What to Do When Life Gives You a Gut Punch
Like a punch in the gut came the reality that things are about to take a dramatic swing and aren’t going to comply with the way you imagined it would be. These gut punches are a reality of life. How we respond to them is what I want to chat about today. To put it simply, I believe when these gut punches assault us, we find ourselves at a fork in the road. We must make a decision at what path we’re going to take from here. Yes, I realize you’re doubled over from the pain and your head is spinning with shock, but you must make a choice.
Option number one in response to the gut punches of life.
Do it your way.
Just take matters in your own hands. You can fix it, right? Wrong. While I know that God’s plan ultimately gets carried out, I believe we can delay it by trying to “fix it” ourselves. What we don’t realize is that God sees all, knows all. This gut punch may very well be a lesson. It could be because God is trying to protect you from something. There could be a number of reasons, but the mistake is taking our eyes off Him and taking the path that deceives us into thinking “I got this.”
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
Lord, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps. Jeremiah 10:23
for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Philippians 2:13
Option number two in response to the gut punches of life.
Do acknowledge that God has a purpose and a plan.
Pray, my friend. Just fall to your knees and pray. You’re already doubled over and half way there! Thank Him that He already saw this coming. He already knows how it will pan out. Confess any sins. Put the situation back in His hands and trust His will. Trust His timing.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9
Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. Proverbs 19:21
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 239:16
Option number three in response to the gut punches of life.
Even though there are only two forks ahead of you, there is the third option of just doing nothing. I don’t recommend this option because the result of this choice is paralyzing and really is no different than taking the path of fixing it yourself. Both are driven by fear.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 1 John 4:18
I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4
The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe. Proverbs 29:25
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? Psalm 56:3-4
I believe this fork in the road that lies before us, as we’re doubled over in pain, is clearly marked. One is marked FEAR – Jesus is not Here. And the other is marked TRUST – Jesus is Here. Oh and the third sign simply says - You are Here. While I believe nothing can separate us from Christ and wherever we go, we’re not alone, I do believe if we’re clouded and consumed with fear we can’t see this truth because it’s obstructed by fear.
With all this said, roll with those gut punches. Roll them right back into the hands of God and trust Him with the outcome.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3