I won’t ramble on about all the sayings with the number 1 in them. You have probably already heard them. If you haven’t and are divorced, you will shortly.
For some reason, I just felt led to write about this number. It is just that; a number.
You could say that numbers come in all shapes and sizes, but that would not make sense. Unless of course, you are looking for a crazy one for your next Powerpoint slide or Instagram story.
What struck me is why this number can mean the best, the first, and the chosen. It can also be a lonely and depressing number when you are divorced or looking at your account balance.
When you have done everything people tell you to do and yet you don’t feel like you are making progress, what then?
Has counseling, group therapy, and well-meaning friends/family dragging you out of the house seemed to leave you feeling no better than before?
Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE who has been devastated by divorce, has been where you are. At least for a time.
How long that time is varies from a day or two to years. It all depends on the 1.
What am I talking about? The number? 1?
As a Christian, of course it all comes down Jesus. He is our #1. But that is not where I want to end it. You have heard or will hear all of that, so let me take another look at the number 1.
I think about those who have tried everything and feel stuck. Is that you?
You don’t feel like you have healed at all. You may even feel worse now than when this tragic season started for you.
It is like that book writer trying to start a masterpiece and all you see is an overflowing trash can of crumpled up paper in the corner. (Back when people used typewriters.)
Now what? How do I start? What next?
Ok. Here comes the best advice I can give you after 30 years of experience involved in either my own divorces or ministry to those needing answers:
Come on, Brent. Give us something….. I am sure this is what you are thinking. And I would be too.
Let me explain what I feel led to share with you.
Just quiet yourself and take a breath. God has blessed you with another one. Slowly breathe in and out.
You are alive and breathing, so God can and will use you. He has a purpose for you being here and in the situation you are in. Everything else at this moment doesn’t matter. Close your eyes and just slowly breathe for a moment or two.
Job 12:10 ESV
10 In his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of all mankind.
Take a moment to clear your mind of all the thoughts causing you to feel down, depressed, and anxious. There is a thought in there that wants to rise up and it is being choked off by negative thoughts.
When you quiet your mind and think of peace, what do you think of? The wind rustling through the trees on a cool morning outside? How about the whooshing of the waves slowly crashing on a quiet beach as you relax in a chair staring out at the ocean? Does staring at all of the twinkling stars overhead on a clear dark night make you feel like all of your cares are gone, even for a moment?
Philippians 4:8 ESV
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Take a moment to thank God for His love for you. He loves you with an everlasting love. Nothing that has happened to you or any perception you have about yourself can even come close to what God thinks about you. Yes, you!!
Pray a simple prayer. No agenda. No desires. Just pray that God reveals to you how much He loves you. Ask Him to show you. Ask that He touch you so you can feel Him all the way to your soul. Just spend a moment with Him. Nothing more than that. All of the issues you are dealing with will still be there, but this is your time with the One who created you.
Don’t rush it. Be honest. Pour out your heart to Him. He will listen.
Jeremiah 29:12 ESV
12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.
Just do 1 simple thing today. Just 1. Something you have never done before.
Scream “JESUS!!!” at the top of your lungs. Drop and do 20 push-ups. Open the blinds and look for a bird or butterfly. Start reading that book you bought 4 years ago. Grab your Bible, close your eyes, and just start flipping through the pages until you feel you need to stick your finger on a page. Read that chapter. Find a podcast you have never listened to and listen. Call that friend you have lost track of who is on your mind.
Do 1 thing. Something. Move forward.
God will honor your movement towards healing.
In John 5, you can read the story of a man who had been an invalid for 38 years. I could never imagine the pain and shame this man must have endured over his life.
Jesus came and asked him “Do you want to be healed?”. The man did not answer with a yes. He explained to Jesus that he had nobody to help him into the healing pool. We can argue if it was an excuse or just the man frustrated with his situation, not knowing what to do. That is not the point.
Jesus didn’t talk down to him or make him feel less than worthy.
Jesus said to do something. “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.”
Sermons have been preached about so many points in just these few verses. I am not going to preach to you.
Just do something.
Ask God what He wants you to do. Then do it.
John 5:9 ESV
9 And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.
Just a simple action, an honest prayer, a peaceful thought, and a breath from your Creator.
You may never see the number 1 the same again.
What is your 1?
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