Lay Your Paddle Down: God Hates Ping-Pong

Why do we bounce back and forth like a ping-pong ball? Ping — we put it all in God’s hands. Pong — we start worrying again. And soon we’re dizzy, spinning, and desperately needing peace. You’ve been there, I’m sure.

And though we realize difficult times will come, for some reason, they surprise us when they do. We wonder, “How did this sneak up on us?” And we start worrying.

“Give all your care and anxieties to the Lord. He cares, and will help you carry them,” we’re told. So we do it, because we know it’s Truth.

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you, (1 Peter 5:7).

But our own doubtful nature often threatens to drown out faith and trust.

And we take up the burden, that we just gave to the Lord, again. Weighing ourselves down with all the wondering of “what if” and “if only.” With questions like, “Why Lord, did this happen?” or “Why can’t something be done?”

And if we’re honest with ourselves, it’s because, deep down, seeds of doubt remain.

We question the wisdom of leaving it all in God’s hands. After all, it was there to begin with. He could have prevented it, but didn’t. And we keep playing ping-pong, grabbing the ball from God’s hands.

The Lord never promised no difficulties, or that we’d always understand. He simply says “give me your burdens.” Because he is more than willing and ready to carry them with us.

But that takes quiet, peaceful acceptance of whatever he sends our way.

What it comes down to is recognizing him as Lord. And allowing him to be Lord — of all and in all. Tuning out the voice that keeps whispering, “If only…” And resting in the reassuring truths that:

  • Though God doesn’t always change the situation, he is working good through it. Using it to change us, help us grow, and know him more.
  • He doesn’t focus on the problem — because he’s already seen its end. He knows fully well that it is only temporal.

Then, and only then, will that inexplicable, incomprehensible peace fill our heart.

For we can find comfort in knowing that nothing in this life, either good or bad, lasts forever. And in knowing that the Lord — even in the darkest hours — is working for good.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope, (Jeremiah 29:11).

God is still in control…and he has a better plan.

Tough times come, and will continue coming. There is no way of escaping it. Troubles so tough we wonder how to stay on our feet and get through the day.

But through them God shows who he is. And what a great help he is in times of trouble. And how weak we are, and in need of his strength. And because he wants to remind us that the end is coming — and that it’s far better.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High, (Psalms 46:1-4).

So stop playing ping-pong. Yes, our hearts are weak. We are human. But faith is strong because it’s supernatural. It sees beyond, to the God who holds all things in his hands.

The Lord has only good plans for us, and in that our hearts can rest.

[Image ©TheScorziellos]

6 thoughts on “Lay Your Paddle Down: God Hates Ping-Pong

  1. This was such a powerful piece to me! I really do struggle with worry, I’ll say I’m giving it to God but then I start to doubt. This was such a great reminder of how important it is for us to trust God and believe that He can bring us through difficult times. I’m so sorry to hear about your Mom, I pray your strength in the Lord during this difficult time. Peace be with you.

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    1. Once again, thank God I’m not the only one! And thanks for your concern and prayers during this tough time. Right now, Mom is in a rehab home, though it’s doubtful she’ll ever go home again. Her mind is getting so confused. It’s heartbreaking. But we truly do find peace in bringing it all to the One who knew heartbreak greater than we’ll ever feel. I just pray to always see that we really can trust him with everything. He is God, in control, and faithful and true. God is so good!

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  2. Great post Sheila, thank you for sharing it. Back in May I had my own ‘moment’ … when separation from my mom hit hard (it was as she was leaving after a two week visit). It’s times like that when I value the verse “I believe Lord, help thou mine unbelief.” (Mk. 9.24) … Thanks again!

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    1. You know, Mike, I thought that as time went by by, it would get easier. But I can say that after 27 years here it does not get easier. The biggest difficulty for me right now is that Mom has dementia, and is getting worse. It was hard at first. Until I realized that all I can do is leave her in God’s hands. And then it hit me- even if I were there – leaving her in God’s hands is still all I could do. He is capable, and will watch over our loved ones – whether close at hand or far away. I’m learning to just treasure & store up the few times we do have with loved ones. Rather than concentrate on what we don’t have. And that helps a lot! May God always bring comfort and grace to you in your own such “moments.” Hazards of the job.

      Liked by 1 person

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