Learning to move at God time, even in stressful situations
Written by Brenna Covelens
We had seven minutes left before we lost. My friend Amanda was determined to crack the code, but I was ready to quit. We’d been trying to piece together clues to get out of the escape room for close to an hour. We had three clues in total, so we spaced them out roughly every fifteen minutes or so. The limited amount of time stressed me out. I was so consumed by the thought of losing and the time crunch, I almost stole my own joy.
Of course, real life struggles are totally different than trying to beat the clock to get out of an escape room. But the experience made me think about how time is different for the Lord than it is for us. In stressful situations, He might seem slow to act, but His timing is perfect.
His intervention might even come at the last second, but He declares victory over us. Even if everything is falling apart at the seams, we’re told to keep the faith God has given us. If we doubt or fear, Satan will take advantage of it. We can’t let fear and doubt steal any chance we have of persevering with hope.
In paralleling the escape room to real life, God taught me that this experience wouldn’t have been as rewarding had I not struggled. He made my struggle worth it, and He can do the same for you. Here are some of the things He has taught me about facing situations instead of running away.
Uncertainty is scary in any situation. Not being able to see ahead of me makes future success impossible to guarantee. My initial boldness disappears.
Yet God walks with me into new experiences that are completely out of my element. He has never led me to a place I’ve already grown in. I have to rely on Him to know what is best for me in the long run, even when I can’t see the finish line. “For we live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
I have to walk blindly but also faithfully. Sometimes, that means without argument.
Faith involves taking one step at a time. As we do so, we can recite the promises the Lord has for us.
Persistence can be utterly exhausting! In the Bible, God tells us we will face many troubles. As repetitive it might seem, I have to go back to God daily for information. While I keep pressing forward, I need to stay near God through the whole process. “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
Like in friendship, communication is not a one-and-done deal with God. If it were, I wouldn’t need Him. And I wouldn’t come close to overcoming obstacles through my own self-reliance.
Sometimes, asking for strength is better than asking to just get through the situation. I may not have the experience for the mission ahead of us. I ask God to bless me with discernment, acceptance of what is, and advice for what to do next. The Holy Spirit dwells in those who love God. Ask Him for help. He is our greatest tool and resource. He’ll let you know when you’re getting warmer or colder with your decision making.
Though I may feel underqualified and underequipped, He provides me all the essentials I need. “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
God is so good to me whether I fail or succeed. Even if I don’t win in a given situation, God already has. The battle is the Lord’s, and not even the devil himself can stop Him. As it says in Revelation 3:7, “What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.”
If God wants a door closed for me, He will shut it. If He wants to open it for me, He will open it. The victory is His. “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12).