What do you do when life overwhelms you? How do you respond? Whom, or what, do you run to? We all need margin in our lives–in respect to time and money, for example–but inevitably we overload ourselves, and when the unexpected happened; when the waves start crashing in, threatening to drown us–how do you deal with it?
“Then Moses said to him, “If you yourself don’t go with us, then don’t send us away from this place.” (Exodus 33:15 NCV)
Exodus 33:15 is one of the most underrated verses in all of Scripture in my opinion, because it was Moses’ heartfelt expression of a pivotal truth of life–if God doesn’t go with us, we’re doomed; we just can’t do it in our own.
Sure, we can fake it; if we don’t yet trust Him personally, in fact, we’ve been faking it our entire life. But the truth is that it is He–His love and blessing, His strength upholding us, His wisdom, His guidance–that causes us to be able to rise in the morning and even face the day.
Because, let’s be honest, life can be scary. Yes, it can be very happy too, but far too often it is daunting, and challenging, and even as we get older and find ourselves in more difficult situations, ambiguous at times. Sometimes, it’s not as clear cut as “do this; don’t do that.” Sometimes decisions have to be made that will help one person and hurt another, or actions taken, the outcome of which is not at all obviously good. In other words–life gets messy and complicated. And the less margin we have built into our life, the faster the breakneck speed at which these things seem to hit us.
So…what do you do when things get rough? Whom, or what, do you turn to? Good friends or trustworthy family members who will advise biblically is a good option. A spiritual leader who loves Jesus Christ is great, too. But far too many seek council or comfort from those who advise according to what seems best to them at the moment–not the solid rock of Scripture.
Many more grab a glass or bottle, or a pill to pop, or something to smoke, hoping to dull the confusion and their unquiet conscience–and ultimately, it does not work.
And it does not work because the only thing that works is the Rock; Christ Jesus, and our Heavenly Father; the one and only actual, real, existing God. He is the One Moses turned to in desperation, and He is the One we today also turn to.
Why? Because regardless of the nature of the pain, He is the only One who can make either it or me–whichever He determines–better. He is simply the only One with the capability to do so.
So why on earth would you turn to anything else?? Drink will make you numb, but it won’t fix the problem. Pills may put you to sleep or bring you out of the present to a different experience, but when these wear off the problem will remain, exacerbated by your abuse. Tears by themselves, too, or anger, won’t solve the issue either.
Only God can solve it–only, ever, the Rock who is our Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer God, can do anything to impact the situation in any genuinely constructive way whatsoever! Yet at the very moment it’s happening—when our pain or fear or misery is at its greatest—our senses can lie to us and say He is not enough. But if you cry to Him–if you genuinely reach out for Him–He hears and responds. How?
Well, He may alter the situation–He has done that numerous times in my own life. Or, alternatively, He may change me, giving me peace, and what the Bible calls His grace: the wherewithal to get through a miserable or even terrible situation with the comfort and peace of mind that is only through Christ Jesus, our God.
So, what do you do when life overwhelms you? You call out with Moses, “Lord, I can’t do this; if You don’t go with me don’t make me do this on my own!” And He won’t–He’ll accompany you on whatever difficult path He sends you on!
Don’t let me travel alone; I can’t do life on my own! Amen.