Does it ever feel like God has disappeared? A trial comes into our lives unexpectedly, and suddenly, we no longer feel God's presence. In an effort to maintain our sanity, we begin trying lots and lots of different possible "fixes," hoping that one will result in a solution that we can live with.
The interesting thing about many of our solutions is that they often don't solve anything. Rather, they dig us deeper into the hole or they create a new problem. What should we do when hardships arise? Let's consider Jacob's example in Genesis 31:42.
Remember that you are not alone
While it may feel like God has disappeared, He really hasn't. Jacob knew that God was with him through every challenge that Laban sent his way.
When Joshua was afraid of being chosen to lead the Israelites across the Jordan, Moses reminded him, "The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV)
If we feel alone, it may be that we have pulled ourselves away from God's presence. We may have pushed God out of the driver's seat of our lives and tried to direct our own paths. But life is much too difficult to travel alone.
In addition to recognizing God's presence, we also have to be quiet enough to hear from Him. God cannot direct our paths if we are too noisy or too busy to listen for His direction.
Daily, we should spend time with God so that we can be in tune with His will for our lives. His direction may not be what we thought, hoped, or planned, but it is what is best for us.
Even if we find that we are off of His path, all hope is never lost. He can work with us in all of our mess. Romans 8:28 tells us that God works in all things for the good of those who love Him. He can turn it all around.
Allow God to fix it
If God never leaves us, then He has seen all that has happened to us. Nothing can be hidden from God. We don't have to worry about avenging those who have wronged us or our family. God wants to guide our lives, and He is definitely capable of fixing our issues.
Jacob didn't try to get even with Laban for all of the pain that he caused him over his 20-year employment. He took every challenge in stride, knowing that God would look after him.
When work feels too impossible to bear or the bills become too overwhelming, we should pull back and get out of our own heads long enough to seek God. If we pray for God's guidance before reacting to the situation, we may find that His solution is a lot better than anything we would have tried. Lord, not our will, but Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.