Prayer, Creativity & Faith

I. Can’t. Even.

First published on the blog at Faithfully Following Ministries.

I. Can’t. Even.
I can’t even believe the things some people say.
I can’t even stand the bickering and belittling I’m witnessing.
I can’t even wrap my head around this pandemic.
I can’t even figure out what to do next.
I can’t even understand what motivates people.
I can’t even seem to get my laundry done… let alone wrap my head around all the craziness and fear and chaos and confusion in the world right now.

But you know what? God can.

And He does.

When you slam closed your laptop, turn off your phone, or click the handy-dandy “unfriend” button on Facebook, chances are you’re thinking it: “I can’t even!”

Here’s a truth spoken to me the other day by a wise friend (from a socially-acceptable-distance of 6’ away): Maybe the problem is that I’m trying to solve the problem myself.

She was right. I was studying and talking and seeking wise counsel. Researching and reading and exploring. Having endless debates in my mind with countless friends (and strangers), all worked up and my blood pressure skyrocketing and my brain in turmoil.

And I was no closer to solving the problem than when I’d started.

Because I was trying to solve the problem. I wasn’t stepping back and giving it to God. Was I wrong to do the things I was doing? Not at all. It’s due diligence. God usually requires us to do our part to change (or accept, or correct, or let go of) a particular situation. But the first and most important thing we should do is go to God.

Lay it at His feet.

Remind Him that you recognize who He is and how capable He is.
Remember ALL that He is.
Know that He loves you.
Trust Him to answer.
Trust Him with the truth of your feelings.

And then listen.

Do what He says.
Approach it the way He leads you to.
Be willing to let it go if He tells you to.
Be willing to pick it back up, but only if that’s what He wants you to do.

I’m one of those people that wants to fix things. I’m a bit of a control freak, and I absolutely have confidence that I can do pretty much anything if I set my mind to it. Except sing. But still. Even if I end up discovering that I can’t do it, I can promise you I will have tried my best.

Which is why one of the hardest things for me to do is to let go of something that is out of my control. Staying in my lane. Knowing that a situation is not always mine to fix. Knowing that no matter how hard I might try, I am unable to make a dent in it. And stepping back—in humility and trust—to let God do what I cannot even begin to imagine.

Because if I do it, people will see me. (And chances are good that they might see me fail.)

But if God does it—especially if it’s something I could never even begin to do on my own—then people will see God.

So I’ll close with this reading from Scripture, and ask you to pray these words with me—to help us both remember just who Christ is. To reinforce how much He loves us. And to keep in proper perspective whose role is whose.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
—Ephesians 3:20-21 (NIV)

Listen in! Join me as I talked with Jodie Barrett about #Instaprayer: Prayers to Share, our prayer experiences, strategies, and struggles. Click on the picture below to watch the interview.

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