Here’s an important question you need to answer: What do you do when you don’t know what to do?
The sad truth is that many people do one of two things.
First, we do the same thing again. We just try harder to make a relationship work, or to succeed in our careers, or to break a harmful or useless habit.
Chronic dieters think, “This time it will be different,” because “this time” they’re making a more sincere and heartfelt commitment to getting healthy and losing weight.
People in a difficult relationship—even after one more blowout fight, or even one more separation—think, “This time it will change.” Somehow we can make it be better.
This approach reflects a popular definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. If you have tried your best, tried all you know to do, and tried it again and again, you know how insane it is.
Going at a problem you haven’t been able to resolve with your own limited knowledge and strength is pretty crazy, isn’t it? If it didn’t get you the results you wanted the first three or four . . . or ten or twenty times, why do you think it will give you your answer this time? Yet most of us keep trying, hoping things will turn out differently.
The second thing most of us do, at some point, when we’ve tried and tried with the same results, is we stop trying altogether.
Understandably, we get tired and give up. We say, “This relationship will never work,” or “I can never lose weight,” or “I’ll never reach my goals and dreams,” or “I’ll never be able to get over depression.” So the result of trying to do life within our own limitations of strength, knowledge, and resources, is futility and hopelessness.
Fortunately, in God’s economy, getting to the end of ourselves is the beginning of hope. Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3)—meaning that when we realize we have no more, we’re ready to ask God for help.
Our trauma and our wounds can make it difficult for us to want to reach out to God for help. We may be angry at God or think he doesn’t know how to help us. We may feel ashamed or we don’t feel worthy. Nevertheless, draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Believe me, it really works. Run to Him in prayer. You don’t have to have all the words, a simple “Lord Jesus, here I am, have your way in me.”