What is Within Your Power?

Sometimes we feel trapped in circumstances that seem beyond redemption—a soul-draining job, a troubled marriage, a difficult pregnancy, or an uncomfortable family situation.  You wonder what you can do about your circumstances and fix whatever problems are bedeviling you.

Remember that God promises not to give his children more than they can bear—he gives us strength and grace to endure through any circumstance.  However, that doesn’t mean we have to feel victimized by anyone in the situation we’re in—God, our demanding boss, or our impossible sister-in-law.

After I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I felt as if the rug had been pulled out from under my life.  I was externally successful, having a successful freelance career and having just completed a first novel, but my symptoms soon became overwhelming and I was hospitalized for suicidal ideation.  I had to take medicine to regulate my moods and thoughts; I felt the stigma of being diagnosed with a mental illness; I wondered what I had done to bring this circumstance on myself.

But I didn’t stay in that place for long.  I followed my doctor’s orders and felt a great deal more stable on medication.  I bought every useful book I could find on bipolar disorder and devoured them, reading about this condition and absorbing all the information they contained about treatment and therapy.  I talked to people about what I was going through.  And I prayed for understanding and deliverance from the situation. Afterwards, I was still suffering from the same disease, but I was no longer the same person who had been diagnosed two months earlier.   I had information, medical treatment, therapy options, and the power of prayer by my side.

Make the choice to live above your circumstances, working to change them daily as far as it is in your power to do so.  If all you can do is pray, by all means do that and let God do his work in your life—which may change you far more than it changes the circumstance.   No situation is ever beyond hope.

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