Lately, it seems like my life is one problem after another. In the past year we’ve dealt with extremely tight finances, problems with health insurance, a car accident that totaled one of our cars, and now most recently, an electric rate hike that more than doubled our electric bill last month. There is always something going on, it seems.
I spend a significant amount of time being anxious over these problems, figuring out what to do about them, and then carrying out the actions I’ve decided to take. Much time has been taken away from my writing to deal with these situations. It’s something I need to look at further to see how I can avoid or better deal with these problems.
I suspect that my perception that life is one problem after another may be just that, a perception. I have 3 children and a husband. The two of us have 5 to 7 jobs between us, depending if you count work that isn’t yet yielding a paycheck. We own an older house that seems to be falling apart bit by bit. We are involved in church and our community. Our kids are involved in church and several other activities each, including 3 different sports, dance, and drama. That’s a lot of variables. A rich and full life necessarily includes many opportunities for problems to arise.
And I’m not the best at dealing with problems either. I’m not that organized. I’m not great at planning things out, and even worse at following through on the things I do take the time to plan. I don’t say “no” enough. I usually run off to help when one of my kids or my husband needs me. I regularly find myself behind on the housework, behind on the laundry, behind on paying the bills. All these factors do not help me avoid problems, whether they are big or small.
However, I have one thing going for me. I believe with all my heart that there is a solution to every problem. I believe that we as people have the power and the ability to change our lives. I believe that God will help me accomplish His purposes. What I can see at this moment is not everything there is.
Sometimes people want to make finding faith and living a faithful life seem like an easy thing. Once you make a decision for Christ, or pray the sinner’s prayer*, everything just falls into place. But sometimes people struggle mightily with their faith. Issues in their lives, in their pasts, or traumatic things that have happened to them get in the way of having “faith like a child” as Jesus commands. And certainly, people who have found salvation in Christ still have problems in this life!
No matter how defeated, how embattled you are in your spiritual walk, there are always things you can do, choices you can make to move toward God. You can choose to pray even when your schedule is stretched and you are overwhelmed. You can choose to praise God no matter how bad your circumstances seem. You can choose to rest in God’s grace no matter how unworthy you know you are (and you are unworthy, but that’s what grace is all about!). You can choose to read God’s Word even when you’re sure it doesn’t have the answers you seek.
Don’t give up on God. He definitely hasn’t given up on you! I can tell you that anything you do to reach out to Him with a sincere heart, He will meet you more than halfway. You will be amazed at how God works in your life in all the ways that really matter.
*For those not experienced in certain Evangelical denominations, the sinner’s prayer goes something like this: “God, I am a sinner. I ask you to forgive me for my sins. I ask Jesus to come into my life and be my savior. I give my life to Him.” The purpose of this prayer is to make someone a Christian, to get them “saved.” I’m definitely not saying there’s anything wrong with the sinner’s prayer. However, if discipleship does not take place after someone says the sinner’s prayer, the baby Christian can often fall away from that relationship and a transforming faith based on a growing relationship with God may not occur.