Have you ever faced a life threatening situation? Have you ever been so scared that in a single instant your entire life flashes before you? Have you been involved in a difficult trial or task of life where you feel as if there’s no one else to depend on except for yourself? Life is unpredictable and every now and then a seemingly normal day can suddenly turn into a “once in a lifetime” experience that we will never forget. Some of these experiences can be good, some of them traumatizing and some of them life threatening. We never forget these moments. I can bet you’re thinking of one or two that you have experienced yourself right now.
When I was a young teenager I would go to the beach a lot in the summer. I enjoyed going out in the ocean and going body boarding or “Boogie boarding” as some call it. One seemingly normal day I was out in the ocean like usual trying to catch some waves. Out of nowhere a larger and stronger set of waves started to come in. These weren’t tidal waves or anything—they probably weren’t much bigger than 3-4 feet. I caught one and rode the wave a little ways and then it broke. Those of you familiar with surfing, body boarding or just swimming at the beach know that even a 4 foot wave can have a very strong current and undertow. As the wave broke it sucked me under. Suddenly other waves were breaking on top of me. I was being swung around under the water by the ocean’s current and could not reach the surface to take a breath. Finally the waves calmed and I was able to come up. It seemed like I had been under the water for five minutes but in reality it was probably only a few seconds.
From this experience I’ll never forget the fear I had when I was under the water. It was a fear of not being able to breathe but even more a fear of losing my life. In situations like this adrenaline kicks in and your brain kind of goes into auto pilot. One thing I’ve noticed with myself is that when my brain kicks into these auto pilot situations it also kicks into auto pilot prayer. In those few seconds I was under not only was my entire life able to flash before my eyes, but I was able to pray like I never have before for the help of God.
Often in my life as a “non-believer” I would find myself in situations like these, whether it be a life threatening situation or just a dramatic life issue. In these moments my brain would always kick into auto pilot prayer. I can’t speak for everyone and say that everybody does this, but I have heard many people say while they were not confessed believers of God in certain profound situations they’ve found themselves praying. Why is this? I think it’s because our hearts know God is there. Our hearts can sense we are not alone but maybe our upbringing, culture or science education has told our minds otherwise. The auto pilot inside of us has an urge to cry out to God but our minds try and tell us He is not there. I would like to urge you to listen to your heart with this. God is there and He would like to have a relationship with you.
Jesus said: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-30)
Jesus is here now and wants to help you through even the small parts of your life. He tells us that you can find rest with Him! He will bear your burdens and help you through everything. I’m thankful I have Jesus to take up my yoke with me. I don’t know what I did for so many years without Him. He brings peace and joy to my life and can do the same for you. So I encourage you to involve God in the small details of your life, not just the dramatic ones. Don’t leave God as a last resort, talk to Him right now.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6)
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