I recall advice that I received from my uncle regarding Cîroc Vodka. He said “That Cîroc will sit you down”. That was his way of cautioning me that it was a strong drink.
I have grown to learn that there are some things that you endure in life that will “sit you down”.
There have been times in my life where I was prideful and life took the necessary steps to humble me by sitting me down. I have disregarded the counsel of friends and family and had my arrogance sit me down. I have also had red flags glaring all over the place and rather than turn the other way, I sped up and moved into what my gut told me was the wrong direction. My end result was that my disobedience to the Voice of Truth sat me down.
I have passed judgement on others and thought myself better than people who sin differently than me. In turn I have had the opportunity to be judged and even at times finding myself walking similar paths of the very people I foolishly thought I was more highly than. And in that act, my very own judgement sat me down.
But there have been times when I don’t know any rhyme or reason as to why I was sat down. I think the first time life truly sat me down was when I was about 14 years old. I was in my mom’s room and a phone call came in. By the close of the phone call I was informed that my uncle had been murdered – Now that sat me down!
I remember my naive fourteen year old mind journaling and asking why didn’t the murderer ask me if it was okay to take my uncle’s life. I recall thinking had he asked me I could have told him that I loved my uncle very much and that taking him away from us would have hurt us deeply. That was my first dose of just how cruel a human being could be – and it sat me down.
I have no clue on the face of God’s green earth what my teenage self could have done to require me tosuffer such a tragic loss. But I found peace when I came to find that “the rain falls on both the just and the unjust”. Sometimes bad things just happen due to no fault our own.
Yes, there are times when we drink the Cîrocs of life and we sit our own selves down. If we are smart we learn from our mistakes and we don’t sit down in the same place twice. But there are times when we don’t choose to drink from the different flavors of the Cîrocs of this world and yet we still get sat down. To me those are the hard times.
When I have life sit me down and I have no clue why, I still ask myself: What did I do? Who did I wrong? How do I make this right so I can get out of this hard place? Sometimes after my reflection I simply cannot reveal my role in the tragedy.
I have come to find that sometimes those dark and lonely places where I can’t even see how I stumbled or who pushed me are for my growth. Those hard times when my back is up against the wall and I have no way of knowing how I will have my needs met, are ironically my best times.
They are my best times because I am quick to rely on God to have my needs met. When I don’t know how I am going to make it through to the next day, when I don’t know where I will find food or drink and I have no one to trust but God my intimacy with God gets stronger.
I used to worry a lot. I would have stress and anxiety about everything. Now, I don’t worry as much any more. When I find myself stressed or worrying, I immediately ask God to forgive me for not trusting him. While I will not pretend that I like the valleys of life, I must confess it is something beautiful in how God shows Himself strong by providing my daily provisions. It is something humbling in recognizing everything that I possess is all by the grace of God.
I have sat myself down and been sat down enough times to know that God always allows me to get back up. Sometimes I get frustrated during my times of tribulation. But it is at that time that I rehearse my victories. I remind myself that the very same God that pulled me through my yesterday will pull me through my tomorrow. I keep the faith and I press through.
Being sat down reminds me to trust God and it reminds me that I am flawed. I hate being sat down, but I love the lessons I learn while sitting. When I stand back up I never walk the same.
I see people who get sat down and who sit themselves down over and over again. I also see people who are sat down that never seem to get back up. I mean years go by and they are just still sitting.
I have learned not to pass judgement. I have learned not to assume to know why they are sitting. But I have learned that when I find myself in the sitting position my fastest way back up is to ask did I do something to cause this, and if so I take responsibility and I seek forgiveness. If I do self-reflection and I come back with a clear conscience, I immediately recognize the need to practice patience.
I sit in patience as I wait for God to make provisions, to provide protection and to teach me lessons. I become more quiet because I have come to find that times of tribulation are a good time for self inspection. I practice thankfulness in a greater way. I am reminded to help others because I become all too familiar with what it is to feel helpless.
But I will not pretend like I don’t get frustrated. While I handle things far better than I did in my yesteryear I still get irritated. I find myself thinking foolish things like maybe God has left me here to die. I call that thought foolish because, in my 33 years of sitting down and getting back up God has always lifted me back up.
So my advice is to stay away from the different flavors of the CÎrocs of life. Don’t drink them – because they will sit you down. But when you know you haven’t partaken in anything and you find yourself sitting, be patient, keep the faith, draw nearer to God and He will draw nearer to you.
And remember even if you are sitting don’t forget to love yourself even while sitting. Love yourself by self reflecting so that when you get back up – and you will get back up – you will find that you stand up stronger than you stood before. Even if you walk with a limp, if you keep the faith you will still stand.
© Renata Pittman and RenataNicole, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.