What do you do when there’s nothing you can do?

I like to think I solve problems.  I am one of those guys who likes to have definitive answers and likes to be able to help people figure out what the best next step is.  In my work, I am often the guy who makes decisions and keeps us moving in the direction our pastor sees best.  In our home, my wife keeps us from falling of track but she certainly trusts me to drive the train.  Even amongst friends, I find myself making decisions and moving forward.  But what do you do when you aren’t the one in charge?  What do you do when you aren’t the one who gets to make the decision?  What do you do when something is happening to you or the ones you love and you can’t fix it, solve it, or do something to make it get better?

This past Friday my youngest daughter, Lottie, had an 3.5 hour back surgery.  If you know us very well, you know that Lottie has Spina Bifida and therefore is quite used to surgeries these days.  However, this surgery was both very exciting and very extensive.  She had new magnetic rods screwed into her back.  As you can imagine, this has been pretty uncomfortable for her.  The surgery ended up becoming more complicated than originally thought and the surgeon had to do some other movements that caused the surgery to last longer and increased her neurological deficits in her legs.

So, what am I supposed to do?  When my child is hurting and my first inclination is to try and fix or solve or decide but the reality is…I can’t do anything.  There is nothing I can do to solve this.

It is during times like these that I am thankful that I know the only one who can do something.  I know the one true God.  I know that He is a far better Father than I am and a much better physician than any of the myriad of highly skilled, wonderful, doctors that have been caring for Lottie.  I know the King of kings and Lord of lords and I know that He is doing what is best for our good and His glory.

Here are the three things that I have found I can do when there is nothing I can do.

  1. I can PAUSE. I can stop, take a break, and realize that I am never really in control anyway, so pausing allows me to remember this reality and wait on God to move in the way He sees fit.
  2. I can REST. Since I have paused I am able to find myself resting in the perfect plan of a perfect God.  I am able to trust that what the Lord wants is what is best and so I don’t have to solve anything – because He is solving it.
  3. I can PRAY. Many times we take this one for granted.  We feel like this one is too small, or not even worth counting.  However, prayer is not only acknowledging God’s sovereign control over it all but it proves to be a consistent reminder to us as the communicator that we are pausing and resting in the only one who is worthy.


So, I guess, there’s never nothing I can do!


3 thoughts on “What do you do when there’s nothing you can do?

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