What Do I Do When Life Is Not Okay?

Are you going through a season of uncertainty in your life? What should you do? How do you live not knowing what tomorrow might bring? Psalm 3 offers four key choices.

What Do I Do When Life Is Not Okay?

Are you going through a tough season right now?

Sometimes life hits us hard. In our latest TMC podcast, I interviewed Katie Schnack on her upcoming book, Everything is (Not) Fine. And in this book, she shares her journey of raising a child with VACTERL (which stands for stands for vertebral defects, anal atresia, cardiac defects, tracheoesophageal fistula, renal anomalies, and limb abnormalities) and how she lives when everything isn't fine.

As she writes, "Some things in life are so awful they won’t ever be 'okay.'"

Perhaps you find yourself in your own awful situation today. You're trying to hold things together, but on the inside, you're hurting and don't know how to move forward.

As I reflected on my conversation with Katie, my mind went to Psalm 3 where King David offers some encouraging words of hope. Keep in mind this psalm is written while David is at rock bottom. He's living in the aftermath of the greatest moral failure of his life, his family is falling apart, and now it looks like his kingdom might be destroyed. Life was not okay.    

But based on his words, David offers four choices you can make when life is not okay.  

Choice #1 | State Your Fears

David doesn't sugarcoat his problems. In verses 1-2, David says, "O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, 'There is no salvation for him in God.'" Notice that last line, "There is no salvation for him in God." David's enemies are saying that even God has abandoned him and so he might as well give up.

What about you?

Have you ever felt like God has abandoned you? Honestly, at some points I have and these seasons have always been the lowest moments of my life. Hard times aren't easy, but if we feel like God isn't with us, life feels hopeless.

If this is where you find yourself at today, lean in to this next choice.

Choice #2 | Ask God for Help

Verses 3-4 say, "But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill."

Despite having a well-trained army, David recognized God as his greatest shield. If God was on his side, there was nothing the enemy could do to thwart his plans. But if God was against him, there was nothing he could do to win this battle.

There is a time and place for hard work. But there are some situations intended to be outside our control and no amount of human effort will suffice. We can either resist this reality or embrace it and ask God for help.  

Choice #3 | Rest in God's Certainty 

Verses 5-6 say, "I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me. I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around."

When life feels uncertain, this is God's invitation for us to lean into his certainty. By certainty, I don't mean clarity because sometimes the closer we get to God, the more confusing life becomes. Instead, I prefer another word–security. Those who place their trust in him are eternally secure. Because of God, we do not need to fear tomorrow.    

Choice #4 | Move Forward in God's Strength

Verses 7-8 says, "Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked. Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be on your people!"

"Salvation belongs to the Lord." What a wonderful truth to embrace.

To summarize, life might feel overwhelming today. Everything might not be okay. But if this is your reality, take hope in God. Rest in the security only he can provide.

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