Hey you, I’ve got some good news…
This news is so good I’m going to just get right to the point. It’s not all on you. What is “it” exactly? Whatever we go through in life.
A daily devotional I read this morning led me to this scripture.
We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. 2 Corinthians 1:8-10 NLT
It was highlighted so that means I had read it before. But it hit me differently this morning. Isn’t that just how scripture works? It gives you new insight and inspiration each time you read it depending on where you are and what’s happening in your life.
As I read the scripture, it dawned on me that the reason we often struggle is because we are busy carrying burdens that we were not meant to carry. Regardless of whether or not you are a Christian, I’m sure you’ve heard more times than you can count that when you’re struggling with something that seems bigger than your mind, heart and skill sets can handle, you should give it over to God. But what does that mean to give something over to God?
Admittedly, I haven’t completely mastered this thing. But then again who really has? Even Paul acknowledged on more than one occasion how much he struggled. However, I have found some steps that guide me when I’m tempted to carry things on my own.
Talk to him about it. It seems simple doesn’t it? The more I’ve talked with people about their spiritual journeys, the more I realize how difficult it is for people to pray. Most of us were not taught how to do it so we’re afraid of it. And we tend to avoid things we fear. Honestly though, prayer is just a conversation with God. I’ve found that when I just talk to God as if He is my father and my friend, which He is, my spirit is comforted. I begin to feel at peace. When you are faced with something that’s troubling, talk to Him about it and ask Him to help you. He may give you the discernment you need to take action in a way you have not tried. He may give you the strength to do something you didn’t think you had it in you to do. He may reveal someone in your life who can help turn things around. There are myriad ways God can choose to handle it, but talking it through with Him will allow you to start collaborating with Him instead of trying to take on the burden on your own.
Be still. I think this is probably one of the most misunderstood concepts, as it relates to faith. I know many believe to be still is synonymous with doing nothing. Quite the contrary. When you are in the state of “being still”, you are praying, trusting, exercising patience, listening, being obedient – a whole host of exercises that most of us find difficult. As with anything though, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. The challenge is, most of us don’t have practice in being still. We are used to fixing, worrying, manipulating, controlling…or is that just me? That’s why we’re exhausted. We’re doing too much. When I truly understood what this concept meant and I started praying, listening, patiently waiting for God to speak instead of worrying, fixing, trying to control the situation, etc., I got much better results – even when things weren’t resolved right away.
Believe He has already handled it and trust Him. This might be the hardest one for us. God made us in His image so we have a level of autonomy and brain power no other creature on Earth has. However, we are not Him so we have limited sight and understanding. When we try to fix and control things that we are not equipped to handle on our own, we get ourselves into trouble. Giving our concerns, worries, troubles over to God requires that we trust He’s already seen the end so He knows exactly how to handle it. When we talk to Him and are still and patient enough to wait for Him to reveal the game plan, as Paul said “He will continue to rescue us.” He will provide for us. We’ve got to trust His word on that.
Whatever that thing is that is so hard for you to endure, that seems almost unbearable… it’s not your battle; it’s His. He did not intend for you to carry it out alone. So, breathe… relax. He’s got you covered. Trust that He will not let you fail. If that’s not good news, I don’t know what is!
Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10 NIV