Face the Monster
By Jesse Pingenot in Student
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble (Matt 6:24-34).
Sometimes you just feel overwhelmed.
Particularly if there’s been a problem you’ve been avoiding dealing with. Something really bad that’s going to take a lot of work. So you put it off, and you put it off, and it just gets worse. Eventually, you just feel like it’s too big for you.
Some people reading that might say, “Well, don’t avoid your problems!” And yeah, you shouldn’t avoid your problems because they’ll pretty much only ever get worse. But at the same time, that’s fairly useless to say to someone who has a problem that’s overwhelming them.
The fact is, pretty much everyone does this to one degree or another. We all only have so much time and energy to devote to things, and most of it is taken up already. A problem arises, and you may simply not be able to address it right away. And for a while you forget about it, and then it’s never a good time, and then suddenly it’s been a month and things are getting really bad.
Now, you can obviously avoid this by just having dealt with it then, and I would encourage you to develop the discipline to do that. But that’s all water under the bridge. Now you have this overwhelming problem. Now what?
The first step is always confronting the problem. You need to admit that there’s something there, and that you may need help with it. And now that you admit that you have a problem, give it to God.
It’s His to worry about. You just need to figure out how to face it. God will guide you. Pray about it, and set to work. Don’t worry about anything—especially things beyond your control—but just set to doing what you can.
What, exactly, would solve the problem? You need to define the problem, and in that you define the solution. For example, if you missed a payment to the school, the solution is paying the school. Let’s run with this.
So you know what would fix the problem. Now how do you do that? You know you have an overdue payment to the school. Now you need to pay it. How do you pay it? Your school probably has several different ways of paying—in person at the registrar’s office, online on your school student portal, mail a check to their office, etc. Look it up, choose a method for doing it, do it, and you’re done. Bill paid, problem is gone.
Now, that was a pretty easy example. Some things are a lot more complicated than that. But really, that’s the whole process to it. A situation isn’t complicated because you need to do different steps than these, but rather that you need to do them several times. “I need to do this. But I can’t do that because of this. Okay, but I can fix that by doing this.” And so on. You know how to do this.
Do you need help with it? That’s okay. Everybody needs help now and then. God created us to be in community and to help one another out. Everyone talks so much about giving to the needy, but they shun letting anyone know they actually have a need. There’s no shame in it. It happens. Ask your brothers and sisters in Christ to help you!
Once you’ve faced your problem, trusted it to God, and started going through it step-by-step, you will very quickly find that it actually wasn’t as big a deal as you thought it was. I have many friends in counseling, and the phrase “that wasn’t as bad as I thought” is something they hear daily.
By ignoring it, you’ve let it loom large in your mind. It’s become an object of fear. But God hasn’t given you a Spirit of fear, but of power and love and self control. He will take care of you. And that big, mean monster isn’t nearly as big or mean as you think!
Just face the monster, trust it to God, and start picking it apart!
All views expressed on this blog are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, U.S.A., U.S. Missions, and The General Council of the Assemblies of God.