• Heidi J. Smith

Wondering what to do...

Photo credit to Andrea Placquado from Pexels

Have you ever wondered what to do?

You are not sure which college to attend, who to marry, what job offer to accept, how to raise your kids, how to care for your parents, how to help with your grandkids...

My husband and I are in the throngs of raising teenagers. What a wonderful, crazy time!

I look around at other families in our same situation and wonder how they are they doing it. Inadequacies and fears gnaw at me. Am I doing enough? Am I doing it right?

I wish I could ask my mom for her advice; but since I can't, I remember her example of praying and reading her Bible in the recliner.

She had a wooden plaque in the kitchen that read, "When life gets too hard to stand, kneel."

In the Bible, Nehemiah didn't know what to do.

Nehemiah was the king's cupbearer, or tasted the king's food and drink to make sure it wasn't poisoned. Several years before, King Nebuchadnezzar destroyed his hometown of Jerusalem and captured many of the Jews dragging them back to Babylonian.

Nehemiah heard that Jerusalem was still in ruins and the people were in trouble. He wept and prayed (Nehemiah 1:4).

The king noticed that he was sad and wondered why.

Nehemiah was afraid and prayed (Nehemiah 2:4). He asked the king for permission to go and help. The king agreed.

Nehemiah traveled over 900 miles to Jerusalem. He investigated the work, rallied the people, and set to work rebuilding Jerusalem's walls.

As opposition and discouragement came, he prayed (Nehemiah 4:9; 6:9), devoted himself to the task (Nehemiah 5:16), and strengthened himself in God (Nehemiah 6:9).

The wall was completed in 52 days (Nehemiah 6:15).

When Nehemiah didn't know what to do, he prayed. The same is true in our lives.

When we don't know what to do, we need to pray.

Our God in heaven names the stars, counts the hairs on our heads, and knows the beginning and the end. Nothing is too hard for him.

But sometimes I forget how powerful my God is and focus on my circumstances, inadequacies, or fears. I put God in a small box while my situation towers over me like a mountain.

Instead I need to remember how great and powerful my God is and refocus on Him.

How do I do this?

  1. Pray - "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him." James 1:5

  2. Read God's Word - The Bible is our guidebook for life. "Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path." Psalm 119:105

  3. Seek wise counsel - "A fool's way is right in his own eyes, but whoever listens to counsel is wise." Proverbs 12:15

  4. Rely on God's strength not my own - "Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and in His vast strength." Ephesians 6:10

  5. Believe truth not lies - “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you." Jeremiah 32:17

Rebuilding Jerusalem was a daunting task just like certain situations in our lives, but we should follow Nehemiah's example and look to the One who helps.

When we wonder what to do, we need to remember that "when life gets too hard to stand, kneel."

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Heidi J. Smith