Who are you when the going gets tough?
We all would like to say we keep our cool and don’t blow up with anxiety. But who am I kidding, there’s only a handful of people that I know who do that.
I am getting there. Emphasis on the getting there part.
I mean, I’m a human. We are human. We will be humans until the day we die. So there’s grace for us to not be perfect. Right?
There’s that perfection thing again. Always seeming to haunt me around the corner in the dark alley. It pops up when I’m in that challenging situation – where the pressure is on and I have to deliver spectacular results because there are things on the line.
If I don’t do this one thing right I could – lose my job, miss out on that opportunity, get a bad credit score, have someone be mad at me, set the house on fire..granted, don’t set the house on fire..but what if there was a better way to live? What if we didn’t have to constantly try to keep everything from falling from that crazy juggling act we do every day?
If we were to take a magnifying glass to our souls and get down the very core of what goes on in that place of anxiety and perfectionism, we would see a few things:
- Our trust is misplaced.
Ultimately you either trust God or you don’t. Sure, we can all say we trust God, then that unexpected bill comes along and our immediate reaction is to become anxious and worry over not having enough to make it.
I’ve been there and still find myself there at times. By the grace of God I’m getting better and better at realizing I just jumped to that anxious place of not trusting God’s goodness and ability to meet all of my needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19) and turning to trust him. He’s so good at reminding us of his faithfulness in the past and give us hope for the future.
- Off center core beliefs.
Somewhere along the line of hard circumstances and hurt in our lives and just how we were brought up, we learned about the world in certain ways. A lot of those ways are so good. So many of the things we hold as truths in our lives though actually aren’t truths at all.
For example, in my own life, God really had to heal my mind. One of the ways he did this was to take a lie that I was believing about myself and the world around me and replace it with his truth. I was believing that if I didn’t do it, no one else would.
I was in college about to start my senior year. Alone in my apartment on campus I heard God talking to me. He was highlighting to me that if I had just waited for him, he would have taken care of it for me. (specifically the apartment was a mess and I knew only I was going to do anything about it if I wanted something done.) No sooner had I started taking matters into my own hands did someone show up at the door to fix things in the apartment, without any prompting.
Sure, that is a small example, but God used it to show me that no, I am not the one to always take care of things – he is.
It doesn’t really matter what you trust in, money, people, pleasure, your ability to do things. As long as its not God, you will never have true security. Your world will always hang in the balance of trying to make sure those things that you trust in never leave or are always up to par.
One of the beautiful things about God is that he never fails us.
You can count on him.
However, don’t expect him to do things the way you think they should be done.
When you start trusting God with your life and wealth and prosperity, he takes you down this road called trusting him.
Your faith is strengthened as you see him lead you through impossible situations.
Oh, he will ask you to do crazy things too.
2 years ago I was in a particularly hard financial season – literally not knowing how I was going to pay my bills month to month. I was growing in my relationship with Jesus at that time and was learning to trust him more.
Twice, not just once, but two times, he told me to give a big chunk of money away when I had no idea how I would make ends meet for bills. I remember saying to him, “but Lord, I won’t be able to pay my bills!” His answer was still the same, “Give away $200 to this person. Trust me.”
So I did it. I gave away the money.
You know what happened next?
I somehow had enough to pay my bills even though no extra money came in.
I did the math – it should not have been possible.
The other occasion I gave away money I was 2 days away from paying rent and I only had half the amount I needed.
Then a good friend of mine told me that Jesus had told her to give me some money but to wait until he told her to give it to me. It was literally the amount that I needed to make rent and came just in time.
What I have noticed is that God cares more about the condition of our heart than the amount of money we have in our bank accounts.
The lesson he was teaching me?
That he alone is my provider – not money, not people, not me.
If you find yourself in an impossible situation today, instead of worrying about it and tearing yourself down with anxiety, stop and think for a moment. Pray and ask God what he is doing and how you can partner with him. He is and will move in your situation if you let him. If you dig your heels in and fight him the whole way, you better believe it will take longer and you will be so incredibly weary at the end of it.
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:31
He may not take away the storms or the mountains looming before you, but he can and will make a way through them for you if but trust him. Drastic times calls for drastic measures – which means faith and trust in the one who will never ever let you down.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4