I sit in the waiting room of the public mental health center with my son.

We are in a new state, but we could be anywhere. Same check in process. Same tired furniture. Same limp posters pinned to brown bulletin boards.

As my son plays with legos, simultaneously watching a looping re-run of Aladdin on the battered overhead TV, my mind turns to other thoughts.When Your Problems Seem to Be Chasing You|The Holy Mess

When Different is the Same

As much as things are different in a new location, sometimes they are not.

My kids with behavior problems — still have behavior problems.

The system here is still a system.

We continue to hear “no” when we desperately need a “yes”.

Our family challenges continue to be challenging. The background colors are just different.

I knew deep down these things would be true, so why do I feel like I’ve been sucker-punched?

I wanted to leave my problems behind. At least a little bit. Is this too much to ask?

I moved to a new state, yet my problems seem to be chasing me.


When Your Problems Seem to Be Chasing You

We all have them. These issues and burdens that are the big ones, or the ongoing nagging little ones that are just as bad because they never-go–away—UGH.

Do you ever feel like your problems seem to be chasing you?

If you feel like your problems are chasing you, it’s because they are.

You have an enemy who wants to destroy you. 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

Your problems will continue to be problems until you stand up and fight against them. You cannot out run them.

For so many years I would overeat to run away from my problems. Compulsive overeating was a way to check out emotionally. Now that I don’t use food as a way to way to cope, sometimes life is harder, but it’s real.

You have been given the power to stand up and fight, dear friends.

Check out these verses:

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6:13-17

Notice there is no armor listed for your back. Stand up ready to take your place and fight the enemy.

How to Stand Firm When Your Problems Seem to be Chasing You

There are days standing firm looks like survival in my world. Sometimes it’s showing up in the run-down mental health clinic. Standing firm is sticking it out and staying the course.

Here is what has helped me stay firm in the day of trouble.

  1. Put on the whole armor of God. God’s word is powerful. In tough times, do you cling to God’s promises? Surround yourself with God’s word by reading a part of it at the start of every day before you do anything else.
  2. Take up the shield of faith. Resist despair. Satan would love to suck you down into despair and make you think your situation is hopeless. These are lies. Remember God’s promises.
  3. Claim the gospel of peace. This little section of scripture has always fascinated me. Notice that right in the middle of a section about warfare, part of the list of your spiritual armor is “peace”. This seems backwards, yet makes perfect sense when you understand how God works in ways that are opposite of the world. When you have the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7), you can resist the attacks of Satan.

Do you have problems that seem to be chasing you? How have you stood up against them?When Your Problems Seem to be Chasing You|The Holy Mess