According to the Collins Dictionary, a survival mechanism is something you or your body does automatically, in order to survive in a dangerous or unpleasant situation. When we go through a traumatic experience or difficult season, we develop survival mechanisms to try to deal with our loss and feelings – these mechanism can be negative (substance abuse, overeating, gossiping, frivolous spending, etc.) or positive (prayer, fasting/meditation, exercising, serving others, etc.).
We all lost something this past year. Some of us lost a loved one, while others may have lost their livelihood, home, health or income. Regardless of what you lost, be mindful of the survival mechanisms - the thoughts, attitudes and lessons you are taking with you into this new year. If you do not, you will find yourself in the same place a year from now, trying to figure out how to move forward after a setback.
When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. – John 6:5-6 NIV
God already knows what He is going to do in your life. What we sometimes perceive as a delay from God, is really a just a test of our faith. Therefore, do not be in a rush to go from one season of your life to another, without first developing some positive survival mechanisms. Positive behaviors, words and actions will strengthen your faith and prepare you for what God is about to do for you.
Let Nothing Be Wasted
Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” – John 6:10-12 NIV
When Christ took the five loaves and two fish and fed the five thousand, they all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. There is a lesson to be learned in everything you experienced this year. The disciples left with more than what they came with and you will too if you take the right lessons with you.
- Do not leave your season of singleness without first learning how to love yourself.
- Do not leave your season of debt without learning how to budget your money.
- Do not leave your season of unbelief without learning how to have faith again.
- Do not leave your season of anger without learning how to forgive.
- Do not leave your season of poor health without learning how to live a healthier lifestyle.
- Do not leave your season of grief without learning how to deal appropriately with loss.
The difficult lessons you learned this year will be the very thing God uses to bless you in the next season of your life.