Ladies and Gentlemen, I am back! Sorry for the wait; I have been a little preoccupied with my writing! So I just finished a section in my latest novel, Anima's Grip, that gave some deep insights. Without giving too many details away, let me paint the picture for you. The characters are in a crucial moment of life and death where their last hope of survival is ripped out from under them. Thousands of feet in the air, the very platform that gave their feet purchase and their bodies stability is gone. Now, imagine with me that moment of freefall. Sudden, absolute, unhindered plummeting through space and sky... Plug yourself in. Feel the wind rushing through your hair, the screaming of the currents buffeting your face. See the ground rising up to meet you and the sheer loss of hope that accompanies it... Then, salvation. It could be in the form of parachutes, a rescuer, or in the context of my story, magic. Either way, your life is spared and you are safely escorted to the ground. Where once there was hopelessness abounding, now there is gratitude and peace. The freefall is over.
As brief as that image may have been, in full context you could feel adrenaline, anxiety, and even that sense of impending doom. It's exactly why people actually do skydive and bungie-jump, etc... The powerful emotions are enough to consume you entirely. But the physical prospect of falling is not what had me wrapped up in contemplation. Sometimes in life, we can be in spiritual, emotional, even mental freefall, much as my characters were experiencing alongside their physical plummet. I want to talk a little today about that and how we can find stability and hope when our lives are literally falling apart. If you're in freefall today, this might be just the encouragement you are looking for.
It's amazing just how quickly our lives can turn disastrous. It's equally amazing just how slowly they can do the same... Sometimes life sours overnight and you are left with a rotten mess to clean up the next morning. Other times life subtly loses its flavor over the course of weeks, months, or even years. It could be anything that brings it on. We all have issues that may or may not be the same. Everyone always quotes, "Losing a loved one, losing a job, losing possessions, etc... But what about the tragedies that no one seems to mention? Never finding purpose. Feeling alone and left out. Drowning in the despair that the media paints every day. The end result can become the same for all of these, however, if a solution doesn't present itself in time. With constant damage, a wound will never heal; instead it festers and grows worse over time. Even the mightiest men can lose hope when the pit becomes too deep, the gap too wide, and the light just too dark too see. I believe that most of you reading this understand exactly what I am speaking of. You have likely experienced such frustration and lack of hope. But many of you have never reached the next stage...
It is as I have said, a solution can be found to these presented ills. Eventually loss can be overcome with endurance and substitutes. It is the human nature to adapt and survive, even ailments to the soul. The man without purpose may find a small reason to keep going on. The woman who feels abandoned and alone may find a niche where she feels welcomed at the least. The child who daily sees the evils of the world on CNN may find a coping mechanism to shut off his or her emotions. The solutions aren't always healthy, but that is a message for another time. I want to take this another direction, maybe one less traveled. What happens to those who don't find that solution? What happens when no coping mechanism, no family, no reason to live, can be found? This is freefall.
What do I mean by freefall? Well as I began in the introduction, I defined the term in this context as an emotional, spiritual, and/or mental state where a person has exhausted all options. We'll keep it simple. Freefall is stage x, the last known frontier of despair when everything is crumbling around you. It is that point where no medicine can be found for your wound, no wisdom seems sufficient to pull you through it, there is no hope of coming out alive. It is the sheer moment of letting go. Let me temper this by specifying that all freefalls do not end in suicide, although that is certainly an outlet for some. There are those who simply live in suspended animation, trekking through the day-to-day in absolute agony for existing. This may be hard to comprehend for some of us, and I would praise God if you are among those not following me, because that might just mean you have never been here. But for those of you who have, or may be here even now, I want you to pay careful attention, because not only am I providing you the solution you are searching for, I am offering it with a guarantee.
Before I drop my spiritual remedy on you, let me sympathize. I have never experienced this state myself. I cannot comprehend the first-person pain that freefallers must be going through, though I can still say I am qualified to assist. Why? Because I am an ambassador for the one who is the cure. Notice that I did not say 'has the cure,' but rather 'is the cure.' His name is Jesus. Now before you write me off, let me at least explain myself. I present you not with a man who had good teachings and an admirable life, but the man who was fully God come in the flesh. And not a god, mind you, but THE capital G- God. The very creator of existence and the one whose form we take after, as we are created in His image. Now I understand that there are many of you out there who don't believe this, and you have that right, but if you are in freefall today, I would assume that you have likely tried all other options and are at your wit's end. So what do you have to lose by hearing these words and believing?
