“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand that he may lift you up in due time.” 1 Peter 5:6 (NIV)
Ever feel like relationships are hard to navigate sometimes? Maybe today you find yourself trying to figure out a situation that’s complicated, messy and unpredictable?
I want to find the right words to help get on the other side of the conflict but that isn’t always possible. While talking is good, sometimes the conversations start running in a circle, and there aren’t any productive words left to say. When this happens, it can make a girl feel like giving up. But before I give up, I’ve learned spending time getting quiet before the Lord can really be the best remedy for tangled situations.
Taking a step back from all the emotion, frustration and exhaustion to sit quietly with Jesus will do more to untangle a mess than anything else I’ve ever found.
If you find yourself in a tough relationship situation today, here are five beautiful things I’ve found when I pause trying to fix it all and instead get quiet:
1. We can feel safe enough to humble ourselves.
In the heat of a mess, the last thing I want to do is get humble. I want to overexplain and prove my point. But I’m learning I have to step out of the battle and humbly ask God to speak truth to my heart for things to start to make sense. Never have I had a relationship issue where I didn’t contribute at least something to the problem. Usually, I can only see this something in the quiet.
1 Peter 5:6a, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand …” (NIV).
2. God will lift us up to a more rational place.
When we are in the heat of a tangled relationship, crazy emotions can drag us down into a pit of hopelessness. The only way out of the pit is to make the choice to stop digging deeper and turn to God for a solution.
1 Peter 5:6b, “… that he may lift you up in due time” (NIV).
3. Anxiety gives way to progress.
We can pour our anxious hearts out to Jesus who loves us right where we are, how we are. And because His love comes without judgment, we can feel safe enough to humbly admit we need Jesus to work on us. Trying to fix another person will only add to my anxiety. Letting Jesus work on me is where real progress can happen.
1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (NIV).
4. We see our real enemy isn’t the person with whom we’re in conflict.
The truth is, we have an enemy, and it’s not each other. Satan’s influence on me and the person offending me is the real culprit. I can’t realize this in the heat of the moment. But in the quiet, I become alert and can gain a strategy for acting and reacting in a more self-controlled manner.
1 Peter 5:8-9a, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith …” (NIV).
5. I can rest assured God will use this conflict for good — no matter how it turns out.
If I make the effort to handle this conflict well, I can be freed from the pressure to make everything turn out rosy. Sometimes relationships grow stronger through conflict. But other times, relationships end because of conflict. Because I can’t control the other person, I must keep focusing on the good God is working out in me through this and leave the outcome with Him.
1 Peter 5:10-11, “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
In the end, this struggle can be used by God to make me stronger and more capable in my relationships. If I am humble enough to receive from Him in the quiet what He wants to teach me through this, I can rest assured with whatever the outcome is.
Dear Lord, help me stop trying to figure this situation out and just sit in the quiet with You for a while. God, humble me. Show me Your steps toward restoration. Or show me Your steps toward a healthy parting. Take my anxiety and replace it with Your peace, wisdom and security. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Lysa TerKeurst is president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and the author of more than twenty-five books, including It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way and the #1 New York Times bestsellers Forgiving What You Can’t Forget and Uninvited. As one of the leading female Christian voices today, Lysa is a trusted source of wisdom who empowers women to really change their lives. To date, her books have sold more than ten million copies.