Life in a Minefield

Intro

Sometimes in life things just get to be too much. Whether it’s school or friends or stuff at home, or a nasty combination of those and more, sometimes life just feels too unstable. Every day can feel like a battle and you are on constant alert for the next big catastrophe. Does this sound familiar?
Regardless of where your problems are coming from, God has a plan for you to make it through. So if you feel like you spend all day walking on egg shells, or if you feel like a ball of stress that runs around all day trying to catch up with life’s craziness, or a hundred other ways that might make you feel like you’re living in the middle of a minefield - keep reading! Find out how Jesus intends for us to handle the daily instability of our lives, because with his help anything is possible!

Story

I recently went through a time of pretty radical transition and change and everything around me felt unstable. Even internally, I felt off kilter. I had recently moved, I had a new roommate. My parents and I were fighting all the time, and I had some huge deadlines for school rushing toward me. I was overwhelmed and completely stressed out.

On top of that some of my depression that I had struggled with a couple years before started rearing its ugly head. I’d wake up in the morning and instantly feel a wave of pressure and tension sweep through my body. I didn’t start each day new and refreshed; instead, from the instant I opened my eyes I felt like a rabid porcupine fighting for survival! I couldn’t even be nice to my roommate as I tried to rush out the door. Really, I just felt like I was constantly running on empty. I could never recharge and never rest because there was always some part of my life (or multiple parts) that was threatening to fall apart at any minute. It just seemed like everything everyday was too much to handle and I couldn’t take it! Everything was out to get me. Nothing ever worked out. No matter how hard I tried, everything just seemed to be falling apart. Do you ever feel this way?

Something my counselor said to me during that time is that it is important to use spiritual disciplines to make sure that we are wiring our brain correctly. She said that we actually have the ability to influence our neurological pathways through regular spiritual discipline. This is a scientific and biological fact!! It’s been proven, and it works.

So by using tools like daily Bible study, fasting, injecting ourselves into a community of believers and participating in the Body of Christ, we can find stability and energy to face life. So take the time to look outside of your own life and serve those in the community around you through volunteering and donations. Be selfless and generous with your time. These things will foster good neurological pathways in your brain that will literally change the way you see and respond to the world!

Then, as you encounter the challenges that will inevitably come and as you deal with the transitions that are more likely to happen to you as a military kid, you will keep the right frame of mind as you journey through. Rather than feeling like everything is unstable and nothing ever goes your way, and no matter how hard you try things never turn out right, you’ll understand that it is a journey. It’s a process. And the work you do today to grow and mature in your faith and to bring God’s message to those around you is bringing the universe one inch closer to experiencing the Kingdom of God on earth. That’s huge! If you do this with joy and commitment to God’s purpose and with feet firmly planted in his love and his guidance provided through Scripture and the Holy Spirit, you will prevail! While life can be a minefield, Jesus is an amazing guide through it all.

Bible intro

This passage from Isaiah is a fantastic one for times when your life feels unstable. As you read, notice how there are a lot of emotions expressed, problems big and small, a clear solution given, instructions on how to succeed, a warning, and a promise! 

Personal Questions
1. Do you relate to a part or all of the story above?
2. What things are causing instability to your life?
3. Does the idea of following God and trying to live your life his way seem like a good idea? Why or why not?
4. Do you believe that receiving Jesus’ salvation and making him Lord of your life will make a difference in your day to day life? How and why or why not?
5. Are there any dangers to doing things God’s way? What are they? Does the Bible have anything to say about them?
Prayer

Dear Jesus, It’s hard to believe that something like reading the Bible is going to change much in my life. I know you say it’s important but what does it really do? I want to trust you, I want to live my life in faith; but honestly, I don’t even know what that means most of the time. Can you please help me understand how living for you is the better option? Bring people into my life that I can talk to, show me something new when I read or watch TV, help me to see it from your perspective. And more than that, give me the faith and courage to live according to your ways even when I don’t understand. Amen.

411

It might be that one of the minefields you are living with day in and day out is abuse or trouble at home or somewhere else. If this is the case, you need to seek help from people trained and equipped to guide you and yours through this time. Do not try to go it alone. Speak the truth and ask for help. Here are some resources to get your started. Please be sure to send us a message on Facebook or Twitter so those of us here at RezLife can be praying!
Domestic Violence Resources for Military Families (and more!)
Child Abuse and Domestic Abuse (with phone #s)
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration
A Page of Resources Through HHS.gov
Another Page of Resources Through Military.com

Quizical

It can be really challenging to combat the instability of this world when you are struggling with an internal battle for balance. Make sure you are in a good place; and if you’re not, talk to a counselor, parent, or leader about some ways you can begin addressing your internal struggle. This quiz is a great “check-in” when you’re not sure how you’re doing:

http://whatsmym3.com/

Stories

Read this short story about Jesus and his first followers. It reads like fantasy fiction! But it’s true! We are all his followers and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Remember that as you navigate the daily landmines around you.

Matthew 17:14-20

When they returned to the crowd, a man came to Jesus, knelt before him, and said, “Sir, have mercy on my son! He is an epileptic and has such terrible attacks that he often falls in the fire or into water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”

Jesus answered, “How unbelieving and wrong you people are! How long must I stay with you? How long do I have to put up with you? Bring the boy here to me!” Jesus gave a command to the demon, and it went out of the boy, and at that very moment he was healed.

Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked him, “Why couldn't we drive the demon out?”

“It was because you do not have enough faith,” answered Jesus. “I assure you that if you have faith as big as a mustard seed, you can say to this hill, ‘Go from here to there!’ and it will go. You could do anything!”

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Scripture

Philippians 1:3-11 - This is a prayer from Paul for any believer who reads it (meaning you!) It also has some great advice on how to live to bring about he Kingdom of God and combat the instability of daily life.

Galatians 5:1-13 - Jesus offers you freedom from the pain and instability in this world – a freedom that allows us to serve one another in love – never give that up!

John 16:31-33 - The Lord is always with you! When life is explosive, keep this verse in mind.

Psalm 20:6-9 - This is literally a battle cry to have faith and courage in the LORD! He will make you victorious!

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 - Another good read!

Video

This is a clip from Bruce Almighty. Everything is unstable and Bruce has no idea what he is supposed to do to make things right. Pay attention to the first thing he does to address the problem. What does that reveal to us about God’s will and how to respond to life when it’s explosive?

 

Life Questions
1. Rewrite Isaiah 33 in a journal or notebook. Make the words or phrases that are important to you bigger; give them shapes and colors. Use drawing, writing, etc to express the parts of the Scripture that describe your life and heart right now and spend some time articulating those feelings to God and listening to his guidance.
2. Look at the Supporting Scripture section and choose one to memorize this week. Put it by your bed, fridge, locker, or somewhere you will see it multiple times a day. Tell a family member or close friend why you chose that verse and what you need to understand about Jesus Christ’s presence in your life.
3. Make a list of the things that create a minefield in your life. Then take each one of them and ask God to give you his perspective on it and how to live in faith, trusting him to lead you through it. Then thank him for his mercy and love for you!
Lol

Check out this gameplay video of a hilarious Minecraft explosion! It’s the “Dear God!” that really does it for me. [WARNING: BRIEF LANGUAGE]