What challenge are you wrestling with right now? Life seems to present us with a never ending series of challenges of one kind or another. We work through one challenge and give a sigh of relief, thankful that it’s over with. But just out of sight and around the bend life’s next challenge is already on its way. Most of the time we don’t know what that next challenge will be, but we can be assured that it’s coming.
It’s kind of like buying a house. You’re so thankful when you get to move into your new home. But it’s not long until something needs attending to. You put in a flower bed to spruce up the outside appearance of your home. Of course, you have to buy the flowers you plant in the new bed. Now you have to buy a new water hose to water the new flowers. When you do, you discover a slight leak in the basement. The topsoil you bought for the flower bed keeps washing down the driveway, so you have to buy some kind of barrier. Weeds grow faster than the flowers you planted, so you buy a weed killer. Your dog likes to lay in the cool dirt of the new flower bed, but he gets sick from the weed killer and throws up all over your new carpet. Now you’ve got a vet bill, and you have to clean the carpet. Finally things settle down, just as Fall arrives. Now you’ve got to buy a new rake and blower to pick up the leaves falling all over your yard...
But all of the exciting surprises of home ownership is only one area in which life confronts you with ever new challenges. Ask any parent if their lifestyle changed when their first child was born. How in the world could such a little bundle, so cute and cuddly, cost so much?! With all of the prospective shopping you did, and all the showers and grandparents’ presents, you thought your child was set for clothes for life. Who would’ve thought that kid would outgrow nearly everything in two months! How could baby food and formula for one little baby cost almost as much as full meals for both mom and dad? And that doesn’t include those disposable diapers that keep disposing of your income.
Then there’s the continual expense of owning cars. Something always has to be done to one of your vehicles. You’d buy a new one, but that would mean a huge new payment every month on into eternity. And someone’s always needing new clothes, a pair of shoes, a haircut, a perm, a tool, some fee for school. You can’t believe how much new eyeglasses are going to cost. And someone’s always having to go to the doctor or needing a prescription filled.
Then, there’s all of those completely unexpected challenges life throws at you. A husband gets laid off from his job. A grandparent or parent is diagnosed with a serious illness. Someone moves in next door who’s prepared their entire life just to make your life miserable, and they’re really good at it! After awhile you start to get tired, frustrated, impatient. Sometimes, you feel like pulling your hair out and running down the street screaming. What do you do?
Turn it over to God. I know that may sound trite, but it’s not. We can’t fix some things, and some things we can fix will break again. Some things are just going to happen, no matter what- it’s part of life. Sometimes there are no answers that we can see. But God knows all the answers (Jas. 1:5), and nothing is impossible for Him (Isa. 50:2; Lk. 1:37; Eph. 3:20). Let Him have your problems, your worries, your frustrations, your hurts. Learn to just turn it over to God...
Gary L. Hutchens