Pretty yellow flower at the Dallas Arboretum, Dallas, TX

Face the unknown with the unlimited

Everyone faces challenges every day. It’s part of life. And even though difficult circumstances help us grow stronger, they aren’t fun when we’re experiencing them. Most of them last much longer than we’d prefer, and we feel utterly helpless throughout their duration.

In past years I would have focused on the fact that God uses difficult circumstances in our lives to help us, to help others, to prepare us for the future, but sometimes that’s not very comforting. Maybe the for the long term, there’s some reassurance in it, that what we’re going through is for a reason. But when I’m in the thick of it, I don’t really want to think about tomorrow. I want to know what’s going to happen today. I want to know what I’m supposed to do right now.

Pretty yellow flower at the Dallas Arboretum, Dallas, TX

Pretty yellow flower at the Dallas Arboretum, Dallas, TX

Today’s verses are Psalm 33:13-22.

The Lord looks down from heaven
    and sees the whole human race. 
From his throne he observes
    all who live on the earth.
He made their hearts,
    so he understands everything they do. 
The best-equipped army cannot save a king,
    nor is great strength enough to save a warrior.
Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory—
    for all its strength, it cannot save you.
But the Lord watches over those who fear him,
    those who rely on his unfailing love.
He rescues them from death
    and keeps them alive in times of famine.
We put our hope in the Lord.
    He is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord,
    for our hope is in you alone.

I know personally there is so much happening in my life right now, I can’t keep up with any of it, and most of it I have absolutely zero control over anyway. It’s frustrating. And, yes, there’s a part of me that looks toward tomorrow with excitement and expectation for what God is going to do. But the rest of me is just plain tired.

When I get tired, I tend to focus on the things that I can do. I trust my own abilities because I know their limits. I know what I can do. I know what I can handle. So it’s easy to fall back on my own strength.

The trouble is, the problems I’m facing are bigger than what my strength can stand up to. And my abilities fall short. I can trust myself and what I can do but only so far, and then I have two options: I can give up or I can give it to God.

God doesn’t abandon us in the tough times. He isn’t just sitting up in heaven watching us struggle through life like we’re on some ridiculous “reality” TV show. He’s not far away or far removed. He’s right there, waiting for us to get our heads on straight and realize that life is too much for us.

We are finite human beings trying to scale a mountain of supernatural trouble. Of course, we’re going to fail if we try it on our own. God never expected us to win battles by ourselves. He never even asked us to. We just put it on our own shoulders.

So don’t trust in your resources; they’re limited. Don’t trust in your abilities; they’re limited too. Yes, they’re known, and there is comfort in what you know. But trying to fight the unknown with the limited usually doesn’t work out well. It’s better to tackle the unknown with the unlimited.

Your resources will ultimately fail, just like your talent or your knowledge or your own strength. Not because you’re not committed or dedicated or strong but because you’re only human. Instead, put your hope in God. Trust His resources. Trust His knowledge and power and strength. God never runs out. He never lets go, and He never gives up. Don’t you want that kind of unlimited power on your side?

Maybe not knowing where He’ll take you is intimidating, but He’s good. That’s the thing about God. You can trust Him. He’ll push you farther than you may want to go, but you can trust that His plans are good because He is good.

There’s nothing life can throw at you that will surprise Him. There’s no challenge you’re facing that can best Him. Stick with Him. It won’t be an easy ride, but it’ll be a good one.

And just a note for the coming week, I’m not sure how consistently I will be able to post. My parents and I leave for the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota tomorrow in an effort to get a real diagnosis on my mom’s condition. It should be a very exciting journey; I’ve always wanted to go to Minnesota in March. (Not.) But it will definitely be an adventure. If you think of us, say a prayer for safety and for wisdom so that we can finally get thing figured out.