5 things you need when life goes sideways

Last week, life went sideways at our house…

On Thursday night, our 16-year old son was diagnosed with diabetes, which set off an unexpected domino of events that included two ER visits and a hospital stay in the span of three days.

“Normal” is a thing of the past for us now…but really we’re just a little ahead of the curve as we all adjust to the “new normal” ahead of us in a post-pandemic world.

Life has gone sideways for many of us for different reasons, and it will continue to go sideways as long as we live in a world broken by sin.

So, I started thinking…

(Actually, if I’m honest, I went into survival mode.)

What did I need to get through the last several days?

Really, what do we all need when life goes sideways?

I’m sure the list could be longer…even should be longer. But, I’m keeping it to five today, and I hope that these five things will help/encourage you the next time your life goes sideways.

Number one: You need to remember that the LORD is your strength.

The Bible is literally full of verses that remind us of this, but today I stumbled on this one…

“Praise the LORD! For he has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” (Psalm 28:6-7)

Number two: You need to remember that the LORD’s mercies are new every morning.

In other words, every day you get a full helping of God’s mercy…and He’s not stingy with it.

“The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Number three: You need to remember that God’s grace is sufficient for whatever it is that you are going through.

The important thing to remember here is that you are not sufficient, but God is. And, he’s not stingy with his grace either.

“My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” – the LORD speaking to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9

Number four: You need to remember that the trials we go through are meant to make us stronger, not weaker (see number three).

The trials we go through are part of living in a broken world…yes. But they are not purposeless or even necessarily punishment for sin. In fact, we need trials to make us stronger in our faith and in our dependence on God.

“…when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

Number five: You need to remember that you are not meant to go through life’s challenges alone.

When life goes sideways, you need people in your life to mourn with you, comfort you, encourage you, and just be there for you. It’s no wonder that the Bible is full of verses that talk about caring for one another.

“God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Like I said, this list could go on and on and on. But, I’ll stop at five.

As I think back on the last several days, I am thankful…

…that the LORD has been my strength,

…that I’ve woken up every day to a full helping of his mercy,

…that his grace is sufficient for whatever the “new normal” is going to be,

…that this trial is helping me depend more on him every day,

…and that my family has been surrounded by so many people who have loved and encouraged us as our life went sideways.

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