While I was swinging my son on a swing, God revealed to me an important lesson. My son was about 3 years old at the time, and he was enjoying me pushing him on the swing. When I got him up high enough, he would say to me, “I can do it myself daddy!” When I stopped pushing him, as we adults know, he started to slow down. Then he would ask me to push him again. Each time he got high enough, he again would say, “I can do it now daddy!”
God showed me in this instance that we all do the same thing with our Heavenly Father. When we get to a spot where things are going well and we are in a good place, we say, “I can handle it myself now, Father.” But then when things get hard, or we start slowing down, we ask for a push again. Realizing that we need His help. We have to realize that without Him, we can try do things our way, but ultimately, we are no match for His great power. Without Him we can do nothing.
~By David Huneycutt~
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NIV)
Let’s face it, life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns. It’s hard. In some cases, it seems impossible. Problems come our way, trials threaten to derail our walk with the Lord, struggles pull our focus away from Him and to our circumstance and we lose focus and start to question. We question why God would allow bad things to happen to good people, we question whether He sees and cares what we are going through. We wonder when we will see the light at the end of the tunnel. It makes us cry out in anger and desperation when there is no resolution in sight.
There are problems that are so large in nature and that there is literally no possible way for us or anyone other than God to do anything to reverse it, and we plead for mercy and beg Him to work miracles.
Then there are the obstacles, big and small, that seem to go on forever. We stay faithful to the Lord at first, but as the weight becomes too much to bear, and we feel like our prayers haven’t been answered, we either turn away completely or get so distracted by the problem that God is no longer the center of our lives and instead of trusting Him we become angry.
And finally, there are the little insignificant storms that on their own are easily managed and more of a nuisance than anything else. But when more and more of these little storms pop up and the waves get rougher, suddenly our storm has become a hurricane meant to be catastrophic. Before we realize it, we have become so focused on just living through the storm that we lose sight of our anchor.
All these types of problems are ways that the enemy uses to take our eyes off Jesus and place them on our circumstances.
Lately those individual problems have started to pile up. They have become a huge boulder of weight that sit on my chest and leave me feeling overwhelmed and helpless. We all have times like this. We all go through obstacles that seem never-ending and hopeless. So, what do we do when we have times like these? How do we stay focused on our Savior rather than our situation?
Well, now that I have had some time in deep prayer and words of encouragement from my sweet friends that always speak truth into my life, I can see what He is trying to show me. While I don’t know the specific reasons for my own struggles or when they are going to end, I can find hope in His promises.
He allows us to go through tough circumstances to grow our relationships with him. It’s part of the sanctification process. (James 1:2-4) When we are doing the work of our Lord that was set aside for us to do, satan hates it and wants to stop it at all costs. So, he makes us feel alone and causes us to think only about the problem instead of what goodness that God is going to do through that problem. (Romans 8:28). Not only that, but He shows His great power through our weakness, not only to us but also to those around us. When the lost see what God can do, seeds are planted in their hearts that hopefully one day will bear fruit if they choose to accept Jesus as their Savior. Since God is all-knowing, (Psalm 139:2-3)He can see a way to use our struggle as a tool to witness to the lost and to minister to our brothers and sisters in Christ. If everything was always perfect, then how would we be able to give advice to those who are going through a tough time? He has a plan which is far better than anything that we could come up with on our own. This plan isn’t for our earthly happiness, but rather for His glory so that more people will come to know and trust in Him. Our rewards come later when we stand before Him and He welcomes us Home with open arms.