Last night, I found myself in an old familiar place in my house, thanking God for the journey of the past day and talking to him about some things that happened. I was reminded of another time, some years ago, when I sat in that same place just before going to bed, and poured my heart out to God. I can look back now and see that He was oh, so faithful and good to me. I remember the things that I prayed for. I remember the tears rolling down my cheeks. I remember the seeming hopelessness of the situation. Today I see the Glory of God. Today I see the Ephesians 3:20 God in all of His Majesty. Today I see that He did exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond anything I could have ever thought, imagined or dreamed in that situation. Why should today be any different? Why should this situation be any harder. Is anything impossible for God?
As I pray out loud, my spoken words are often the answers to how God wants me to deal with situations. The Holy Spirit helps me pray and I hear His words coming out of my own mouth, directing me, counseling me, comforting me, and convicting me. I heard Him speak again last night. Perhaps what I'm learning will help you today in "the situation" that you are in.
- Don't lose sleep over your problems. The Bible tells us that God doesn't sleep or slumber. (Psalm 121:3) He doesn't even take a nap. He is going to be up all night anyway, so give your problem to Him and let Him take care of it. You need a good night's sleep. Echo the words of David, "I will lie down and sleep in peace for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." (Psalm 4: 8) True joy and peace don't depend on circumstances, but on the knowledge of God's provision and protection. Rest your head on your pillow and sleep with the full assurance that God is awake and taking care of your business.
- Lay your problem on the morning altar. So you got a good night's sleep, but the second you open your eyes your thoughts are on that situation. That probably never happens to you, but I know that I can relate. Don't waste much time getting to a quiet time with your Heavenly Father. If you stay your mind too long on that problem, you will lose your joy before your day even begins. God promises that He will keep in perfect peace the one whose mind is stayed on Him. (Isaiah 26: 3) David sought the Lord early in the morning. (Psalm 63: 1) He wrote those words from a desert. He had issues and problems. He knew that early in the morning he needed a quiet time with God. By the end of the psalm, David was singing songs and rejoicing. He didn't let those problems ruin the rest of his day. Cast your care. Talk to God about it. Hear what He wants to say to you in His Word. Then leave that problem on the morning altar and begin your day. I promise you, my friend, it will make all the difference in the world. You will have your joy back. You will have peace. Your family may even thank you, because your mood will be sweeter, knowing that God has your problem in His hands.
- Acknowledge that you don't know everything and that's okay. The famous saying is that ignorance is bliss. Sometimes, in a strange way, I believe it is. We don't know everything about our situations. We only see with our naked eyes what God sees from beginning to end. (Isaiah 46:10) Not only that, but sometimes....sometimes...the situation is worse than we know. Stick with me here. Thinking back to that other time in my life and that situation I told you about, things were in actuality, worse than I knew. I believe that at times, God spares us from the knowing of every intimate detail of our problems, because we would just plain out be overcome. It would be too much to handle. And that my friend is mercy. Your situation and my situation today may be more than we know, but God in His mercy spares us those details. We really don't need to know them anyway. They are God-sized issues that need God-sized solutions. His mercy in our not-knowing needs to be enough. It needs to be okay.
So is this kind of behavior apathetic? No, I choose to call it hope. Is it denial? No, I choose to call it faith. Indifference to our problems? Far from it. It is the resting of a troubled soul in the arms of a loving God who sees, and knows, and cares, and provides, and is faithful to His promises. And if the situation is more than we can bear, His mercy is enough.