I may not be able to control the circumstance, but I can adjust how I react to it. Years ago, I went sailing in a Butterfly sailboat. This wasn’t just for leisure, but for clarity. Engaging in the outdoors helps me put things in perspective. This particular solo sail was different than my previous marine quests. Gray skies, inconsistent wind, and cool temperatures circled me, but I went anyway.

My husband was working on his computer while I ventured out on the water. “Honey, please keep an eye on me. If I tip over, I might need your help,” I said to him. “Yeah, no problem,” he replied back.

sailboat
This is the actual sailboat I was on.

Off I went. The wind pressed my face. The sound of the wake soothed my spirit. This is just what I needed, then WHOOSH! A gust of wind caught the sail. I quickly loosened my grip on the rope. My skin pricked as I stood vertical for a few seconds; then the boat crashed back down where I almost tipped over backward! “That was a close one,” I said out loud. I continued to get random gusts. My grip on the rope ached.

Circumstance defined

A circumstance is a condition that accompanies a fact or an event. We all face circumstances in life. And we all are challenged by how we react to them. We can throw a fit, fight it, or blame everyone…but ourselves; however, our other choice is to tighten our belt, accept the challenge, and work through it.

In Psalm 16:8 David says this about circumstance, “I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” (NIV) If only I practiced this throughout my life. I’ve been through many circumstances where I did fight it, I threw fits, and I blamed others…not proud moments of mine. But when I gave the circumstance to God for him to figure it out, I stopped fighting, whining, and blaming. I became a better person.

“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”

Martha Washington

When the wind blows

With the wind howling and my grip weakening, I started to head back to shore. WHOOSH! The boom shot out! The rope burned my palms. I couldn’t control it. “Oh crap!” Into the water I went.

After fully realizing what just happened, and seeing that the wind was pushing the boat. I looked to the shore for my husband. Eck-em’…I looked to the shore for my husband. Hmm.

“Okay, I can do this,” I coached.

With all my might, I shimmied up the daggerboard with my lifejacket on…this is a lot harder than it seems. From past experiences, I knew I had to stand on the board and lean back to get the sail out of the water. The only problem was that I was by myself and was worried the wind would grab hold of the sail and take off. As soon as the boat filled up-right, I clinched the edge of the boat. Sure enough, the wind got a hold of the sail and I quickly got my body back in the middle. I took hold of the rudder and carefully managed the sail, but the wind gusts yelled at me. This was a bad idea.

My mind raced. I was about 150 yards from the dock. Whitecaps were forming. Darker clouds were approaching. And there was no way I could sail without tipping again. I looked to the shore for my husband. Hmm.

“Oh help me God,” I prayed.

Then I got an idea, take the sail down and swim back.

sailing

Managing a circumstance is being able to know when to stop fighting it and when to give it to God.

Here are 3 powerful tacking tricks to help stay afloat

  1. Discern. How is this making me feel? Who is this affecting besides me? What values do I have that are above this circumstance? What can I learn of this?
  2. Discipline. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV) We discipline our tongues. We feed on goodness…good music, positive movies, healthy conversations, eat clean food, and read the Word. In a world like today, this needs discipline before depression sets-in.
  3. Do. We pray and ask for help while we try everything in our power to manage the circumstance. If this doesn’t work, then we give it all to God and let God be who He is, our Savior. Some might argue on the order…why not give it to God first? Because God gave us the power, the heart, and the brains to move. He’s not a genie, He’s a father. Have you heard, “If we do our part, then He will do His”?

“You can’t be a prisoner of your circumstances.” Joyce Meyer

I swam the boat back to the dock that day. I faced my circumstance; in fact, I jumped right into it. It was humbling, it was cold, and it was hard, but I used what God gave me and saw Him help me through it.

This sailboat experience is just a small physical example of how we cannot control our circumstances. I know my sailing event doesn’t compare to unemployment, infertility, sickness and disease, loss of a loved one, unexpected expenses, and broken relationships…or does it?

What is one small step you can do to manage a circumstance you’re facing now?

By CT Copyright © 2017 More Than Existence All Rights Reserved.

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