a hard place

Oftentimes life seems more or less like being between a rock and a hard place. There may be no easy answers to a particular problem. Or a situation may be lacking in a number of ways. We all experience that. For some of us, more money might help, but as Jesus said, “Life is not made up of what we have” (my paraphrase). For those of us who struggle to keep making ends meet (hopefully in faith), we can live with the illusion that enough money would take care of it all. But for those who have plenty of money, they know better (see the book of Ecclesiastes).

Life is seldom convenient, and carries with it all kinds of pressures, even in just the normal day to day routines. But sometimes one feels like they’re nearing a breaking point. Life seems to be crashing in and there seems to be little or no way of escape.

During such times we need to remain true to our calling in the Lord and not give in to any tidal waves of despair. We have to hold steady, to stand our ground (Ephesians 6:10-20) in the strength and armor of the Lord found in the gospel/good news. And we have to apply wisdom, asking the Lord to give us the wisdom that we most definitely lack (James 1:2-8).  Usually there are some answers, even if they’re not easy to come by or carry out. It is good for us to pray, to do what we can, and learn to leave the rest to God.

Above all a hard place can help us to give our full attention to God, to his word in commitment to Christ and to the church. During such times we can grow in faithfulness, and we want to do so in a way which lends itself to being faithful through good times and bad. That whatever we are facing will make no difference; that we will carry on well in the Lord and in the community of his people. We may need special prayer from others. And we need to be alert and remember in our prayers those who are in special need themselves.

While a hard place is not where we would choose to be, we need to look to God for his salvation in and through Jesus. A salvation which may (or may not, in the way we would want or anticipate) take care of the problem, but will inevitably be the salvation that is needed for ourselves and for others.

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