An old lie reared its ugly head this week as I sat—of all places—in a prayer meeting.
But earlier this week, as I sat and prayed, once again I was overwhelmed with a feeling that I’m not doing enough for God, and that what I do isn’t effective anyway.
The thought never starts out that obvious. Usually the way it begins, is I hear about a ministry or people suffering or a need that I’m not involved with, and feel like I should be a part of it. Yet I don’t really want anything extra on my plate. Then I weigh up everything I do to see if it’s ‘enough’, and it never is, and then I struggle between ‘I don’t want to do anything more’ and ‘you’re selfish for not wanting to do anything more’. Then that spirals into ‘the stuff I do never makes a difference anyway, even if I tried it wouldn’t work’. And that’s how the downward spiral works.
This is something that has come up a lot, so I won’t bore you by repeating how God has shown me the right way of handling these thoughts.
Rather, I’d like to talk about the fact that that this is a repeating issue. Because God really has dealt with this, probably five times already this year alone. It was a major theme of my trip to India, two years ago. And it had come up even before that. God has answered, and answered a lot. Yet I still get plagued by the same insecurity, and when it happens, I really can’t remember what God told me last time.
What can you do, when God has dealt with a problem or issue and it hasn’t gone away? What is left in your arsenal? Do you give up and say ‘enough!’? Do you query whether God was strong enough to really deal with it the first (or second, third, and fourth) time?
This week I read 2 Corinthians 12, where Paul wrote about a problem he had; a ‘thorn in the flesh’ that he asked God to remove.
But God did not. Instead he said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. (2 Cor 12 NIV)
Perhaps the answer is not that God will solve our issues and make them go away. What God does promise is that His grace will be enough, every time a problem comes up.
How much more trust does it take to rely on God repeatedly, than it does to watch Him slam-dunk an issue and send it on its way?
I hope the devil’s lies, like this one about uselessness, will fade over time. But goodness knows he’ll probably come up with new ones. Yet I don’t have to accept defeat.
I’m glad that God promises it’s okay to be weak. Every time something happens, He will be there to get us through.