I went running last night with some girlfriends. This is a feat in itself because we’re totally a rag-tag bunch of wannabe runners. As in, we’ve signed up for a 5K and none of us currently run. So really, I should say that I did a walk/run if I’m being honest.
As we were
panting running down the road, we were talking about how there are times in life when we want to keep helping, but sometimes feel like helping may even mean moving out of the way.
I don’t know about ya’ll, but I want to help people. I want to fix when there are issues. I want to give where there is need. I want to encourage where there is doubt. I want to make things right when they seem wrong. But the truth is that there are things that I can’t fix, and needs I can’t meet, and doubts I can’t silence, and wrongs I can’t right no matter how much I want to.
Sometimes, just sometimes….maybe when I’ve exhausted what I know the Lord has called me to do…I just need to move out of the way.
One of my friends said, “Something we’ve realized over the past few years, is that we should never stand in the way of a wrestle that someone needs to have with the Lord.”
Remember awhile back when I wrote about the wrestle? I had to go back myself and read it, and the Lord reminded me of something when I did.
He reminded me that there is blessing in the wrestle.
And I started thinking that despite our best efforts to want to help others sometimes, we just might be getting in the way of the wrestle that the Lord needs to have with them in order to give the blessings he has in store.
I so often think back to Jeremiah 29:11….He knows the plans he has for us to bring us a hope and a future. But the thing is, he said that to his people when they were in the middle of a wrestle with Him! It’s when we have to lay flat on our face before the Lord and need him in ways we’ve never needed him before that we find him!
We find him!
Sometimes…oftentimes…probably even most of the time, in the lives of others (and in our own lives if we can be that honest with ourselves,) we need to quit trying to fix and control, and realize that there are just gonna be some things we need to work through with the Lord.
Certainly, the body of Christ is meant for the encouragement, support, and edification of one another. So please don’t hear me say “live and let live” here. I think what I’m trying to communicate is that if we’re not careful, we can either come to a place where we can’t walk without a crutch, or we become a crutch to someone else, and then are in the way of a necessary wrestle with God.
Perhaps we find ourselves in financial distress and need to wrestle to discover Jehovah Jireh, God the Provider. Or maybe we find ourselves amidst inexplicable chaos, and He wants to introduce us to Jehovah Shalom, God is Peace. Maybe it’s a season of sickness and we need to encounter Jehovah Rapha, the Lord who Heals. It could just be that whatever it may be, He wants us to surrender it all to Him as Adonai, El Shaddai, and El Elyon…our Master, Lord God Almighty, and Most High God. Because he knows just where we are, and just what we need.
And he is kind. He is good. He is gentle…and faithful. He is generous….extravagant even.
Another of my friends said at lunch the other day, “He is seldom early, but never late.” He shows up. He always shows up.
We do not have a God who will stand us up. Who will humiliate us or torture us. He is kind…and good….and gentle…and faithful. He allows us to co-labor with him here on this earth….but we all know, that not much gets done when there are too many cooks in the kitchen. I’d rather have a meal from a master chef, than a bunch of first week culinary students. Wouldn’t you?
**Are there circumstances in your life where you may need to move out of the way in order to allow someone else to have their wrestle with the Lord to find Him him/herself? Have you allowed yourself to become a crutch in an effort to prevent hardship for another person? Have you inadvertently created a crutch for yourself of someone else? I’d love to hear from you who you need the Lord to be (what you need from Him) in order for you to move out of the way for someone else, or to let someone move out of the way for you.
Photo Credit: United Nations Photo