The Anguish of Feeling Like Your Hands Are Tied
It’s likely that 50% to 70% of us are going through a major crisis right now. It might be your marriage, children, work, money, health, depression, addiction, destructive behavior, or a crisis of meaning.
And it’s very likely that this crisis is being caused by the actions of someone you cannot control.
And it’s very likely the person causing you so much anguish is someone you really love and care about.
And the reason you feel so much anguish is because you feel like your hands are tied.
If you are caught in the middle of someone else’s storm – and now it’s your storm too – what can you do? You’re asking, “What can I do to fix this?”
You already know this, but you can’t help someone who doesn’t want your help. You can’t change anyone’s mind. A made-up mind is almost impossible to change.
Here’s the rub. Between now and the time that person wants help, there is really nothing we can do.
Our job is not to “fix” them. Trying to “fix” someone now will make it difficult for them to come to us when they actually are ready for help. You will have poisoned the well, so to speak.
So, yes, your hands ARE tied. So accept the anguish as the “fellowship of his sufferings.” It is your cross to bear. Take up your cross, deny yourself, and follow Jesus.
Reaffirm your faith: God is good. God is sovereign. God is not surprised by this crisis – this storm. He is not sitting in heaven wringing his hands about how this will turn out.
Know your part: Our part is to love them, and let them know we would love to help if they ever want it. Our part is to pray without ceasing. Our part is to believe and trust the Scriptures when they say to us, “The Holy Spirit helps us in our anguish. When we do not even know how to pray, the Spirit intercedes for us with groans so deep that words cannot express. And the Father, who searches our hearts, knows the mind of the Spirit who is always interceding for us” (Romans 8:26–27, paraphrase).
There is a purpose for your pain. God will often stick us in the middle of someone else’s storm so He will have someone on the inside for when they want help.
You are that person. So don’t do anything rash. Wait upon God’s timing. His hands are not tied.
Until every church disciples every man…