When things go wrong.

All right ... we all know the situation. There are times in life when everything seems to go wrong for us. It could be the loss of our job, divorce, problems with our children, financial hardship ... or even more traumatic events that turn our lives upside down. We feel we cannot cope any more and, let's be honest, in our panic to deal with the situation, (or not as the case may be), we forget about God. He is irrelevant, and no longer central to our thinking at the moment.

So what do we do now?

We can of course despair and give up. After all many others have done so under similar or lesser circumstances. Or we can stop and think clearly.

As Christians we believe in God. We believe He loves us and guides us throughout our lives. So, no matter what the situation we're in right now, surely He is still in control of that situation and He still cares for us. He allows the situation to occur for reasons best known to Himself. Perhaps the situation is meant to change our life for the better, perhaps it is of our own making in the first place; but whatever the reason God is still in charge. He has not lost control.

So by acknowledging this fact and thanking Him for being still in control we allow Him to make it work for the better. It is difficult at first, in the midst of all the trauma and panic of a bad situation to even have time to think about God or His relevance to the problems we are facing. But it is only when we realise that He is still there, in charge and in full control, it is only when we acknowledge that fact and hand over the problem to Him, only then can we move on confidently in the knowledge that He'll look after us and work things for the best.

And another thing worth remembering. There are times when our faith in Him is really tested. We say that if He really exists and loves us He wouldn't allow such bad things to happen. These times of severe hardships can be very painful indeed. Yet, amongst all this hurt and confusion we must remember this: He will not allow us to be tested beyond our endurance.

It simply is not in God's interest to test His faithful to the point where they lose faith in Him. True, we are tested time and again. Some more so than others. In ways that we cannot imagine and in circumstances where we know that if they happened to us we just would not be able to cope. But God knows the extent of each person's endurance and He allows people to be tested according to that endurance. Perhaps He does so to help strengthen our faith in Him, perhaps He does it so that we might be a good example to others, (remember Job?). We really don't know God's motives and it is too presumptuous for us to try. But whatever His reasons we must learn to accept them and trust Him that He will not "push us" to the point where we fall.

One way forward is through prayer. Say to God that you feel at the end of your endurance and that you need His help right now. In His infinite mercy He will not abandon you.

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Copyright V Moubarak 2007