Last week I was wracking my brain, trying to solve a problem.
And in so doing, I communicated with several friends about the problem. My friends have been a vital part of my sorting out the problem. I owe them a debt of gratitude for grounding me when I am flying away and pointing me toward the Lord when I am spinning around in circles, trying to regain my bearings.
That being so, I noticed something last week that just didn’t feel right.
(I know, feelings can be deceiving and should be the last thing by which we measure truth. But this time, my feelings were on to something.)
When I shared my most recent feelings of hopelessness and discouragement regarding my problem, my friends responded with many reasonable ideas of what I should be doing differently.
While I believe their ideas hold potential, while I believe they were telling me truths I needed to hear and remember and act on, I couldn’t help but notice their advice was all about DOING. “Do this; do that; do more.”
And I got exhausted just thinking about it all… All the things I needed to do and change and become… It was overwhelming.
My mind went to bad self-talk, “If I would just DO better, my problem would GET better. What’s my deal? Why can’t I just DO better? I suck.”
My mind went to religious legalism – DO! DO! DO! “I can perform my way out of this situation. I just have to DO better.”
It was during these thoughts that I found myself wondering how Jesus was interpreting all of this advice I was receiving. I wondered if He was sitting in Heaven, shouting down at me, “NO! They’ve missed the point AGAIN! Just as it is with salvation, you cannot DO anything to get you out of this problem. You, more than anyone else, KNOW you have no more emotional energy to throw at this. No, the solution is NOT more DOING. The solution is ME! Come to Me. Be with Me. I am the solution.”
Just like Pharisees placing the burden on themselves to earn God’s love, I realized I was putting the burden on myself to fix a problem that was bigger than me. And THAT is a losing battle.
Yesterday in our Bible study, Iva May said something like, “It’s up to God to fulfill the promises He makes to us; He doesn’t need our help. He just wants our faith.”
So when we encounter problems that seem insurmountable, and when we recall a promise the Lord has made us – like, “In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:6) – we don’t have to worry about how He will make our paths straight. That is for the Lord to figure out. We don’t have to be able to see the path or imagine what the path might look like or give the Lord suggestions as to where we think the path should lead.
None of that is our concern.
God promised to make our paths straight. Our job is to believe that promise and wait for Him to do it.
“But, Lord, I am standing in a dense, dark forest… I just don’t see how you can make a straight path for me out of here…”
Jesus looks at us and says, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).
God is the solution to whatever problem you may be up against. Believe His promises, and let Him worry about keeping them.
This is a great understanding! I have tried to describe the way spiritual growth occurs and the best I’ve been able to come up with so far is that we spend quality time with God and He rubs off on us.