“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13
“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:19
“Cast your burden on the Lord,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22
If you’re as old as I am, and that’s mighty old, well, old is relative, you probably remember the advertisement for ROLAIDS antacid. Bottom line. The ad told the world the product will give you RELIEF. Like NOW. Immediately. ASAP. After all, that’s what people want – and need – when they have indigestion. Right? Just pop the medicine into your mouth, swallow, and boom. RELIEF. Sigh. Whew. Nothing like RELIEF. Right?
Sometimes life gives us indigestion. Not the stomach kind. The life kind. The kind of indigestion whereby we’re VERY UNCOMFORTABLE, and feel SICK AND TIRED, and we’re WORN OUT, and we’re OVERWHELMED, and we’re STRUGGLING, and we want nothing more in the world, not really, than to GET RELIEF. NOW. IMMEDIATELY. We feel like we’re not going to make it another instant without INSTANT – RELIEF! So all we should have to do is go to the drugstore, buy a bunch of medicine, pop it into our mouths, and boom, RELIEF. Right? Oh, not so!
But that’s exactly what I’ve done with the Lord a zillion times. I’ve stepped right up to the front counter, so to speak, and cried out to the Lord to give me RELIEF. NOW. INSTANTLY. Hand it over, Lord! PLEASE PLEASE! RELIEVE me of this discomfort, this struggle, these circumstances, this situation, this person, this challenge, this trial, this tribulation, this, come on, Lord, you know. JUST TAKE IT AWAY OH PLEASE GOD NOW SO I CAN FEEL BETTER!
Oh, but the Lord isn’t a little container of ROLAIDS, is He? Not in the least! And sometimes God in His infinite wisdom, HIS PERFECT KNOWING, in His PERFECT plan with His PERFECT purpose, decides NOT TO GIVE US RELIEF. NOT TO RELIEVE US OF WHATEVER WE’RE UP AGAINST.
So that means He doesn’t love us, and doesn’t care about us, and just likes to watch us suffer, doesn’t it? Honestly, I’ve thought that a zillion times. But oh, not so with the Lord. He in fact has His perfect everything – love, care, wisdom, plan, purpose, and a big ETC. He is perfect in all things all the time.
So what are we supposed to do when the Lord doesn’t hand over the INSTANT RELIEF ROLAIDS, so to speak? Here’s what I’ve learned the long, hard way.
TRUST THE LORD if HE IS LEADING US THROUGH SOMETHING TOUGH that HE WILL PROVIDE EVERYTHING WE NEED beginning with but not limited to:
* a personal forever relationship with Himself through faith in Christ as Lord
* His love, mercy, care, kindness, patience, grace, forgiveness, peace, joy, hope, HIS WORD, HIS SPIRIT, tenderness, sweetness, loveliness, conviction and correction and refining and growth (yes I know, this can hurt and be hard but is necessary!), communion with Himself, time with Him, His voice, His wisdom and directions, HIS STRENGTH, the love and help of HIS BODY via fellow Christ followers, ENCOURAGEMENT, etc.
The Lord may not give us instant RELIEF in the way of relieving us of our hard circumstances, but oh how wonderfully loving and faithful He is when we believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and live in love for and obedience to Him to PROVIDE US WITH ABSOLUTELY EVERY SINGLE THING WE NEED TO GET THROUGH OUR HARD PLACES BEGINNING WITH AN UNFATHOMABLY BEAUTIFUL INTIMATE PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIMSELF!