Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tragedy? Strike up The Band & Dance

You Gotta Keep Dancin' by Tim Hansel came into my life early enough to over-ride some old tapes I'd developed from hearing much self pity. Tim can't remember the last time he woke up without pain. This great athlete fell off a mountain more than 30 years ago. He ended up with a permanent injury that compressed his spine.

A Christian, Hansel prayed for healing "hundreds and hundreds of times". You may be thinking that he must be depressed and forlorn. No, one of his friends described him recently as "the most cheerful man I know". In his book I mentioned earlier he writes that no matter what your circumstances, you can choose to be joyful. I remember when I read his book, You Gotta' Keep Dancin' the light bulb went on for me. Seems this new light made me a troublemaker to the "normal" conversations at church and family gatherings. I was no longer an "amen" backup to "ain't it awful....?"
"I don't want to celebrate pain, but more deeply understand the dignity of what can happen in it, through and because of it," Hansel wrote. "Sometimes life is not so much to be understood as it is to be lived out. Some of us spend more time analysing life than we do living it. While pain is unavoidable, misery is optional."

Hansel is calling us not to be paralysed by life's challenges. He calls us to embrace all of life and not fear living. Hansel says God has given us such immense freedom He will allow us to be as miserable as we want to be. I awoke to wanting to thrive and have all the joy God had for me.

When the tides of life shift - through broken relationships, layoffs at work, death or just the passing of seasons - we might have to re-evaluate where our security is based.

"Life becomes precious and more special to us when we look for the little everyday miracles and get excited about the privileges of simply being human," Hansel said.

The Jewish Bible prophets give a great philosophy of life: live one day at a time. Don't live looking backward and grieving over the past, which is gone. Don't be troubled about the future; it's not here yet. God's name is I AM. Live NOW; and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.

The writers of the Psalms asked:
  • Whether God was good
  • Whether He loved us
  • Whether He let us suffer sometimes.

Their conclusion to all three was yes.

Suffering is sometimes a gift. Hansel said his accident had stopped him experiencing a trivial life. "God finally healed me of the need to be healed . . . I had discovered a peace inside the pain. Unless there is an element of risk in our exploits for God, there is no need for faith."

We have the right to choose what to do with our lives. We can choose to live and love honestly, or to live in fear. Making peace with pain and suffering are key to knowing how God means for us to thrive in our lives.

I'm looking for your viewpoints. Tell your stories or offer your honest questions on suffering.


I do want to keep dancing with You. Tune my spiritual ears up to your rhythm and beat. I pray to keep step with You and live and be! But most of all I pray that You lead. AMEN


Marilyn in Mississippi said...

Oh girl....you got my number today with this statement....."Some of us spend more time analysing life than we do living it. "
That's ME right on the money! I need to change!

Thanks for your daily insight Kay!

God bless,

jhunnelle said...

i missed reading your post, i did pray your prayer because that's what i need right now, to be always in tune with God.

Red Letter Believers said...

That Tim Hansel book is one of my favorites! You've inspired me to reread it ....it is a gem

Chatty Kelly said...

Though the tears may last for a night, joy comes in the morning. Sometimes I think it should read joy comes in the MOURNING. Tears can refresh your soul, and get you starting to refresh and renew.

I hate pain too. But I've grown from all the pain in my life. Keep walking...keep moving...keep going.

© 2008 Kay Martin

Thrive In Christ

Who I Am In Christ by Neil Anderson

For several months we will center on this book to pursue Thriving in our Christian journey.

Neil challenges us with: "Do you know who you are in God's eyes? We are no longer products of our past. We are primarily products of Christ's work on the cross. Who we are determines what we do.

You are not who you are in Christ because of the things you have done, you are in Christ because of what He has done. He died and rose again so that you and I could live in the FREEDOM of His love."

That's just the introduction. More to follow.