“Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it.” — Charles Swindoll
You’re traveling along life’s road and all is well. Then you find yourself trapped in a situation with no obvious way out. Your husband of 13 years just asked for a divorce and is leaving to be with his new girlfriend or your 13 year old son has become so influenced by the evil around him that you no longer recognize him.
“This can’t be happening to me,” you think. “Everything was just fine and now this!”
Or perhaps you have been in an impossible situation for what seems like an eternity and you want to scream, “When is this going to end?”
Whether your impossible situation just hit you or you have been carrying this burden for far too long, the feelings that accompany this situation are very similar: This isn’t fair! Why me?
If you recognize yourself in this line of thinking, it may be time for a reality check: To think that you are going to get through life without any challenges, injustices or seemingly impossible situations, would put you in the category of a dreamer.
Life’s difficulties will always come that’s for sure. And while they may feel like something that’s beyond your control, remember that there is always something about these situations that you can control—your response.
You could resort to tactics such as retaliation, self-pity or the blame game. Most people in a similar situation likely would choose these responses that have all the usefulness of a knife with a broken blade.
There is a better way. A way that will get you out of the situation faster and make you a better person in the mean time. Sounds like a win all around, doesn’t it? That’s because it is.
What’s the catch, you ask? The tricky part is that this way takes work and discipline. Perhaps you are sick and tired enough of this impossible situation that you are willing to try something different.
How do I know this works? Because I use it every day. In fact, I am practicing what I preach right now. As I write this I am going through what would seem like an exhausting, impossible situation in the family courts system. Yes, you would think that there would be justice in the courts, right? For any of you who have had to deal with the unfairness and injustice in our judicial system, you understand – the end results don’t always make sense. But you have to find a way to move on and live a happy life. Below is how I do that, and how you can too.
There are four principles that I employ in each and every one of my difficult situations and they always bring me out on the other side with victory and peace.
- No more pity parties. I discuss my situation only with a select group of prayer warriors. That’s it. To keep talking about the situation keeps it alive and gives it power. And to enroll others into feeling sorry for you only disempowers you. And you need all your available power to focus on the remaining three steps.
- Focus on what God is doing IN you, not around you. If you can remember that God is in control (if you allow Him) and nothing falls outside of His knowledge, then you can rest in knowing that He either brought you to it or allowed it. But whichever it is, He will bring you through it better than when you went in, if you will just allow Him.
- Trust in God’s sovereignty. Not everything is about you or me in that moment. Do you love God? Are you following his ways? Then quit your frettin’. He’s got your solution already worked out and His timing is always perfect.
- Focus your attention elsewhere. Believe me, I know how tempting it can be to obsess over your impossible situation. But know this: your thinking about it, trying to figure it out and focusing on it will not help you find a solution. God’s got your solution. Go be a blessing to someone else and wait for God to fight this battle.
Remember Jesus already has given us victory over sin and the grave (1 Corinthians 15:57) so as my husband and I like to say, “If we already have the victory, Let’s go celebrate.”
And that’s exactly what we do. We trust in God’s word that He will bring justice to our situation. Remember righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne (Psalm 89:14).
The victory is already yours even if you can’t see it right now, so feel free to go celebrate!