When it Rains, it Pours…

Sometimes, things just don’t seem to go right.

This week has been one for the books. Between failed experiments in lab, questioning friendships, midterms, and a host of other things, life has been one heck of a storm. Honestly, it feels like nothing has gone right in a long time. My plans failed and my schedule was completely trashed aside from my classes. And all of this leaves me with one question…

What is going on?

When one unexpected thing comes after another, it can feel like there’s no use in trying to make more plans or make adjustments to fix the current situation. But. I think there might be some beauty in this realization. How often are we apt to take on more commitments than we can handle? To say yes to more than we realize? To load up our calendar with an impressive list of interests, activities, and one-on-one time with friends? The answer for me would have to be, “far too often.”

Now the question we have left with is, “What do I do now?”

The first and most cliché answer I can give you is to lay your worries at the feet of the Lord. In the Gospel of Matthew we find a very direct question to ask ourselves, “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” While there is scientific evidence that could suggest that letting the overwhelming events and concerns of life is not adding time to your life, I think there is something else to consider. At what point in time has worry added to the minutes of enjoyable life you have had the opportunity to experience? Here, I’ll give you a hint.

It hasn’t.

While it is important to not worry, there is a difference between worry and concern. As I advise you not to be filled with worry, I also want to say to you that having zero concern is just as dangerous. If you have exams, study for them. If your friends need you, talk to them. If you have something going on in your family, love them and offer support, but know that everything in this world is working together for good and not for evil. Remember, also, that if things go wrong, it isn’t the end of it all (and for those of you staring Spring Break in anxious anticipation, don’t let anything that may happen this week get in the way of enjoying your break).

God is holding all things together and working to magnify Himself. He is working for your good and His glory, and if He loves you so dearly that He would be willing to lay down the life of His only son, what, do you think, would ever be able to get in the way of that? I’ll give you another hint.

Nothing.

So go on this week knowing that God is behind every step you take, mistake or otherwise, to remind you of His sovereign and steady hands.

Victory for the Broken

Is Weakness an Obstacle or a Means of Victory?

It seems that the toughest realizations and the worst situations are what bring the greatest strength. There are times where I have felt incredibly distant. Far away. Unreachable. Interestingly enough I almost reveled in my sadness. In fact, I celebrated it, really. I embraced my anxieties. It turns out, though, that those deep set issues were not something to sulk in or encourage, but something I need to fight and release.

Once we conquer the demons that control us, we are set free from our inner bondage. When we can learn to let go of our biggest fears, conquer our insecurities, and overcome what we cannot let go of, we experience a freedom that is incomprehensibly refreshing. Of course, letting go of the dreams and desires that hold us back is no easy task. In fact, it takes an incredible amount of brokenness to show us what needs replaced. In order for me to understand what I have failed in doing, what was haunting me the most, and how to fix it, I had to face the shattered reality in which I live.

Christ doesn’t tell us that life is going to be easy. That the life we live will be a walk of constant joy and satisfaction. Christ does offer incredible comfort when we experience these lows, though. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says,

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Wow.

What an amazing statement. The all-sufficient grace of God is greater than our weaknesses. It’s crazy to think that nothing we do is sufficient enough to properly handle anything. We are weak in the flesh, but through Grace, we find power in Christ. When we are weak, what we accomplish through the faithfulness of God magnifies Him in our life. What a reason to celebrate!! Through our darkest moments, hopelessness may not be the only thing we find, but instead, something far more astounding…hope, peace, and freedom.

Before you give up hope, before you succumb to your greatest fears, before you let someone else dictate your life, and before you decide it’s no longer worth it, do some soul searching. Maybe what you are desiring is not what you truly want. It’s possible what you fear the most, in reality, is like the monster under your bed…unbearably terrifying, but easily overcome once you begin to see the truth. So before you decide you can no longer handle it, think, pray, cry, understand, and then remember that, in the power of Christ, you need not be strong to find victory. You can beat what hurts you the most. Afterward, what you will find is a new opportunity to live the life you were designed to live. Free from fear and hopeful in your future.