Updated: May 12, 2021
Over the years, I've noticed something about myself. When I'm easily bent out of shape and grumpy, I've often gotten my eyes off God and onto my circumstances. Sometimes, when some major problem is hitting me on all sides, I don't have the time or energy to get up early and do my Bible study. I pray, but it's without focus and on the run. This lack of focus doesn't actually help my ability to handle the extra-difficult circumstances, and the whole thing gets worse.
I lay awake at night, composing angry letters or arguments in my mind, then wake up in the morning still upset. I wonder why the leaders aren't leading better. I wonder why the followers aren't following better. I wonder why God would allow these terrible things to happen to me, or to my loved ones. My children look to me for the answers, but often I'm just trying to figure out who is going to give me the answers!
Psalm 146:3-5 says,
"Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God".
The rest of the chapter goes on to repeatedly say that the Lord is the one who takes care of us and provides for us. It isn’t those we work for, our government, our spouses, or anyone else that makes a way for us.
The Lord opens doors and closes them.
It's our job to do what God has placed before us to do and with the best of our ability. (Read Genesis 45 for more about this idea.)
We can trust God to make a way for us through whatever wild and lonely, excruciating, or sad place we're facing. We can make a firm decision to serve God no matter what. Even when a door is closed firmly in our faces, one that we felt sure we were supposed to walk through, one that felt like God was standing right on the other side of, beckoning us in. Even that door. We might have to sit down for a moment, cry, bang on the door a few times, check the lock even. But when we are convinced that it's truly closed, we can look up and ask God for wisdom to show us the way that we are now to go.
Our hope can't be in who is leading our country, or who is pastoring our church, or who we work for, or the person leading our family. They are all human, and they WILL let us down. WE are human, and we will let those who look up to us down! It's the human condition, and we should certainly try our best, but sometimes even that isn't enough.
Psalm 147:11 says, "The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love."
Let us put our hope in God's steadfast love.
Let us put our hope in God's plan for our lives.
Let us put our hope in the power and might of God to do everything He has promised us.
One practical tip that I've found recently to help me when time is short and the list of responsibilities is long is this: as you drive or walk or wait, listen to Scripture. BibleGateway.com has FREE recordings of Scripture, sometimes in several translations read by different voices, that you can listen to on your device. Pop in some ear buds or put it on the speaker in your car. I like to listen to a passage in several different translations, by different readers, and try to hear something new in it. It helps to keep my eyes firmly locked on Jesus.