Frustration was bubbling up. Nothing seemed to be going right. It was not operating like it was designed to. There I was, staring at the latest ‘honey-do’ project from my wife, a simple wire hanger system to display our children’s artwork. But it was refusing to cooperate. And I was not reacting well to the situation.
This was such a small thing, but it seemed impossible at that moment. This small thing pointed to a larger reality, that life can seem impossible at times.
Maybe its that you're forced to take sides between friends, that no matter what you do someone will get upset. Maybe it is an issue at work, where no matter what you do you, your company will look bad. Maybe it is just confusion about what comes next or having dreams but not knowing how to reach them or looking at bills that far surpass your bank account or raising kids that refuse to shape up or wondering if you will ever be able to retire or trying to parent adult children or striving to have a civil conversation with someone on the opposite end of the political spectrum… the list can go on. Life is filled with seemingly impossible situations.
How do you act when you come up against these situations?
Are you a ‘chicken little?’ A ‘chicken little’ screams out the sky is falling and proceeds to run around declaring the end is nigh. They freak out, think it is all over, scream and yell and make a huge hoot and holler. But the problem is that all their hollering doesn’t address the problem and can’t look past themselves for a solution.
Are you the ‘Kung-Fu grip master?’ This is the person who thinks that if they could just get a good grip on it they would master the situation. They just need to control the situation and the people in it and then all will be well. As masters of control and determination, don’t get in their way. But the problem is that many if not most of the impossible problems we face can’t be controlled by us, no matter how strong our grip or will.
Are you ‘Naysayer?’ Your favorite expression is to say, "Nay!" Faced with an impossible situation, they can tell you what is wrong with every possible path forward. "That won’t work," "I wouldn’t try that," "I tried that once and it didn’t work out," are all their catchphrases. But the problem is that these people never try to move forward because they are lost in the negatives with no hope.
Maybe you are Mr. Apathy. If you act like you don’t care, never really cared in the first place, then it can’t hurt you, right? When faced with an impossible situation Mr. Apathy just says “meh” and acts like it doesn’t matter. This is a person who tries to insulate himself by wrapping himself in a cover of apathy. But the problem is it is all an act. Just because you are apathetic doesn’t change the situation at all.
Which one are you? Chances you are a mix of a few of them or maybe all of them. Or maybe you are something I didn’t even mention. I can see most of these in my own life. A dash of chicken little, plenty of apathy, some Mr. Apathy and every now and then my Kung Fu grip comes out. But how should we react to impossible situations?
I believe Daniel 2 tells us how we should react. If you don’t remember Daniel 2 here is the short version. King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream and demanded the wise men not only provide the interpretation but also tell him what the dream was in the first place. Oh yeah, and if they couldn’t they would die. That is an impossible situation and all the wise men said they couldn’t do that. So the King demanded they all be rounded up and put to the death. This included Daniel and his friends.
Daniel was faced with an impossible situation. How would he respond? It turns out that Daniel was not a chicken little, Mr. Apathy, or any of the others. Daniel was a God seeker. Daniel ran to his friends and they prayed to God together.
When faced with the impossible, trying, and hard situations of life we should be God-seekers. Running to God in prayer and praise. We run to God because we know He has the answers. He has the knowledge we seek. He has the wisdom we so desperately need.
Be a God-seeker.
I love how the story continues in Daniel. Daniel interprets the dream and the dream points to a stone not cut by human hands that shatters the empires and sets up a kingdom that will last forever. The dream points to Christ, the living stone rejected that becomes the cornerstone. I love this chapter in Daniel because we see in Daniel that we are to be God seekers and we see in the dream why we seek God.
We seek God because we have hope in Christ who intercedes for us. We seek God because we are in Christ and so know that He is our mediator with God. We seek God because Christ ushers us into His presence.
When faced with the impossible seek God and have confidence that He hears because we have Christ.