Inviting God Into Your Struggles
I have a love-hate relationship with managing my home.
I absolutely love the idea of a clean, orderly home. I love my family and the idea that I am capable of creating a peaceful, restful environment for them to live. I even love the process of digging into the chaos one chore at a time, pushing past the part where it feels like you’re spinning your wheels with no progress, only to hit the breakthrough moment when you see the fruit of your labor and the end (a clean room) in sight!
But I hate the fact that on a regular basis my home doesn’t look – or operate – the way I’d like it to.
Organization, consistency, and maintaining a routine don’t come easily for me at all. I haven’t done a great job of training my kids to be consistent either. So far too often the house is messy, there are piles of (usually clean!) laundry in baskets rather than folded all Marie Kondo-like in drawers. We’re out of milk, late for school, or miss an appointment.
I Needed Jesus
So not long ago I just threw it out there to God:
“What’s wrong with me? Why am I so different from everyone else? Why do I find it so hard to accomplish and maintain these basic tasks and systems?”3 Ways to invite God into our struggles… Click To Tweet
I’ll just tell you now, I didn’t get an audible reply. But I pressed on and asked God to give me some insight into one way I could overcome some of my home management issues.
I ended up just sitting there, eyes closed, and I sort of saw myself going through my day and was able to identify a couple of main areas I could improve. One thing that came out of that prayer time was that I’ve realized I’m very slow at completing tasks when there’s no deadline, and I lose focus easily. So I started setting timers for myself.
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My systems for housekeeping aren’t the point of this post, though. The real lesson I learned as I sat there praying is that God cares about every single aspect of our lives. Our schedule, or housekeeping, our work and ministry, even our hobbies.
3 Ways To Invite God Into Your Struggles
When I took my frustration to God, He was so faithful to help order my thoughts, give me insight and wisdom, and ultimately equip me with some tools that have honestly revolutionized my home management.
That’s not to say it’s not still a struggle for me – it totally is! But I think I’m learning that sometimes prayer isn’t so much about the answer we get from God as it is about the journey and the relationship, and the joy and peace in knowing that He is there over and over again to help us when we need it most in the areas where we struggle.
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.2 Corinthians 12:7b-10 (NIV)
So I wanted to challenge you to think about one situation that’s causing you stress or frustration – no matter how seemingly insignificant – and invite God into it.
Maybe it’s your schedule, or maybe it’s your budget, or trying to figure out how to be better at the ministry you’re involved in with your church. Whatever it is, no matter how big or small, here are some specifics you can pray for:
1.) Pray For Self-Awareness
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.Psalm 139:23-24
This sentiment was kind of summed up in my “what’s wrong with me?” prayer. I’ve found that in almost every situation where I’m struggling, there’s something I can change in myself that can help. Starting with inviting the Holy Spirit to search us and draw out anything that might need addressing is always a great place to start! The comforting thing is that He doesn’t stop with drawing it out – I love the “and lead me in the way everlasting” part – He is so faithful to gently guide us with His easy yoke in the direction we need to go when we need a little correction.
2.) Pray For Wisdom and Insight
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.James 1:5
For my specific issues of lacking organization and focus, this is such an important prayer. Often in many aspects of my life I find myself praying “order my thoughts, Lord!” Or asking God to give me wisdom in the next step I need to take, rather than looking at all that needs to be done and feeling overwhelmed. God can give us wisdom and insight beyond any advice a human can offer – or maybe He’ll even use someone else to give you wise counsel!
3.) Pray For God to Be Glorified
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.1 Corinthians 10:31
I think this is the most important prayer. Whether my house is clean or not, sock drawers full or empty, or we make or miss all of our appointments for the week – my number one goal is that God would be glorified.
Because sometimes He’s more glorified in the conversation I have with my kid at a messy countertop than if the counter were clean. Sometimes a missed appointment is due to a Divine Appointment.
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Maybe you don’t feel like you were the most eloquent Sunday School teacher at church Sunday, but because you were sensitive to the Spirit’s leading, you prayed with a child who desperately needed it – and God was glorified.
When we make God’s glory our focus rather than perfection or accomplishing the things that might make us feel good about ourselves, there is such freedom and joy!
Join the Conversation
So how about you? What areas of your life do you need to invite God into? Share with us in the comments!When we make God’s glory our focus rather than perfection, there is such freedom and joy! ~ Jaime Hampton Click To Tweet
Related Resource For Christian Women
If you are tired, stressed out, or overwhelmed, Candid Gal, Laura J. Marshall invites you on her journey to enter into the rest that refreshes and find freedom from weariness. This is A Mom’s Battle Cry for Rest.
This is such an excellent and encouraging article, Jaime!
I particularly loved your insight, “This sentiment was kind of summed up in my “what’s wrong with me?” prayer. I’ve found that in almost every situation where I’m struggling, there’s something I can change in myself that can help. Starting with inviting the Holy Spirit to search us and draw out anything that might need addressing is always a great place to start! The comforting thing is that He doesn’t stop with drawing it out – I love the “and lead me in the way everlasting” part – He is so faithful to gently guide us with His easy yoke in the direction we need to go when we need a little correction.”
It reminds me of something Pastor Philp De Courcy wrote, “The Christian constantly enjoys the love of God, the grace of our Lord Jesus, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 13:14). Wherever we are and whatever is present, God is always with us and has promised to never, ever fail us or forsake us (Heb. 13:5; Josh. 1:5; Psalm 23:4; Isaiah 43:2). It is a glorious gospel fact that the Christian is never without company even when alone; Immanuel is with us through the indwelling Spirit and therefore, we are not alone (Matt. 1:23; 28:20). The follower of Jesus Christ is always in the company of another (Luke 24:15). Although others may forsake us, let us down, leave us behind, and let us go, the Lord will stand with us and walk beside us.”
Thank you for providing such important and inspiring words to face each day!
Joe, I’m so glad you found this post encouraging. And thank you so much for sharing those great insights! I’m so glad we don’t have to walk this crazy road of life alone and can always count on God to be right there with us, and the added bonus of being made more like Jesus!