28 "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11, ESV)
These are Jesus' words to those who were struggling to do it on their own terms, to struggle with tradition, society, popular opinion, and even their own selfishness to find the hope of living a stable, right life. If you are freefalling, chances are that you might be doing the same. I'm not chastising, understand me; I am simply making an observation.
The greatest gift to a drowning man is reprieve, a chance to relax, breathe again, and cease the struggle. Wouldn't you agree that it should be the same for those of us in absolute freefall, those struggling to simply make it through the next day. Hear me. Jesus is your reprieve. He is the only true peace in this storm. You and I can swarm fads, fashions, secular advice, ancient wisdom, or whatever we want, but we will never ever find true, lasting peace outside of God. If you don't believe me, keep trying it. Chase it down, search it out, and watch it fade; it will fade. That is to say if you even find a true peace, a real hope in the first place. Whatever the solution, for whatever stage of freefall you may be in, if it isn't Jesus, it isn't real.
But this isn't discouraging, friends! In fact, it's quite the opposite! If you are looking for a reprieve, if your storm is raging right now, if you are in hopeless freefall, then take a moment to try my solution, to try Jesus. According to scripture, He is the very one who created you, wove you into the tapestry of existence. He is the one who carries you, sustains you, and not only you, but literally everything. He is God and he cares. Don't believe me? Take it to the Bible and see what a collection of 1000+ year old accounts inspired by God himself have to say about the matter. He cares. And during this time in your life, He wants to be your reprieve.
Now, I don't want to leave anyone disillusioned: this is more practical than a spiritual, transcendent emotion. Don't think that you can simply "tune" yourself into God and all will turn to sunshine. Let me give you one simple, practical way of finding your peace and hope restored through Jesus. It's called "Submit." What? Submit? In today's society, that's a bit of a dirty word, which is exactly the problem. Let's define that. According to our old friends Merriam and Webster, Submit is defined as "The act of yielding oneself to the authority or will of another." Naturally, everyone tends to despise this. No one wants to Submit to anyone other than their own desires and feelings. It is the human nature to oppose such an action as carved into us by our sin origins. Human nature is a long road full of dead ends. And you are welcome to stay on that road if freefalling is your personal end goal in life. But if you want something more, if you want life to make sense and you want to find peace in the pain surrounding you, then you must Submit. Not once, not monthly, but every single day, every single moment of every day, Submit yourself to God.
But what does Submitting look like, you know, in real life? Picture this: You wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Last night hurt and it's lingering still, (insert personal circumstance). This morning, you have a wicked ride to work, and the boss greets you with some complaint as you look down to see a text from a loved one saying that someone close was in an accident. You were on the edge already, but before you leap, you pause for a moment to Submit. You find a quiet spot and pray. Instead of rambling in your head towards God, you choose to recite His promises, His great and wondrous works, or maybe His personal affections for you found in scripture. It soothes you because it reminds you of the truth, not the crashing emotions and circumstances around, but the rock-solid, immutable truth that God is your strength. It may seem simple, but you have just chosen to trust in the authority of God rather than to wrestle through your predicament alone. Small moments of trust lead to greater Faith and through your growing Faith in God, you begin to see more and more light in the darkness around you. Call me out on this. Challenge me, call my bluff. If you truly begin to believe, I can assure you that your freefall will cease. You will find that God has held you safely in His arms the entire time even when the darkness was too great to see Him.
Now, be careful to truly Submit and truly believe in these moments. It is as James encourages and warns in scripture:
2 "Count it all joy, my brothers,[b] when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." (James 1, ESV)
When you ask for peace, for wisdom, for the way out, you must trust that God will deliver in His ways and His timing. And realize that God never promises to fulfill your every whim and desire. This is not a false prosperity gospel, friends; this is the Truth, that God loves you and God is Just. We tend to lose the meaning of being Just in this day and age. Justice is not revenge on wrongdoing or calling the shots on criminals. True Justice is standing firm on the foundation of moral rightness and delivering every action in accordance with it. The key here is that God IS moral rightness; He created it! And if He deems that the right thing is to take care of the ones He loves, then you can guarantee that He will. That doesn't mean that He will provide you with riches and glories, but it does mean that He provides you with whatever he sees fit and it will be right.
I have done my best here to encourage you, but these are just words on a digital page until you follow through with the practice. I hope and pray that each of you reading this will find solace in Jesus as it was meant to be. I pray that you will avoid freefalling by Submitting daily to God's will for you. If you are freefalling even now, I pray that you will find restored hope and peace in God and see that He will catch you without delay as you call out to him. If any of you need more comforting words, my contact is here, the comment box is below, and there are a host of men and women out here that would love to help you find that hope. Let me know what you think. There is a solution, and his name is Jesus.
Out... - Steven