Thursday, July 28, 2011

Who Turned Up the Heat?

A few weeks ago my family and in-laws went to Palm Springs to celebrate Tami’s dad’s birthday. The one thing he wanted to do was play golf, so we did. It was team golf: Tami and me verses Tyler and her dad. When we started at 7:30 a.m. it was about 90 degrees. When we finished it was about 115 degrees. As we were finishing we all felt like someone has just turned a dial to turn up the heat! It was nice when we were able to go back to the hotel and lounge in the pool.

The weather is not the only way the heat can be turned up. We can feel the ‘heat’ in relationships, our work, even in athletics. When the heat gets turned up, life is not fun. You always want to figure out who turned up the heat. Is it heat from outside pressures, or heat from our own inner expectations? Sometimes it can be both.

Whenever you feel the heat getting turned up, here is what you should do: look beyond yourself. Where should you look? Look to God. This is because we are not capable of turning off the heat ourselves. Often times when we try and turn off the heat, it just causes more problems. But God has the power and know-how to turn it off.

In the last month it seems that the heat has been turned up in my life via conflict. At first my anxiety level goes up, my stress level goes up, my ability to sleep goes down, and I get a little overwhelmed. Then I remember to look beyond myself. I do 2 things that help. First, I seek to give it to God. As Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things.” What we allow our minds to dwell on will determine if the heat will get to us or not.

Second, we need to give it away to God and let God deal with it. Going back to Philippians 4, verses 6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Give it away by presenting it to God. But for God to deal with it you have to let go of it.

In my situation, conflict after conflict was dealt with in time. God provided me opportunities to resolve the conflict, or cause me to realize that the conflict was more in me than in the situation. In giving it to God I was able to be less anxious, be less stressed, and sleep better. I trusted in God and He delivered me.

The next time you feel the heat is being turned up, forget about the heat, and look to God. Blessings.