We may have heard this phrase or even used it in a harsh, accusing way, but I’m asking it with a heart of concern. What is your problem? You may say, “I don’t have a problem.” Good for you! Or, you may say, “Where do you want me to start?” Then others might smile and say, “Nothing. I’m good,” with a smile that tries to cover a breaking heart but doesn’t quite get to the eyes. You know what I mean.
I’ve recently discovered something: God’s grace. How does that really work? I’m learning that it only works when we do several things:
- Speak the truth in our hearts. He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart (Psalm 15:2).”
- Turn our cares completely over to God. “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5: 7).”
- Stop trying to salve the hurt with other things. “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12: 9).”
How do you deal with hurt? So often we turn to other things for our comfort and don’t even realize we’re doing it! Like…
- Hobbies – We get busy with a craft or exercise at the gym or parties
- Home – Ladies, we clean fiercely, or cook extravagantly, or spend lots of time redecorating or rearranging furniture
- Work – We throw ourselves into our work, spending long hours away from home, especially if the problem is at home
- Internet – We fiercely display all our pent up anger, hurt, disappointment, frustrations, or whatever on a social media page. We vent.
All of these things, except the last one, are not bad things. They may even take away the pain for a while, but in the end, we’re right where we started: dealing with a situation that we cannot change.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
This poem has long been a favorite of mine, so much so that I put it to music way back in high school! Its simple truths continue to circle back into my life.
When we turn to other sources of relief, we are like a child with a splinter. We squirm and cry and dramatize, making it more difficult, if not impossible, for the “splinter-remover” to do his or her job! Is that why God had David write Psalm 23? “He MAKETH me to LIE DOWN… He LEADETH beside…”
He knows what is best. We can’t fix it. We can only rest in His grace, allowing it to soothe when nothing else will soothe. Only He can calm the soul. Only God and His grace give peace. Is it a “once and done” thing? No, my friend. When the problem continues, so does the possibility for angst and the need to once again sit at the Master’s feel and sense His sufficient grace!