Monday, September 12, 2016

Hang In There

By Andrea Merrell

I have told you all this so that you may have 
peace in me. Here on earth you will have 
many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because 
I have overcome the world. 
John 16:33 NLT

How do you know when it’s time to go—from a stressful job, an unhealthy church, or a toxic relationship?

I have found myself in all three situations … more than once. When things got really tough, I prayed, “God, do you have me here for a reason, or are you telling me it’s time to go?”

There’s a very fine line between knowing when to hang in there—hoping things will turn around—and when to walk away. Sometimes God has us in a situation or environment where He is molding us, changing us, chipping off the rough edges. Or maybe we’re there to help someone else.

At other times, it’s simply time to go.

I remember one particular job situation where the lady I worked with for nine years retired. She was a jewel. The woman who took her place was a tyrant. I struggled for months, unsure whether I was to stay or go. When the situation became so bad it was affecting me mentally, emotionally, physically, and even spiritually, I felt like I was headed toward a nervous breakdown,

One Sunday morning at church, I said, “Father, I’ve tied a huge knot at the end of my rope and hung in there as long as I could. If you have a reason for me to stay, You need to let me know … give me peace. If not, please show me what to do. I can’t go on like this any longer."

Immediately after the service, the pastor’s wife asked if I would consider being part of the church staff. They needed someone immediately. With tears of joy and a huge sigh of relief, I said yes … knowing that was my answer, my cue to go. My one-week notice was given to the tyrant the very next day.

I’ve learned that the most important thing we can do is to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead. He will either give us a release or the staying power we need to complete the task. But no matter what happens, Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer (Romans 12:11-12 NIV).

When God says “Go,” don’t hesitate. But when He says “Stay,” know that He has a plan ... and hang in there.

(Photos courtesy of Miles.)


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