I’m thinking of specific friends and acquaintances I’ve made over the years who got stuck in one rut or another. And it seems rather obvious that the rut is unavoidable, and we cry out to God over and over again to deliver us from our rut. We pray that He will swoop down like Daddy Warbucks and carry us off to our new mansion we had no idea was waiting.

Except God doesn’t often work this way. So why do we handle our ruts the same way over and over again?

At some point, we must stop doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.

Should we stop praying? Of course not. But there’s a mindset that needs to shift. One that goes from a belief of “All I can do is just sit here and wait for deliverance” to “what steps are available RIGHT NOW that I could take and be proven as a good steward?”

When it comes to emotional malfunction – call it trauma, depression, heartbreak, addiction, inferiority, ADHD, panic attacks, PTSD – whatever the case, there are steps we can each take WHILE we cry out to the Lord for deliverance.

It’s not that we assume the responsibility of wholeness completely. It’s more that we don’t pawn off our portion of responsibility upon the Father so that we have nothing to do but cry and whine at him month after month, year after year, until we grow disheartened and disillusioned.

There are steps you can take today. Pray for those. Begin to channel your daily prayers into two directions: Father, deliver me and set me on the path of restoration and fulfillment of my purpose; and Father, I’m ready to take a step toward wholeness and restoration today – show me the step that is before me.

I’ve invested thousands of dollars in alternative treatments for my wife and I. I was willing to do what sounds foolish for the sake of even the slightest chance of improvement. Why? Because it’s more important to become restored than to look and feel dignified. If you are unwilling to look foolish, you will miss out on the vast majority of what God has for you. It is an act of self humbling to lower one’s self to do something that appears foolish or undignified in the eyes of others – IF you do it for a purpose. Being foolish in and of itself is not humbling, but rather wasteful. But there is a significant difference between looking foolish and acting foolish.

How did I find these alternative health treatments? Research. My wife, my mother-in-law, and I invested our time into seeking out treatments because remaining a malfunctioning person is unacceptable. It cost us television time; hangout with the friends time. And you know what? We’ve found more healing and restoration as a result of not allowing our peers to determine that remaining just like you are is acceptable.

It’s a never-ending pursuit of wholeness and relationship with Jesus. I seek Father God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit because I want to become who I was meant to be. But I also pursue healing apart from prayer and waiting because sometimes I can’t see God as He truly is until I remove the hurts and lies. And sometimes I can’t see what is what until I treat my body’s ailments first.

Body, Soul, and Spirit. Each has needs. Legitimate needs. The question is, as the only person who can guarantee continual effort for the sake of your own good, are you going to take up the mantle of responsibility and seek out your complete healing and restoration, or are you going to settle for brokenness and for living a sub-standard lifestyle?

The choice is yours. And it’s mine. Let’s take it seriously.

* image by alexbruda

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