When anyone’s cell phone seems to “glitch” as my oldest son calls it, my husband immediately says, “Did you turn it off and back on?” He knows that will reset the phone and usually result in a return to normal functioning.
In computer terms, a reset clears pending errors or events and brings a system to a normal or initial state condition, usually in a controlled manner. (Reset (Computing), Wikipedia)
Recently, I found myself reviewing the basics in every area of my life. A significant life trial has turned me back to the foundations of my operating system. I can’t exactly turn my whole life off and then back on again, but I can return to the basics in a way that sort of works like a system reset.
Trials in my life now usually bring me back to a truth the Holy Spirit revealed to me when I entered what I call the beginning of the end of depression’s hold in my life.
“Do not remember the former things or ponder the things of the past. Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even put a road in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)
This verse serves to refocus me on what God is doing and is going to do. We need to remember what he’s done for us but in ways that remind us of what he is doing and will yet do.
When life gets overwhelming (e.g., busyness, concern for loved ones, hard times finances, etc.) the basics provide stability. They exist as automatic priorities that can remain consistent even when all else seems unstable and falling apart.
For me, prioritizing involves letting three simple truths keep my mindset focused on what God desires.
- Focus determines reality. (Galatians 5:16-26; 2 Corinthians 4:18; Romans 8:5; Luke 12:34; Proverbs 16:3; Psalm 34:4-7)
- Keep it simple. (2 Corinthians 11:3; Luke 9:1-6; Matthew 7:13-14; Matthew 5:37; Psalm 119:130; Psalm 116:6; 2 Corinthians 1:12)
- Never give up. (Hebrews 10:35-36; Hebrews 10:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; Colossians 2:6-7; Luke 11:5-9; Matthew 10:22; Psalm 119:87)
As God reminds me of the power I am yet to see Him display, I return to these truths knowing they are guiding principles to give my life stability. All the details of my life flow through these basics.
Let the basics guide and direct you. They provide a foundation on which you can build and move forward, and they can encourage you when you feel defeated. The basics provide a system reset that might not erase the trials you need to endure, but they will allow you to operate from a place of stability.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Even though I don’t fully understand why these basics serve to encourage me so much, especially during really tough trials, I choose to trust in the future God has planned.
Because he has faithfully brought me through so many trials already, I know he will do so again. Because he has done the impossible over and over again in my life, I wait for the impossible to spring forth again.