First it’s Friday and we’re looking forward to the weekend. Then, before you know it, it’s Sunday night and Monday morning is staring right at once. Everything looks grim and gloomy, and most of us find it hard to get out of bed far less go into the office. Unfortunately this attitude is what we put in place to start off the week; our challenges and ‘bad news’ getting worse and worse as the week wears on.
I once read an article – apologies for not being able to acknowledge the source - which suggested that when dealing with life e.g. a challenging situation or after getting bad news (aka news that is just not what we want to hear) we should consider taking the following steps:-
3. Ask God for strategy
4. Praise God
I believe this is good advice which should be applied to any life ‘test’ we may be experiencing. Unfortunately however and depending on how difficult our situation may be, some of us find it difficult to get past step number one. That’s because it can be easy to pray when life is good and all is going well but it gets a little harder when life throws you a big curve ball like losing your job unexpectedly, being diagnosed with a terminal illness, learning of your partner’s infidelity, experiencing divorce, or losing a loved one. It gets even worse when it seems as though no matter how long you stay down on your knees and cry out to God, nothing at all changes. How do you keep on praying in situations like these? What do you say? Why does it sound as though your words are the same day in and day out? Even you become tired of hearing the same old prayers echoing in your ears and you wonder whether God is really listening or if He has tuned out from your very stuck record. I know … because I’ve been there and I have the worn out circles from my knees on my bedroom tiles to show.
If you are hurting way deep down in your heart, if you are crawling through a dark never-ending valley in the shadow of death on your hands and knees, if you feel as though God has forgotten all about you and you just cannot go on one more day – stop, pause, and quieten your anxious thoughts for a moment. Take some deep breaths; inhale, exhale and gather yourself together. Before you give up on God or yourself, remember His promises to you as you repeat the words of the 23rd Psalm. Think about each phrase as you say it. Print it out and keep it with you for those times when you need to have an urgent ‘help-me-Lord-or-somebody-will-die’ talk with God but the right words fail you.
God is not human and so he doesn’t lie or say He’s going to do something without meaning it. David knew He could depend entirely on a God who would never desert him; you know this too … it’s just a little hard to remember right now from down in your pit full of stuff. God will never ever leave you; He will be there supporting and comforting you – especially when you are in the middle of the fire because you are His anointed one, the love of His life, a welcome dweller in His house … for ever.
Verse for Reflection
Psalm 23 (King James Version)
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.