As a college student, I volunteered at a youth camp for several summers. Most of the time, I led worship and hung out with the girls. But one night, when the altar was full of teenagers, the youth minister asked if I would help counsel.
Within 10 seconds of my “yes,” a middle-school aged boy did a beeline to me. I asked him why he came to the front, and he told me it was because he wanted to ask Jesus into his heart.
I reviewed what that meant with him and then asked him to pray with me.
“Nope,” was all he said.
His response was not what I expected! It made no sense. So, I explained the gospel a second time and asked him again, “Do you want to pray to receive Christ?”
We went back and forth a few more times, with his answer always being, “Nope.”
I hadn’t had much experience with middle school boys, but seriously? I couldn’t tell if he was pulling my leg or honestly didn’t understand. I was so frustrated and confused. The youth minister must have seen me looking perplexed, so he rushed over.
“Oh, Jennifer, I am so sorry,” he whispered in my ear. “I should have told you about him.”
The youth minister reached over and hugged the young man, who then headed back to his seat. He then told me that this boy was special needs, but because he was very high functioning, it wasn’t always super obvious.
It turns out that every time there was an invitation, the young man came forward. And, every time he did, he said he wanted to receive Christ. Yet, every time he was asked, he always said no.
It suddenly all made sense! I got it. The precious young man sincerely didn’t understand. His heart was right, but he wasn’t capable of expressing it in the way I expected. So, I was trying to fix it, when there was nothing to fix.
You might be in the middle of a situation right now that doesn’t make sense to you. And, you’re coaxing and trying to fix, but all you’re getting is a big “nope.”
Sister, you may be receiving that “no” because you are trying to fix a fact, not a problem. That young man most likely always walked up the aisle, only to say no because that was him. It was a fact, not a problem.
You and I can fix problems, but we can’t fix facts. When it comes to facts, we can only accept them—and when we do, it brings peace.
But, when we don’t know the difference between facts and problems, it’s easy to get confused, frustrated, and spend our lives trying to fix what we face. I know because I’ve been there. I used to treat my blindness as a problem that I needed to fix. But it isn’t fixable because it is a fact.
So, if you are trying to fix a fact right now, KC and I invite you to take a break on this episode of the 4:13 Podcast. We share why and how you can stop trying to fix that thing or situation that’s hard or doesn’t make sense. Plus, you’ll learn three things to do if you are already in fix-it mode.
3 Things to Do When You’re in Fix-It Mode
- Accept the facts. A fact is something that you cannot change. You wish you could, but you just can’t. It may be a physical condition or another person’s choices. Accepting what you cannot change is the first step to living free from the constant soul fatigue that comes from treating every hard fact as a problem.
My friend, when we really trust God, through His grace, we can accept whatever facts exist in our lives. We can stop trying to fix them. There is so much in life that we just don’t—and will never—understand. But you don’t have to understand everything because you can trust the God who oversees everything. What feels out of your hands is never out of His control.
- Acknowledge the problems. There are usually some problems that accompany facts. The fact of gravity brings with it the problem of falling, right? The fact of blindness brings with it problems of frustration, injury, limitation, and fear.
Think about that hard fact you deal with. What are some of the problems you struggle with because of that fact? Problems hurt, don’t they? But you can find wisdom and strength from the Lord. You can trust that the problems can be dealt with. Sometimes you can fix the problem, manage it, and sometimes even avoid or change it.
- Identify a solution. We work with and work around facts. We work on problems. We find solutions to help change what we can. Since gravity is a fact and falling is a problem, well, then some solutions may be holding the handrail, slowing down, and wearing sensible shoes! Frustration and fear are problems that come with blindness, and I can work on those. I reduce my frustration by planning ahead and giving myself extra time to finish tasks. I manage the problem of fear through prayer and memorizing Scripture. You get the idea … solutions!
The tough, ugly facts in your life that you wish you could change may have brought a U-Haul of problems with them. But, if you have figured out the difference between facts and problems, then you can let go of trying to fix those facts and you can focus on finding solutions to the problems.
Today is your day to name the facts and accept them. Acknowledge the problems you deal with. Then, find one solution to help you handle the problems.
And, if you’re discouraged by the facts or overwhelmed by the problems, ask God to give you the grace to accept the facts and wisdom to deal with the problems. God will help you handle the hard facts of life with wisdom, strength, and grace.
Remember, no matter what facts you face or how you feel, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.
Books, and Bible Studies by Jennifer Rothschild
- Me, Myself, & Lies: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself
- Me, Myself, & Lies for Young Women: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself
- Me, Myself, & Lies: A Thought Closet Makeover Bible Study
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What is one Scripture verse that encourages you when it comes to the facts in your life? Share in the comments.