How to Trailblaze Through Trials
You know that feeling when you’re just starting a trial — big or small?
Like when you realize you only have one of your favorite earrings in, and you pray that the other is just at home on your dresser?
Or when you’re sitting at the doctor’s office, and the nurse walks in with a grim look on her face?
Or when you get a phone call from an unknown number while your family is out of town?
When we go through trials, we often want to curl up and hide from the world. When our hearts are breaking, that makes sense. It is so, so easy to lose our joy in moments when our circumstances threaten to do us in. But Jesus promises to provide joy, even in the hardest circumstances. So how on earth do we respond to trials, big or small? How do we practically and spiritually pull through?
When I’m starting to get overwhelmed by trials, here are two questions I ask myself.
1. What IS possible?
If my daily rhythms are being totally thrown off, I know I have two options.
Option 1: PANIC!!!
Option 2: Grab hold of my non-negotiables.
I always try to choose Option 2. Maybe laundry won’t get done for another week. But what will get done?
Time in God’s Word – check!
Prayer time with my kids – check!
Scripture reading with my kids – check!
Prayer time with my husband – check!
Even when it means tossing aside my carefully planned weekly menu (which also breaks my heart just a tiny bit!), I cling to the to-dos that fall in line with the priorities God has set for our family (need help setting those priorities? That’s what my Craving Time course is all about!). Sure, maybe I’ll have to buy a couple frozen pizzas and maybe some chocolate ice cream to get us through the nights where I just don’t have time to cook a healthy meal. (But really. Is there an easier, yummy-but-junky meal?!) But because I’ve stuck with my top priorities — God and my family — I’m taking the time to reflect Jesus even on the most hectic days. And that is a huge blessing.
2. Who can help?
When you’re sick, does it help to Google your symptoms and end up convinced that you have backache-cancer-interstitial-glaucoma-hives? Or does it help to actually talk to a doctor who can reassure you and offer you reliable information? It makes sense to go to the source of medical wisdom.
It’s the same thing when we’re in a trial. Often I’m guilty of letting my mind wander to the worst possible conclusion and simply dwell there. But God, in His kindness, offered us the Bible and other Christians to lighten our load. He calls the weary and heavy-laden to come to Him for rest. He might not remove our trials, but He will certainly give rest to our souls.
Our friends can be a great source of this wisdom. When you’re too overwhelmed to even look up a Bible verse, text or call a friend and ask for prayer. Ask for help. Yes, it’s humbling. But we have relationships for a reason. We were made to bear one another’s burdens. Your day will come to bear your friends’ burdens. Let them also carry yours!