I was recently reminded of the bleak but genius “Hunger Games” series of books by Suzanne Collins. Her writing is full of insightful observations on the human condition, and one quote that came to mind in the midst of this pandemic and looming economic crisis was, “…sometimes things happen to people and they’re not equipped to deal with them.”
How many of us or people we know are not equipped to deal with the isolation, uncertainty, or worse predicaments that accompany COVID-19 or its economic impacts?
Defining moments come into our lives when situations arise and we’re not sure we’re equipped to deal with them–or worse, maybe we’re sure we’re not equipped to deal with them. Whether we realize it or not, we often have a choice to accept defeat, to admit that the circumstances were too overwhelming for us, or we can rise up to battle the difficulties before us and achieve success.
Of course, the stories we love to be a part of or watch movies about are those where we (or the hero) overcome impossible odds to reach our goals. But no matter how determined we may be, at some point (and maybe that time is now), each of us will eventually encounter situations where we reach the end of ourselves, where all hope is lost.
Or is it?
If the end of ourselves is where we finally let God take over, then we should not lose hope–far from it! God is where problems go to get fixed! God is the giver of the strength we never knew we had! I always chuckle to myself when I’m with a group of believing friends and we reach a point in trying to solve our problems where we’re out of answers, so we say something like, “I guess there’s nothing more we can do except pray.” Nothing more we can do?? Calling on the power of the Creator of the universe, on Him who brought Jesus back from the dead, is where we should START! It’s not the consolation prize.
He can and will and does equip us to deal with anything, if we ask Him.
Here are some encouraging insights along these lines from Paul’s letter to the Philippians:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (4:6-7, NIV, my emphasis added)
“I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (4:13, HCSB, my emphasis added)