I have shared before, what I call, the wisdom of Lucy. Lucy Shockney is a dear friend whom I met in France where she and her family were missionaries for many years. God has blessed Lucy with terrific insights into everyday life. Recently she shared another nugget of gold. She was talking about the difficulties in life that come to us all. No one is exempt from hard times. Lucy writes: “If the question that plagues you is ‘why,’ knowing why doesn’t solve the problem. The real question is, ‘what do I do about it?”‘ That’s the one that solves the problem, that refuses to submit to circumstances. The ‘whys’ are a distraction. The ‘what am I going to do about it?’ is the road map to greatness.” I find her thoughts simple and yet profound.
It is so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of doubt, depression, and anxiety. To ask why is easy and even understandable. We want answers to our melancholy. We want it to go away, so we ask why? However, as Lucy pointed out, to merely mull over the why question will do nothing but distract us from the road to our liberation. Indeed, it is in asking ourselves, what are we going to do about it, that the path to freedom from our despondency will be revealed.
So, what, exactly, can we do about it? Two answers come to me. The first has been a favorite of mine from the time I became a Christian. It’s found in Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you and I will show you great and mighty things that you do not yet know.” Isn’t the truth of that verse amazing? The promise is: just by calling to Father, He will answer, and He will reveal truth to us that will aid us in our troubles. It’s not a maybe or possibly so; it’s an “I will.” Anytime God says “I will,” it is well worth our time to meditate upon that truth and follow it through.
The second thought that comes to me in regard to, what can we do about it, is found in Matthew 7:7. Jesus was talking with His followers, encouraging them how to live successfully in this troubled world. He said, “Keep on asking, and you will receive. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” I have listened with sadness to some Christians who have misunderstood this verse. Some actually believe that God is being somewhat cruel, insisting that “keep on asking” means, if we ask enough times, He will answer. Oh, my! That interpretation is so incorrect. What would enough times be? Five? One hundred? It’s absurd to consider that Jesus would be so callous to the things that hurt us. That’s not how love works; therefore, that’s not how Jesus works.
So, what is He saying? He’s telling us that every time we find ourselves in some situation of despair, then ask, seek, and knock. He says to keep on doing this with every trial that comes our way. With every new feeling of sadness or with every new burden that weighs us down, we must seek Him and His help. We must so diligently ask, seek, and knock that it becomes a habit in our lives.
As Lucy reminded us, when we quit focusing on the ‘why’ and focus instead on ‘what can I do about it,’ then we put ourselves in the way of deliverance from all that drains our joy. So, when troubles come, and they will, what can we do about it? Call to Father. Ask His help. Seek His comfort. Knock on the door of His guidance, and He will show you great and mighty things that you never even dreamed about. It’s a promise.