What to Do (and NOT Do) during Seasons of Uncertainty

what_the_heckContinued from here.

Are you in a season of uncertainty that appears to have no resolution on the horizon? If so, here’s a list of do’s and don’t’s to help get you through it:

DO pray for God to provide the solution to the problem. One reason a solution might not come is because you didn’t go to God and ask Him for it. Whenever you face an impossible situation, God is the first person you should talk with about it, not the last.

DO consider your motives in asking for a solution. Another reason a solution might not come is because you are asking for the wrong reasons. Make sure your heart is truly seeking to accomplish God’s will, not to feed your own selfish desires.

DO thank God for this opportunity to trust Him more. As Janet Brooks tells us in her book Enjoy!: More than Surviving Life’s Transitions, view this situation as “the graciousness of uncertainty.” Look for the grace in this situation. God is inviting you into a deeper level of trust with Him. Don’t squander the opportunity.

DO praise and worship God throughout this season. As we perceive that God isn’t showing up, our tendency is to withdraw from Him. Don’t give in to that temptation. Continue to praise and worship Him because He is worthy of it, regardless of the situation you are in.

DO take a trip down memory lane and recall the many times that God has moved in impossible situations in the past. He was faithful before. He will be faithful again. This impossible situation is not the exception that is bigger than God. If God could raise Jesus from the dead and break the power of death over all of us, He can handle your circumstance and work it for good.

Now for a list of don’t’s: DON’T complain about the situation. Each time you are tempted to complain, offer praise and thanks to God instead. DON’T gossip about the situation. Gossip is broadcasting God’s unfaithfulness to other people. DON’T doubt whether God can or will intervene. If you have invited Him into the situation, He is already working behind the scenes and will appear to “show up” in due time. DON’T put God in a box. His solution may be quite different from what you envision. Believe me – His way is always better. Finally, DON’T give up. God can work ANYTHING for good. I am living proof of that. If God can work good out of child sex-trafficking, He can work good out of ANYTHING

Your God is bigger. Trust Him! You will be delighted with His solution if you will persevere.

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace throwing up her hand to ask what to do. Courtesy Bitmoji.]

 

God is Never in a Hurry, but He is also Never Late

hurry_upContinued from here.

In both of the situations of ambiguity that I am dealing with in my life as part of a group of Christians, waiting for God’s resolution to come along has been a hardship for many of the members of each group. In one of those situations, I repeatedly told people that God’s got this. We need to trust Him and pray for a resolution. The situation lingered for several weeks, and as no resolution seemed to be coming, more complaining and gossiping took place, which broke my heart. Some people doubted that any resolution would ever come, and I would gently chastise them that this situation is NOT bigger than our God.

And then God showed up. Actually, He was working all along, but because people saw no evidence of this – only the obstacle growing larger – some gave in to the temptation to complain and gossip about the situation. When God showed up, everything moved quickly. He placed the resolution on my heart during my morning quiet time, and I did a happy dance because it was BRILLIANT – far more creative and wise than anything I could have possibly come up with on my own. Within hours, I communicated God’s solution to several key people, and the same ones who saw no way over the obstacle were delighted – DELIGHTED! – with the resolution. God was not in a hurry to resolve the situation, but when He decided to act, it was resolved within hours.

Like everyone else in the affected group, I saw that this obstacle was a problem too big for us to resolve on our own as a group. I also agreed that it was a problem that, if not resolved, had the potential to hurt everyone in the group. However, I never once doubted that God was bigger – that He would take this situation and work it for good. How could I be so sure? Because I know Him. This was not the first time that God did the impossible. Thus, I no longer question whether God is going to show up. It might not be in the timeframe I would prefer, but I have learned to rest in Him, knowing that He is going to provide the answer in due time. In the meantime, it’s my job to praise and thank Him, knowing in my bones that His answer is on the way.

To be continued…

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace shrugging in front of the words, “Hurry up.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]

Experiencing Peace in the Uncertainty

peace_be_with_youContinued from here.

In two of the situations of ambiguity I am experiencing as part of a group, I am surrounded by people who are impatiently awaiting God’s response because both situations seem hopeless without His intervention. In both cases, these are groups of Christians who are seeking to do His will but have encountered an obstacle far greater than our capacity to collectively resolve. Now, I am not saying that everyone in each group is being impatient – some have learned through the trenches, as I have, that we need to wait patiently and trust that God will provide an answer. However, others in both groups are so uncomfortable with the uncertainty and ambiguity that they give in to the temptation to complain and gossip about the situation as they analyze the obstacle from numerous perspectives and see no way out.

In her book Enjoy!: More than Surviving Life’s Transitions, Janet Brooks identifies some of the reasons why we struggle with embracing the uncertainty, such as our tendency to question whether God is really working when we so no direct evidence that He is. When people say this to me, I point out that when we plant seeds, we don’t see any evidence that a plant is growing beneath the ground for long time. The farmer plants the seeds and trusts that a crop will emerge at a future time. All we can do is plant and trust – the rest is up to God.

Brooks also points out that when we take our eyes off Jesus, we stumble and “become entangled by our weaknesses and doubts.” This is because we can only focus on one thing at a time – either the size of our problem or the size of our God. Whatever we choose to focus on becomes larger in our perspective, dwarfing whatever we don’t focus on. When we choose to maintain eye contact with Jesus, our perspective of our God grows bigger, and we learn in the ambiguity that our God is so much bigger than our problem.

To be continued…

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace smiling under the words, “Peace be with you.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]