Between a Rock and a Hard Place

I don’t like overused metaphors, but quite frankly, I have felt like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place.  It’s not just me though.  All around me I’m noticing people with unequally desirable choices to make, feeling trapped, sad, stuck, and depressed with life’s circumstances. As believers though, what do we do when we don’t see a good way out of a bad situation?

One thing we have to realize is that we are not going to please everyone.  People may not be happy about our decisions.  Some people are better than others at this, but it’s certainly something I struggle with often.  However, whenever we make pleasing people our primary motivation for making decisions, ultimately, we will fail.  Pleasing people should not dictate our decisions.

We also shouldn’t base our decision-making solely on whether something will make us happy.  As we all know, happiness is fleeting, and a lot of things that make us happy in the moment aren’t good for us in the long run.  As a coffee lover, drinking that cup of java in the morning makes me happy.  Is it good for me?  Well, it would be a much better decision for me to drink water!  It’s a trivial example, but the point is that we can’t even trust ourselves to make small, seemingly meaningless decisions or crucial, life-changing ones. We simply don’t always do or know what’s best for us.

Being stuck by trying to please ourselves and others is difficult, but being stuck spiritually is the most painful.  We know God is there, but we don’t feel His presence.  What do we do when we’re in a dry place, and no matter what we do, we don’t see or feel hopeful?  Have you cried out for God and thought He hasn’t heard you?  These times can lead us into a state of despair if we don’t know what to do.

In Psalm 119:105, the psalmist explains, Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”  When we don’t know what to do or where to go, we have to go to His Word, not just a few quick minutes a day, but we need to consult it just like we Google a medical condition or research for a big project.  It’s what illuminates what’s dark, unclear, and hazy.  Regardless of how grim and bleak things may seem, it’s meditating on His Word that will clear the fog, directing us to what’s right.

In Joshua 1:8, the Lord instructs, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”  We have to read, memorize, and recite the Word aloud.  To some, it’s silly and religious, but to those who are equipped with God’s “good success,” we are armed with a weapon that no storm, trial, or heartache can conquer.

We don’t have to read self-help books on how to become successful because we have the Living Word, a Word instructing us how to live authored by our creator, and we have the Word that is living, life-giving and alive, breathing newness in things, people, and situations that are lifeless.

Being stuck between a rock and a hard place is uncomfortable, to say the least, but it’s a feeling, not reality.  The reality of whatever situation we find ourselves in is that God is sovereign.  He is in control, no matter what it looks like.  He knows how we feel, and He cares.  He hasn’t left us, and if we seek Him, we will find Him.  He will supply ALL of our needs.  He is our Source, not people, circumstances, or even ourselves.

If you’re in a hard place right now, remember that this is an amazing opportunity for God to show Himself strong and to move on our behalf.

Pressing with You,