Have you ever had one of those days (or weeks) when everything seemed to be going wrong?
It’s one thing after another and as hard as you try to hold it all together, you know that one more thing…just one more…will push you over the edge?
Friend, you are not alone!
In fact, I felt the same way this past week.
With two writing assignments due and a busy weekend of dance recitals approaching, you can imagine my response when I went to my website and found this warning:
Caution! The site ahead contains MALWARE.
My website was shut down.
Blacklisted by Google.
No one was accessing it, including me.
No working website meant no access to my posts.
I had no way to retrieve what I had previously written to finish my assignments.
In addition, I had no idea what malware was, but I knew it couldn’t be good.
After much investigation and help from some friends, I found out that someone hacked into my account and began wreaking havoc on the backend of my website.
Remember the one more thing?
I was nearing the edge.
Frustration set in as I felt the vulnerability of the malicious attack.
That is exactly what it was: an attack.
Not just on my website, but on my message.
The topics I wrote about would draw people closer to Jesus and their spouses.
Knowing it was an attack, I went into full-on warfare mode.
I prayed and rebuked, declaring what I knew to be true:
Jesus was in control and He would not let me fail!
My job was not to get distracted from writing.
It seemed so simple.
Stay focused and God would take care of the rest.
However, what I didn’t anticipate, was that the problems would last an entire week.
What happens when you fight an ongoing problem for a week straight?
You can start to become weary.
I was growing tired and irritated from dealing with the issues, which in turn began to affect my writing.
It seemed like the more I prayed, the more distractions and problems arose.
It was like being in a large storm.
The winds came on strong and just when it felt like they were dying down, I realized I was in the eye and there were more winds coming.
We should expect the storms when we are doing things to impact the Kingdom.
I know this.
But I also know that we can have peace in the midst of the storm.
What good is worrying when there’s nothing in your control that you can do?
In fact, as I’m sitting here typing right now, I’m dealing with more problems that have developed.
I’m choosing to let it go.
If I focus on them, it will lead to more worrying and no solutions.
But I can learn from this week.
There are 3 “takeaways” that will help me the next time I’m having a rough week. Perhaps they will help you too!
What to Do When You Want to Give Up
Even when it seems your prayers aren’t working, keep praying!
Many times we come up against things that are not flesh and blood.
There are times when things are happening in the unseen realm that we do not understand or we aren’t even aware they exist. But we can rest assure that God hears our cries and is working on our behalf. Last week as I prayed, I wanted to give up when I didn’t see a change in my circumstances right away.
This scripture was so encouraging to me:
“Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.” Daniel 10:12 NIV
I was doing work for the Lord.
I could trust that He was taking care of the details.
Every time my mind began to worry, I would give my situation back over to Him.
It was in His hands.
He is capable and willing to handle all my circumstances.
Trusting in Him is the key to my peace in the midst of the storm.
Take a step back
When I began to get emotional and the frustration was taking over, I heard God whispering for me to take a step back.
I was so busy trying to do a million things at once that I was overwhelming myself.
I was worrying about how my website would be fixed, who was going to fix it, and how I could prevent this from happening in the future.
All the worrying was dragging me down.
If you’ve ever tried to accomplish something in a worried state, you know that it’s not very fruitful.
I had to take a step back from my website and from writing and really do something I enjoyed.
So I went to Whole Foods.
My mom and I packed up the kids and did a little grocery shopping.
I needed a change of atmosphere.
It’s amazing how walking away for a bit renews your perspective.
I found out after my website was back up that there were some things I could have done to prevent the hack.
Apparently it is very important to keep your devices up to date.
Leaving them on the old version leaves your electronics exposed to all kinds of undesirable risks.
It is the same with our spiritual lives.
When we don’t stay up to date with the Lord, we are more susceptible to being worn down.
I need a fresh connection with Jesus every day.
He gives me enough grace for today, not enough for several days.
When I spend time with Him daily, my mind is fresh, my soul is at ease and my emotions are under control.
I have enough margin to handle the hiccups that the day or week brings.
What do you do when you want to give up?
Do you press through in your own strength or do you rely on the Lord to help?
Relying on our own strength usually ends up in frustration and exhaustion. But as we begin relying on God, His peace will envelop us.
Are you having a bad day? Take a step back, spend time in the word and keep on praying. God is working in ways you can’t see!
Father, thank you for always being there for us. Thank you that when we are experiencing a bad day or week, we don’t have to go through it alone. Help us to relax when things get intense. Remind us to take a step back in order to see things from Your perspective. Guard our hearts during these times, Lord. Thank you for working on our behalf. We trust in You to care for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen!