We all know life is full of highs and lows, joy and pain, etc. But every once and a while, we’re faced with an abnormally difficult situation, problem or mountain to climb, that shakes us to the chore, no matter how “spiritual” or full of faith we are.
It could be a parenting crisis with your teen, a scary financial or health issue, job stress, an impending breakup…they all come with nuanced needles of fear and anxiety threaded together by one common denominator… fear of the unknown. It’s an absolute killer.
Not knowing what’s on the other side of that relationship, or decision to pull your kid out of public school, or that new entrepreneurial venture or job change can feel so scary. In comes the anxiety, fear, worry, self-doubt, confusion and every other ingredient to this craft cocktail of misery.
So here’s what we need to remember. There are no “un-knowns” in God’s world. We may be about to cross a terrifying valley, but He OWNS the valley. Whatever we’re facing… a sickness, pregnancy loss, the death of a dream, or an attempt to remain obedient towards a calling you’re frankly dreading, remember this: He’s allowing it. We might never understand the why (until heaven…so many questions coming, Lord!), but he does promise to carry us through.
So here’s what we need to do:
Take it day by day, putting one foot in front the other, while keeping your eyes on Him. If you’re facing a mountain, turn your eyes downward, and move one step forward. Eyes off the fear. Feet moving slow. Because God is creative enough, persistent enough, faithful enough and big enough to get you through it. With Him on our side, anything can change and alter what we’re dreading or fearing, and help can come in any form. There IS a way, when you’re walking with Jesus.
Then you have to start really relying on him. Walking requires action. It’s not enough to believe in him. If I’m feeling depressed, I know I’ll immediately feel a whole lot happier after getting together with friends. But I actually have to follow through and physically spend time with them in order to experience the comforting benefits of friendship.
We have to partner with God, and invite him into our anxiety, fear, depression and confusion, talking to him about whatever is we’re facing. We have to get quiet somewhere, que up the worship music and just sit with Him. I mean, isn’t that what we want our kids to do when they’re afraid or need of comfort? Wouldn’t we be devasted if our kids felt they couldn’t come to us for help and guidance?
This was a fairly unknown concept to me through most of my adult Christian life. I would pray, politely ask God to make the problem go away, and then run to at least six different friends seeking reassurance and advice. I didn’t talk to Him like a friend, sitting and crying and blubbering on like I’ve always done with my war-torn besties. I rarely paused to be still, and listen to His voice. But isn’t that what Jesus meant, when he sent us the Counselor? He sent us a person. not only to offer us peace, but guidance and strength.
Now I’ve been to some bad counselors in my time (sweet Lord have there been some rough ones) but I’ve heard from some well-functioning friends there are some amazing therapists out there. Now imagine the best therapist to walk the Earth is available, right now. And he/she is free of charge, with no waiting list. Wouldn’t we seriously all be lined up elbowing each other to get in first? Keeping our eyes on Him involves inviting the Holy Spirit in, to do what he does best: counsel, comfort and guide.
Do NOT let the enemy cause you to forget whose you are, and who’s available to you, always. Don’t let him convince you that God isn’t trustworthy, or has someone discounted you from His favor. Think back on how many difficulties He’s gotten you through ’til now. Think of that seemingly impossible situation He overturned in your favor, even if it was years ago. He will do it again,
We so often remember all the physical blessings and answered prayers but forget those moments of God’s intangible faithfulness when were army crawling through life, even because of our own sin.
God will get you through this bigee, just like he did the rest. It might not happen by tomorrow, or next week, or maybe even this year. Don’t mistake His timing for his silence for His inability. Don’t focus on the issue. Focus on Him. Give Him your constant trust and attention. Keep your eyes fixed…FIXED on Jesus.
So no matter what the situation is, why/how it’s happening, or how many times you’ve faced this brand of mess before, you can make it through, just one step at a time. One meal at time. One job commute at a time. This is where your testimony starts. This is where the enemy starts to tire. Stay in the Word. Drown yourself in worship. Let the Holy spirit do His thing.
And when you’re made it to the other side, after taking ten thousand little steps, this trial will be a distant memory, coloring one more page in His story of provision for you.
Here are some of the best scriptures to memorize, and meditate on, daily if not hourly when we’re really goin’ through it…
- “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
- “…For he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ’The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” Hebrews 13:5b-6
- “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”2 Timothy 1:7
- “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
- “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
- “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27
- “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
- “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” Psalm 46:1-3