At a previous job that I held for a long time, I found myself struggling to succeed. As the resources for doing the job seemed to decrease, I thought the answer was to persevere, to endure, to work a little faster, a little longer. In the end, God took pity on me and stepped in.
My mistake? To rely completely on my own power to try to overcome. I prayed, but I put it in terms that I understood and prayed for solutions that I could predict. I don’t ever remember praying to God in a way that was not limited by my own conception of what was possible. I never trusted that He was the powerful God he said he was. I persevered in the wrong things. I was steadfast in my human attempts at solutions; I was not persevering in my faith, as we are clearly called to do in James 1:2-4 and Hebrews 12:1-3.
My feeble problem-solving is no match for the Creator of the Universe. I never gave God the opportunity to show me the mind-blowing solution that he may have had in store: Isaiah 55:8-9, Ephesians 3:20-21.
When I try to “do it myself,” I deny the divinity of God–I ignore His power and bring him down to a human level. I miss opportunities to do the work he has for me, because I’m stuck in my stubborn place.
A recent situation where I was very distraught about what to do and what the outcome would be provided the opportunity to practice persevering in faith. After moving to address the situation proactively, we turned it over to God. The moment I acknowledged that it was God’s battle, not mine, and trusted in his sovereignty, the weight of this problem lifted from my shoulders. I was not somehow required to be the author of a solution, but to persevere in faith, to trust God, and find peace in His power.
“He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call. His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” Psalm 147:8-11