God! Gimme a Break! Or Better Yet…How About a Breakthrough?

By Chloe JonPaul, M. Ed.

chloe-2There are times in our lives when we can find ourselves muttering “C’mon, God! Gimme a break!” 

In the wake of seemingly endless troubles, discouragement can set in easily, leaving us to feel hopeless.  But wait a minute!  We’re not alone. 

As a matter of fact we’re in good company: 

  • Consider Job in the Old Testament.  He lost everything – and he did complain to God but in the end he managed to say, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.  Blessed be the Name of the Lord.”
  • Then there was King David and many of psalms we read are his cries to the Lord. The lines in Psalm 13, in particular, echo what we may be feeling at times: How long will You forget me, Lord? How long will You hide Your face from me?
  • Even more compelling is Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Olives: “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” And then later as He hung in bitter agony on the Cross:  “My God! My God! Why hast Thou forsaken me?”  echoing the words of Psalm 22:21.

It is easy to trust God when things are running smoothly and we’re able to say “Good morning, God! Instead of “Good God! Morning!”  Our faith is tested during times when we face physical and emotional situations that overwhelm us.  At such times it would be helpful to remember and recite Isaiah 42:10: Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not turn away, for I am your God. I have strengthened you, and I have assisted you, and the right hand of my just one has upheld you.

Now, how about asking for a breakthrough? 

If you look up the definitions of break and breakthrough, this is what you’ll find:

  • Break: disruption of the regularity, uniformity or continuity of; end.
  • Breakthrough: the act of surmounting an obstacle, obstruction, or restriction.

So… the distinction is obvious.  We can and must pray for God’s help to overcome the obstacles in our lives, trusting in Him.  While it may be easier said than done, if we make a true effort to do so, our faith and relationship with Him will be strengthened.

I highly recommend the book, Hope in the Age of Anxiety.  Psychology professors Anthony Scioli and Henry Biller present a variety of perspectives on hope.  Especially recommended is “Chapter 13: Overcoming Hopelessness: Escape from Darkness.”

Here you will find what has been described as a “mind-body-spirit treatment cocktail”.  Their prescriptions for restructuring thoughts, latching on to a positive kind of hope-sustaining relationship, and recommended spiritual practices can definitely help change the dark clouds of doom in your life into light.

Another fine book is The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You\’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are  by Brene Brown, PhD., L.M.S.W. She offers 10 guideposts and especially impressive is “Guidepost #3: Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting go of Numbness and Powerlessness.

Finally, it will help to remember this statement by Rev. Keith McClellan, O.S.B., as quoted in Abbey Press\’s When Your Prayers Go Unanswered: “If God is God, the best solution to your troubles is the Divine one, not your own.”