT I AM".

August 13, 2008 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger PJ said...

Excellent post (I like the teaser on your blog too--brought me right over!) Great questions. When is it faith and acceptance with God's peace, and when is it fatalistically giving in. I shall have to ponder some areas. Especially in regards to past abuse, old conflicts and relationships related to those.

August 13, 2008 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

WOW, Lady, you hit the nail on the head, too! Well done, my friend!

August 13, 2008 at 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Debbie said...

Great post Linda. I am loving your blogs.

August 13, 2008 at 10:46 AM  
Blogger Jodie said...

“God is always bigger than the apparent ‘what is.'”
I love that.

August 13, 2008 at 12:35 PM  
Blogger skoots1mom said...

Alpha and Omega
Beginning and the End
Why do we always want to put His abilities in a box?

August 13, 2008 at 1:24 PM  
Blogger Susanne said...

Thanks for the reminder that it is me who puts the limits on God, not God Himself. You've greatly challenged me for a few areas I can't think of right off the bat and I'm sure a few more that God will bring to light. Great post, Linda!

August 13, 2008 at 2:49 PM  
Blogger Laurie Ann said...

YOUCH!!!!!! Those were my toes God stepped on through you. Thank you for being His willing vessel to convey a message to me that I really need to be aware of when I use that favorite phrase of mine. I always say, "Oh well, it is what it is." It doesn't have to be that way! God can change things. Some things truly are a mystery - who left the pool room door open? No one owns up to it, so it is what it is, but in matters of the heart, you have challenged me to replace that thinking with faith that shouts belief in God. Thank you so much, Linda.

August 13, 2008 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Chel - An Abiding Branch said...

Luke 1:37, "For nothing is impossible with God."

You are correct in that there is always HOPE! I like to look at the word HOPE as one of the names of Jesus - Heaven's Offering of Peace Eternal! He will never fail us and we never have to settle for "what is". Thank you Linda, very well done my friend!

Chel

August 13, 2008 at 10:04 PM  
Blogger Tammy said...

I can so relate to being too much of an analytical thinker, causing myself too many moments of anxiety and lack of peace. But what you have learned is so true, too...God is bigger than circumstances! This was so good, Linda!

August 13, 2008 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger Darnelle said...

". . . not unbelieving that God COULD change things but that He WOULD change things."

That, my friend, is my present mountain. Did God send you with this word for me, but under the pretense that is was for 'all the ladies at the Cafe?' It's OK. It's not the first time. I'll let Him know you did an awesome job. Really. My toes will be fine in no time.

August 13, 2008 at 11:08 PM  
Blogger Buffy said...

This post reminds me of that prayer asking God for the serenity to accept the things that cannot be changed, the courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference.

August 18, 2008 at 6:23 AM  

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