Living this life God graciously given to us can be so complex, complicated and confusing. Our Life Group is beginning a study of the book of Ruth. One of the questions that our study of Ruth raised is what do you do when you do not see God’s movement in those difficult areas of life. How do we handle and carry these difficulties when we feel we have prayed our heart out, cried our eyes out and are still having to wait for God’s obvious intervention? It is not easy.
Ephesians 6:13-17 encourages us that when we have done all, stand, after we put on the whole armor of God. When we are weary it is not easy to get dressed to the full. We can find ourselves being a bit sloppy and too tired to hold up our shield or use our sword. But friends, it is especially important during the time of waiting and trusting–when we must be diligent to do the basics. Warfare is real. The battle is strong. But our God is faithful. As we stand in faith and pray for His insights not only will we find our situation changing, but we will find ourselves growing in strength, trust and faith. It is not easy. So what happens when you find yourself wanting to just quit? How can you keep going?
David in his time of struggle encouraged himself in the Lord. Do not be ashamed to back again to the Lord with your petitions and share your heart with Him, openly and freely. Ask for His strength. Do not isolate. Humble yourself if need be and ask for help. Ask for prayer. Gather together with other believers. We are not met to fight alone.
Take a break from the fight. Put it in God’s hands and do something out of your routine. Take a walk, turn on some music, read a book or watch a show. When the weight returns, and it will, thank Him for His help and fellowship in the suffering of the situation. Remember we do not know what He is doing behind the scenes to bring our story to His good end.
My Life group is made up of some very special women who have faced some of those complex, complicated and confusing challenges. One of the amazing things God has done is bring together a subset of women in our group who have relatives with mental health issues. You could actually see the strength they gathered from understanding that they were not alone in these struggles. Their situations did not change, but their hope and strength did. They are praying for each other and their loved ones as only one in the battle can pray. What a reminder that we are not alone in whatever battle we face–there is someone else who is facing it too. I take courage and comfort in the fact that God has helped others through my similar trials. This was especially comforting when I was adjusting to widowhood. I have applied it to marriage issues and parenting concerns as well. It releases faith and trust to know He’s not surprised by our trials!
This Christmas season is meant to be a joyous one–but for my friend whose wife past away last night–it will not be so easy. Let us look around and see who we can help encourage even when we may be in the struggle–we can encourage others. Take your stand and know I am praying for each of you. You are not alone.