HOW MUCH? HOW LONG?

We wake up every morning knowing we have to meet the day with eyes wide open.  The day can be fully planned in the way we would like it to proceed.   However, with just one phone call, one e-mail, one encounter, or one situation the plan can fall apart quickly.  When this happens it leaves us stunned, out of breath, confused, angry, or in an emotional heap.  It’s hard to face a different day than what we had planned.  It’s hard to face the happenings we didn’t plan to face.  In reality, life is hard and sometimes it just keeps getting harder.  What do we do when we don’t see an end to the hardness of our days?

One thing we want to do is fix it and make our life easier.  We’ll go to great lengths to bring about peace.  The problem is, we can’t always fix the problem.  We are not God!  That is not an easy thing to swallow when we buy into things like, “God helps those who help themselves.”  What a lie!  There is nothing we can do to earn God’s favor; otherwise it wouldn’t be called favor.  Sometimes we can fix a piece or a part of our lives only to see another area fall apart.  The truth is, there is only one God and He has our back.  He knows where we are and what is going on in our lives.  As His children, we know that He is with us all the time.  What a comfort that is, as we realize we are not the fixers of life.

If we can’t fix it, then we, at least, just want the trouble to stop.  Sometimes we feel like the clown who keeps getting hit with the pie in the face.  More and more life situations land on us, leaving us messy and unsure of what to do.

“I am weary with my moaning every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.  My eye wastes away because of grief; it grows weak because of all my foes.”  Psalm 6:6-7

If you have been in a position where there seems to be one pie after another hitting you in the face, then you can relate with David in the quote above.  There are times when we don’t have any answers and all we can do is grieve the situation.  We can present it to the Lord who comforts us in our grief. How many pies are too many for us to handle?  One is too many on our own.  We can’t handle life apart from God.  He can handle it all; so, we cry out to Him and trust Him to handle it for us.  The trouble may not stop but we can know that in it God is walking with us.

If we can’t stop it, then perhaps we can just know the ending date of this turmoil.  It would be nice to know when life will return to a “normal” setting.  David struggled with the same thing. “My soul also is greatly troubled.  But you, O Lord—how long?” Psalm 6:3  It’s okay to ask the Lord how long this situation will be around, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll find out.  Even though we don’t know how long, we must live each day with our eyes on God.  There will be struggles but we can have peace in the struggle as we realize who God is and that He is up to something.  God always wants what’s best for us and that is our conformity to Jesus.  Sometimes that is done through gentleness and sometimes there is more pressure applied in our lives.  God meets us where we are with pie on our faces and a faraway look in our eyes that says, “I’m trying to figure this thing out.”  We have to remember that we don’t always have the answers nor will we always receive the answers to our problems.  It is the time to trust the only one who can wipe away our tears for all time.

What do we do?  Where do we go?  How can we handle one more difficulty?  Jesus took time to speak to His disciples before He was arrested to prepare them for what was ahead.  “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33  There’s the hope.  Do you see it? Jesus has overcome the world through His death and resurrection.  If we know Jesus, then this world is not our home.  We have a better one coming with no more trouble.

How much?  How long?  We may have no answers for those questions, but we need to keep our eyes open and face the day with all it holds.  When we look, we will see God walking with us and working through the situation.  He will bring us hope and comfort because that’s what He does!

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