Ever have one of those weeks when every day felt like Monday and Friday seemed like it would never come? Me, too. Ever have one of those days when the car broke down and the money in savings wasn't enough to cover it? You guessed it -- me, too!
The past couple of weeks have been trying. I want to say brutal, but I can't bring myself to even go there because compared to many folks I know I have absolutely no reason to complain. My initial response to the difficulties I have experienced has been, "Oh, Lord. Give me grace," or "Really, Lord? Again?" But God hasn't let me get by with complaining -- not one time. His still, small voice has whispered, "Child, you have it so much better than most! Be thankful and don't sweat the small stuff. This world is not your home and this challenge you face won't last forever."
As I grow older and hopefully wiser, I am learning some simple principles which are highly effective in keeping my sanity and nerves intact. I'm not saying that I enjoy the difficulties or that they don't make me cranky at times, but deep down I know that everything is going to be okay. The Bible tells me so.
Instead of complaining about the negative, unpleasant things that happen to me, I try to thank God for the things that aren't happening. An expensive car repair which drains my savings account and forces me to readjust my spending plan is nothing compared to the loss of Steve's job a few years ago which resulted in a financial reversal which nearly caused us to lose our home. So, what if the savings account is drained and we have to start over? At least we were able to make some adjustments and use the cash we had to avoid using a credit card for this unexpected "emergency." We are both employed, our other bills are paid, and we can start building it all over again.
Instead of trying to control things I can't, or the people who try my patience, I am learning to "let it go." Some things truly aren't my job or responsibility. People will make their own choices and there is not a thing I can do about that. The best I can do is make my own good choices, work hard to fulfill my responsibilities, and mind my own business. I have made plenty of mistakes in my lifetime and learned from every one of them. Yes, I want to teach my children well and be a good parent. But sometimes it is necessary to let them fail or suffer the consequences of poor choices in order for the things I have taught them to take root. I have done my best with them and for them. I continue to pray for them and offer advice when asked or warranted, but at the end of the day I let go the things I cannot change. For me, there is great relief and peace in doing so.
I have learned that I can't fix everything. If God intended for me to, I would have been born a handy man instead of a secretary. Besides, I know how badly I tend to mess things up that only God can fix.
Instead of complaining about the interruptions in my day I am learning to accept them as "divine appointments." Sometimes it is necessary to go into work early or leave late in order to meet my deadlines and complete my tasks, because of the divine appointments God allows to take place. The people who open their hearts and share their hurts and happiness with me, and the unexpected tasks that require me to adjust my priorities, are precious to me. God is using them to grow me spiritually and to make me valuable for the work of His kingdom. Do I get frustrated and weary? Yes, but I am able to persevere because I know that the end result is worth it.
Life is hard but God is faithful. I know this to be true because for every test He has sent my way I have put His promises to the test.
I don't know what you are facing in this season of your life, but I can promise you that if you are a child of God you are not facing it alone. Maybe you don't feel your prayers are getting through, or feel that you can't pray a prayer worthy of God's attention. But God does hear, and He does care. Max Lucado said, “Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the One who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference.”
Maybe you have been away from the Lord from awhile. Maybe you don't know the Bible as well as you wish you did. Maybe you feel your mistakes are so great they can never be forgiven or that your problems are insignificant to Him. You don't have to be a spiritual giant to win the heart of God. In fact, He tells us we should all come as little children to a loving daddy -- to our heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally and awaits with outstretched arms to welcome us home. From His perspective, you are everything to Him!
Some of my favorite scriptures to get me through difficult times are:
2 Corinthians 12:9
Philippians 4:13, 19
2 Corinthians 4:17
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
1 Peter 5:7
2 Corinthians 4:7-9
2 Corinthians 1:3-5
Copyright © 2018 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com