Monday, January 30, 2012

What to do when you don't know what to do!

Have you ever faced a personal problem that out sized your capacity to solve the problem? If you have, how did you deal with it?

Some people are energized trying to find order out of the chaos of life; finding the key to a seemingly intractable riddle empowers them.

For others it can be an excruciating experience where a problem backs them into a dead end; their options are limited and hope fades.

What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

Do what King Hezekiah did in Isaiah 37: 1-20.

Jerusalem was surrounded by the mighty Assyrian army. This reigning super-power had never lost a war. For them, defeating Judah was a simple thing.  Isaiah 36:8

Hezekiah lacked the military firepower to engage Assyria. He was outmatched, out-sized, defeat and death seemed imminent. What did he do?

He waited on the Lord: Isaiah 37:1
Waiting is not passivity or denial of the problem. Waiting is an active process of discernment. The danger we all face when dealing with problems is to find quick solutions to as to escape the pain. But a rash solution will often create bigger problems.

Solomon said, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

He listened for God’s word: Isaiah 37:2-7
Waiting and listening are inseparable practices. God is always speaking but we must be still long enough to hear what the Lord says. God’s words provide sustaining hope; God’s words provide direction and God’s words instill courage for the journey.
Psalm 119: 24 is worth memorizing: Your testimonies are my delight, they are my counselors. When you don’t know what to do seek counsel with the Lord.

He took his problems to God in prayer: Isaiah 37: 14-20
One of the things I like to do is read through the prayers of the bible. Hezekiah’s prayer is near the top of the list of great prayers of the bible. In his prayer he does two things:

1.     He reminds himself of God’s character and works. This is important because when we are overwhelmed by a problem the first casualty is memory. We forget what God has done, what God is doing, and what God will do.
2.     He recited God’s promises. David said in Psalm 103:2 bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all his benefits.

Whatever you are going through today, or this week, the Lord is saying to you: stand still. Wait on me. I have not forgotten you. I have heard your prayers. Trust me for your days. In an acceptable time I will come and save you. Isaiah 35: 3-4

Question: When you are overwhelmed by a challenge, share some of the steps you take to deal with the problem.