I often smile when I see the cartoon of the frog about to be swallowed by a pelican. All you can see are the frog’s hind feet sticking out of the pelican’s mouth and his hands wrapped tightly around the pelican’s throat. The caption reads: “Never give up!”
I often counsel people who want to give up because they think their problems are insurmountable and their heartache will never subside. They are exhausted and discouraged, often for good reason. Their spouse may have just left them, they received a poor prognosis from their doctor, their children are in trouble or for some other reason, their hope and optimism have all but disappeared. During times like these, we can all be tempted to just give up. After all, wouldn’t it be better – or at least easier – if we could just go to sleep and wake up in Heaven with no problems? While many people look forward to that day to come eventually, if you’re reading this blog, chances are today is not the day for you. And if you’re asking the question, “Should I just give up?” the answer is a resounding, NO!
The reason is this: No matter how hard your circumstances may be, if you are still breathing, there is a purpose for your life and you are uniquely created and gifted to carry it out. You may have to do some work in order to have a better understanding of what it is you want to do, have a passion to do or are created to do, but the answers are there if you tenaciously pursue the right questions.
Some of the right questions may be: What can I offer to make the situation better? Do I need to apologize for something or open communication with someone? What are the possible positive outcomes of my current situation? Is there someone I can connect with to help me figure out what to do next? What is the result I am looking for? Am I being reasonable and realistic? What is one thing I can do today to make something good come from this difficulty? What can I do tomorrow, and the next day? If the problem is truly out of my control, how will I choose to respond?
Having problems is part of being human. Times are tough right now for many people and consequently, life can be very discouraging. I want to challenge you to look at your circumstances head on and declare that you refuse to lose hope or to give up. Ask what you can do to help, and if there isn’t anything you can do, you can commit to not making the problem worse while you wait patiently for circumstances to change. Many people find that relaxation exercises, meditation, and prayer are a tremendous help when answers are scarce.
And let’s never forget that one of the best ways to move beyond your challenges and difficulties is to direct your time, energy and abilities somewhere that you can make a difference. If you can’t fix the problem that worries you today, open your eyes to people around you. There is something very special about stretching yourself in an effort to help meet the needs of someone else in that along the way your own needs seem to get met.
As Solomon wrote, “To everything there is a season…” Whatever is troubling you today will someday be in the past. Don’t ever give up, and you will make it!
Live, Work and Relate Well!