You’re resilient. You’ve met problems before, and you know how to push through when things get difficult. You’re a “can-do” kind of person, and it’s not your nature to let obstacles stop you.

But sometimes even the strongest of us can get overwhelmed. When problems come at you from all directions at once your normal coping mechanisms can become stretched terribly thin.

Have you ever had times when all of these things happen at once?

  • A source of money suddenly dries up
  • A family member becomes ill
  • Technical problems threaten to undo months of work
  • It takes ten times as long (weeks) to complete an important task that should be relatively easy (few days)
  • Emotional pressure seems to stall clear thinking

There are times when it seems nothing else can go wrong.

Until it does!

You know how characters in crime shows often say, “I don’t believe in coincidences?” Well, I don’t either. When all kinds of problems are cropping up in multiple areas, there are three possible reasons:

  1. You are trying to do too many things. When your brain, your body, and your resources are asked to do too many things in a given period of time they may not be able to keep up. Like it or not, you have limits. And when you become overextended, your efficiency, effectiveness, emotions, and ability to make decisions deteriorate greatly.
  2. You are trying to do the wrong thing. There are laws God has put in place in the universe, and we face negative consequences when trying to go against them. God also has a plan for your life, and if you are serious about following His plan, He may make it very difficult for you to go in a direction that would go against that plan. (See Hosea 2:6)
  3. You are trying to do the right thing. Entrepreneurs, artists, and writers often call it “the resistance.” Christians sometimes call it “spiritual warfare.” The truth is, both the natural order of things in this world and the devil himself will try to stop you when you are trying to accomplish something of significance, something that will help the world, something that will advance the Kingdom of God.

So who’s making things difficult for you? You are? God is? The devil is? The answer is not always easy to determine.

So what do you do?

  1. Check your own lifestyle. Calmly and realistically look at the choices you’ve made and are making. Could any of your troubles be the result of things you have control over?
  2. Pray for perspective. We always naturally pray for the problem to go away, and for God to make things happen as we wish. But put your own desires aside for the moment, and seek God’s perspective.
  3. Act on that perspective. Once you have some sense of where the resistance is coming from, then you know what to do.
    1. If you’re trying to do too many things, learn to say No. The relief you feel will be amazing.
    2. If you’re trying to do the wrong thing, change course. Thank God for saving you from heartache down the road.
    3. If you’re trying to do the right thing, carry on. Become even more determined to accomplish what God has for you to do. Use that insight to energize you even further.

Is it always that simple? No. And sometimes stuff just happens because of the world we live in. But thinking and praying things through in this framework will help enormously in how you deal with the onslaught you’re facing.

Your Turn: How does understanding the source of your problems help you in knowing what to do about them? Leave a comment below.

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