The Lasting Way to Deal With Life’s Difficulties

Maybe you’re like me and really dislike dealing with the many struggles of everyday life.

No matter how tired I become of them, these struggles continue relentlessly, however.

I wish life were simpler and easier to take. So many mornings I force myself to get out of bed, only to realize I have to face another day of drudgery. I stumble into the shower to freshen up, hopeful I can get energized enough to face the day. Surely there’s more to life than this, isn’t there?

You’ve probably been there yourself. Just wondered why you’re here on this earth and what the meaning of it all is.

I’ve felt stuck, trapped, useless, like there’s no point in going on. I gotten mad at life and mad at God for putting me here on this earth with no real purpose in doing so. Or maybe I do have a purpose — just to suffer until one day I don’t wake up or until Jesus comes back.

Not a very pretty picture, is it? Have you ever felt this way? Maybe 100 times? 1000 times?

So, what’s the answer?

There are many approaches you could take if you’re at this kind of place in your life — philosophical, practical, positive, negative, Christian, atheistic.

The best way I could advise anyone (myself included) on how to deal with these sometimes overwhelming thoughts is simply to trust.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding (Prov. 3:5).

Trust that there’s a God. That He’s big and He loves you. That He’s got your back and He wants the best for you.

As far as I can tell, this is really all we’ve got. There’s nothing else much certain in this world (except death and taxes as they say).

I’ve returned to the above verse countless times in my adult life. Sometimes I completely forget about it. At other times I recall it to mind, but I quickly dismiss it.

At those times I think, If God were really trustworthy and really cared about me, I wouldn’t be in this situation in the first place.  

Deep down I think these kinds of thoughts originate from the dark side, planted there to keep me from completely trusting God, from giving myself fully to Him and His will.

In these times I have tough choices to make. Do I listen to the Holy Spirit whispering truth in my ear? Or do I let my flesh take over, allowing myself to wallow in self-pity and even self-loathing.

I’ve learned over the years that this critical point is where everything can turn — either for good or for bad.

Trust God and feel better. Or give in to doubt, fear, and uncertainty. My rebellious nature loves to just say, Forget it. I’m not trying any longer.

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But that doesn’t get me anywhere, especially not in the long run. The result is what much of my life has looked like — a very long cycle of earnestly drawing close to God, then bouncing away from him in rebellion, very similar to how the like poles of two magnets repel each other when they get close.

The point of all this? Only to say that as I’ve matured into a full-blown middle-aged adult, I’m finally coming to some realization that it’s time to stop all that sort of nonsense and just embrace God. Every day. All the time. On good days and bad. When things are going how I want them to, and especially when they’re not.  

I have to make the choice to trust God and His goodness — over and over, day after day.

Fitness professional Gail Pyne hits the nail on the head,

Whenever I have made a substantive lasting change to my life, it has always been due to a decision that I have made, not because someone told me to do something differently. The choice to change (and it IS a choice) must come from within.

Have I arrived? Certainly not. Will I keep trying, even when I want to quit? I hope so.

Do you have thoughts or reactions you’d like to share?

 

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Photo by Olga DeLawrence on Unsplash

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