Do you have a life or sin struggle that makes you feel helpless? I think it’s safe to say that most of us do, or at least we know what it’s like to feel that way. It can be very frustrating and discouraging to struggle against sin, especially when the issue is something we’ve prayed a lot about and we’ve also taken any steps we can to overcome the issue ourselves.
Maybe we console ourselves with scriptures that remind us to keep seeking the Lord. Here are some paraphrased scriptures I like to remind myself of. You can copy and paste any of these into an online search engine for the exact verse and context.
The Lord rewards those who diligently seek him.
Knock and it shall be opened. Seek and you shall find.
After you have suffered a while, the Lord will strengthen and settle you.
All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord.
Seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness and all things will be added unto you.
Today is the day of salvation.
Though I tell myself these things, the consolation pales in comparison to the pain of the struggle, especially when I feel like this is something I need to overcome now and I don’t understand the good in waiting.
This morning, I was praying again about a struggle that I’ve had for a long time with hope that maybe today is the day the Lord hears me. There are multiple layers to this struggle, so I don’t always know what to pray for exactly, but this issue impacts myself and those around me on a near daily basis, so to me this issue is important.
In the most basic terms, it has to do with anxiety, though the anxiety and its side-effects are more like an evil fruit that comes from a tangled root system that I cannot fully identify.
My oldest son has autism, and based on what I’ve learned from his diagnosis process, I would have been diagnosed as a kid too if they knew then what they know now. If you’re familiar with this spectrum disorder, then you might understand that anxiety is a big part of it. When the Lord sent me His Holy Spirit, some anxieties were taken away immediately, like my fear of crowds and nearly crippling social fear that made it almost impossible to talk to people. Yet, I still have a very rapid-fire kind of brain, and as a result my base emotion is wound tight and in a state of “fight or flight” even when things are calm. Think, type “A” personality to the extreme.
I’m very fast paced mentally and emotionally, and I think that much could be solved if I would just slow down. I was thinking about that during prayer this morning. I need the Lord to help me slow down. Slow down my thoughts, slow down my emotional reactions, help me slow down and make more time for childishness with my kids, help me slow down and learn more patience, help me to slow down and rest knowing that God is in control.
I didn’t feel like the Lord heard me, but I had to go about my day. I took my kids to a relative’s house because I had a doctor’s appointment. On the way to the appointment, there was a heavy rain storm. I cannot stand driving in the rain, especially when it’s blinding rain. There was no place to safely pull over, and as the line of cars got longer behind me I became very nervous, so I prayed.
A rush of thoughts came to me, almost all at once. Here I am stuck in this rain storm, helpless and potentially in danger. I’m completely unable to do anything about this situation. I’m at the mercy of God. Wait…I’m at the mercy of GOD. God can do anything. All things are possible through God, and He is merciful. I have no power to slow this rain down any more than I’ve had power to slow myself down, but God can slow this rain down just as He can slow me down. I prayed for both at the same time, and no sooner than my prayer was finished the rain went from a downpour to a slight shower then stopped all together.
We are helpless, but we are not without hope. I don’t know if I’ll be able to slow myself down now, but in that moment I knew that the Lord heard me. I know that when we feel blinded by struggles, hopeless, and in danger, if we call on the name of the Lord we will find the help we need. It might not come when we want or the way we expect, but there is always hope.