So you’re scared? That’s okay; everyone’s afraid. You’ve got challenges that push you out of your comfort zone, issues you never had before, problems that require a level of mental creativity and emotional maturity—not to mention physical stamina—you’re not sure you have? Well, guess what? You’re not the only one; we all do. And what’s more, not only will you get through it; you can come out stronger on the other side!
One of the most limiting assumptions I can ever make is that I’m the only one going through this; I’m so unique, so special, that no one else has ever experienced whatever it is that’s happening to me now. This is a lie, and if you’re open to what God tells us in the Bible, here it is:
“No temptation has seized you that isn’t common for people. But God is faithful. He won’t allow you to be tempted beyond your abilities. Instead, with the temptation, God will also supply a way out so that you will be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 CEB)
This refers specifically to temptations—situations in which there is a right or wrong decision to be made—but I honestly believe we can extrapolate it to most of life’s experiences, because we’re all human. We’re all scared at times; each of us goes through experiences that intimidate and challenge us to rise to a higher level to successfully navigate…it’s our plight as humans, and in some way, it’s strangely reassuring.
We all lose loved ones; we get sick, are in accidents, experience pain. We gain new family members through birth, or the blending of families, or marriage. We go to new schools; have new classes, new teachers. We change or lose jobs. We struggle financially. We move, face new challenges, deal with new issues. We find jobs and change career paths. And through it all, we deal with it—somehow.
Those of us who believe in God—who trust in Jesus Christ—pray; I highly recommend that, because He honors it when we look to Him. Inside of us—mentally, emotionally, spiritually—He supernaturally reassures and strengthens us so we can navigate through the scary times with less stress—with faith that’s He’s got it covered. Very often, though, He also actively alters external circumstances to make things better. Don’t believe me; think I’m looking for God where He doesn’t exist? Okay, how about this?
My husband recently lost his job. He was having a hard time at work—he felt it; you know, the stress you sense when things aren’t going great—but we were still surprised when it happened (it never feels real for a while; it takes time to process).
Normally we would’ve panicked; I would’ve been terrified because of the financial implications. We’ve got our youngest daughter in an expensive private school and her recent college-grad sister is still looking for a position. We’ve got two vacant units at our properties, and a huge tax bill is looming ahead. But this time I’m not scared—at least not yet. Why?
Because God proactively provided for this exact moment in our lives ahead of time! My husband had acreage up in Michigan that he had been trying to sell for quite a while that he just closed on a week or two earlier; as a matter of fact, he had just gotten the funds! He thought he was going to use it as a down payment for a new truck (even though we all have good vehicles); God knew differently.
If you don’t believe in God, of course, you’re relegated to finding another plausible explanation for otherwise inexplicable and obvious ”coincidences” like this, but that gets to a point where it’s more absurd than to just give credit where credit is due. Honestly—it’s almost like Bobby’s ghost in the series Supernatural, moving things around just so Sam and Dean realize he’s there!
But what if you don’t believe in God? What if you think it’s all a lot of hooey, just like Supernatural itself? Or you’ve pushed Him out of your life; convinced yourself He’s superstition, archaic, irrelevant? Bought into the zeitgeist of the time? Then you’re on your own. Remember the promise, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28 NLT)? The promise is only for those who love God (and if you love God, it’s a given that you’re also called according to His purposes); if you don’t love Him, He’s no longer causing everything to work together for your good.
Please let that scare you. Look at your life. Notice the things that “didn’t work out…” Yes, you can still derive some comfort from the fact we’re all going through this misery together, but in the end, does it help that much? Community is generally comforting, but this is like being on a sinking ship. Wouldn’t you rather have someone get you off, than sink with those who won’t come with?
You know life is scary. Thank You that You are faithful and help us through it when we come to You—when we stop pushing You away, agree with You, commit ourselves to You and trust completely in You. Amen.