Years ago, I was in a bad place in my life.
My husband of over a decade of marriage abandoned our family, which in turn left me and the kids in a homeless shelter.
I was scared and alone.
I didn’t have a church, the one I had been a part of for four years prior, was full of hypocrisy and said it was MY fault he left and had the affair. If only I had been a perfect wife, I wouldn’t be in that mess and they too, abandoned me.
I lost all my friends, whom I’d shared a lot with. I lost my husband, my home, my life.
As I sat in the homeless shelter, I contemplated how it was all my fault. But here’s the thing…
They were wrong!
The Inspirational Advice That Changed My Life
It was NOT my fault…and I know that now, but I didn’t then. I inerrantly believed them. I was so full of bitterness, anger, wrath, pain, torment. “I will never forgive the church or my ex-husband,” I told myself. “No one else in the world has to deal with everything I deal with. Why is this happening to me?” I yelled at God. “It’s not fair. Why not just kill me now?!”
The truth is, that if God would have allowed me to die at that moment, I would have gone to Hell.
Though I didn’t know it at the time, His love and grace was ever present. It was not long later, I gave my life to the Lord, but I was still so bitter and angry. I felt justified. “Leave me alone world,” I huffed.
But in my desire to know the Lord more with an unquenchable appetite for Him and His Word, I was watching a special retreat on video. The Pastor had a table next to him. On the table were two bottles. One bottle was soda. The other bottle was water. He took the bottle of soda in his hand and said (paraphrasing here)…
You know…life is pretty hard. “Your DARN RIGHT,” I yelled at the TV. It has its ups, he continued as he lifted the bottle of soda up to the sky, and downs (and dropped it down quickly shaking the bottle), and all around (shaking the bottle more and flying it like an airplane). Life gets messy (and he opens the bottle on himself and of course, it spews everywhere and gets him all messy) and we are in desperate need of a Savior.
He puts the soda bottle down, and takes the water bottle in his hands now, and continues.
There are so many pressures of life (he squeezes the water bottle), so much stress (squeezes it again, harder this time) and sometimes it can feel like a roller coaster (shaking the bottle wildly all over the place), and we are in desperate need of a Savior to wash all our muck and mess away (he opens the water bottle, it does not spew everywhere and he drips it on himself to wash away the soda mess).
He asks the audience, “What did you learn from this presentation?”
A few people stood up and said something like, we need a Savior to wash away our sins.
He said great. What else?
But no one knew.
He confidently asked again, Is there anything else you learned from this presentation? The room was very silent.
He asked, what happened to the soda bottle? Someone said, “LIFE!” And, he said, what happened to the water bottle? Again, the same person said “LIFE!” Then, he asked them the most profound question I’ve heard in a sermon in my life…if “life” as you call it happened to both the soda bottle AND the water bottle, why then, did one get me all messy and dirty and one got me clean?
And there went the bricks…right on top of my head!
He went on, You see if life is the same for everyone, and it is, we all have issues to deal with, and we do, then why did the soda explode, but the water didn’t? Let me put it plainly, he said. It wasn’t the plastic bottle, that was the same, on the outside a sinner and a saint could look the same. It wasn’t life, as that looks the same too, no, it was the contents of the bottle. It was what’s inside a man.
If you give the same situation to a redeemed Christian that you do to an unsaved man, you will get two different results. Soda is very different than water. It’s all about what’s inside. A Christian has God inside. An unsaved man does not.
And here’s the famous quote…can you guess it?
Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.
What we fill our hearts with, our minds, our souls, THAT is what comes out of us. We fill that bottle with soda, we get an explosion. We fill that bottle with water, we don’t get an explosion. It’s as simple as that.
That, my friends, is a sermon I will never forget.
It is one that had such a profound impact on my life as a Christian. All the sudden, like 12 tons of bricks falling on top of me, I realized that I wasn’t unique in my suffering. That people all over the world suffer every. single. day!
God would go on to show me, in my life, others who are suffering as well. When we take away that veil and really let people in.
For me, it was when I joined an essential oils company. I met a lot of hurting souls and it was there, that I knew my purpose in life.
Listen, I’ve gone through a lot, but I’m not the only one. Maybe I’m just the only one you KNOW. Maybe you’re there now, suffering, wondering WHY this is all happening to you, but there is hope.
There is a Savior who loves you more than Himself, that He would send HIMSELF to die on a Cross for YOU and me. That He would WILLINGLY suffer for us. We don’t choose to suffer. We chose to have everything just so. That’s not the case with Christ. He chose to suffer, to pay for your sins, to pay for my sins, so that we can have a relationship with Him.
I learned that what I put in my heart, comes out. What I put in my mind, comes out. If a man looks at pornography all his married life, eventually, it will come out into action in person (as was with my ex-husband). In my case, with my ex-husband, it was MANY women. You see, the brain can’t distinguish between what’s real and what’s not. The brain has no emotions. Same with filling your mind with spiritual things.
You know…when I am walking closely with the Lord, when I am reading my Bible daily, praying constantly, just loving on the Lord in all ways, walking in the Spirit, I feel myself as a completely different person. I am kinder, nicer, gentler, less easily angered, peaceful. I am filling my mind with holy things. I talk different. I use the language of the Bible, people think I’m weird. lol.
What are you filling your mind with this week?
Are you soda or water?
I’m so glad that God put this article on my heart because I do feel like this week I’m soda. I haven’t been spending time with the Lord like I should. I’ve been busy running around doing other things and not making that time with God a priority.
Life gets busy, you know. I get it. Right now, as I’m writing this, my mom just died. Things are insanely crazy as I try to deal with everything ALL BY MYSELF, as well as comfort kids who are greatly upset. It’s not easy!
So, I’m talking just as much to me as I am to you. We absolutely MUST put God a priority in our lives.
We must sacrifice for God daily. Daily taking up our cross. I commit to you today, that I will make it a priority for me this week, every single day to walk with the Lord and to repent that I have fallen into the trap of “busyness” this week, allowing God not to be in His rightful place, FIRST.
I will commit to praying for each audience member that reads this article as well. We all need to be encouraging one another to good works. Who’s with me? Will you pray for me? For other Christian readers? For yourself?