Tuesday, November 19, 2013

When you've done all you can, what then?

There are times when you’ve done all you can to rectify a situation, to fix a relationship, even going above and beyond what should be humanly expected, but things remain cold and unchanged. I've been there. Oh, I've been there.

This can be a lack of forgiveness toward you. You've wronged them in some way and forgiveness (or affection) is withheld, in an effort to punish you. Or it can be a sign of indifference. They're not interested in repairing the relationship and they don't even have the courage (or decency, or maturity) to come forward and say as much, and why.

At times like these, when your best efforts have fallen flat, when you've reached out until your arms are tired, the last thing you feel is hopeful. I’ve been there. And I’ve sat with friends who were there, ready to throw in the towel and give up.

Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Have truer words ever been written? Hope deferred creates a constant state of anxiety, because you wake up every day and hope things will change today. Maybe today. Maybe today. But today passes and nothing changes, so you think, maybe tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow. But tomorrow comes and things don’t change. And the brutal cycle continues. 

It’s no wonder people are broken down, physically and mentally. Hope deferred truly makes the heart sick.

Maybe giving up (a subject I've blogged about before) is the best choice. I'm not saying give up on people, necessarily, but we have to remember that we all are imperfect creatures. And the harsh reality is you can’t change people. Quite frankly, neither can God, unless they want to be changed. All the prayer in the world will not change a person if that person doesn’t want to change. You can pray that their hearts will be softened, but God is not a dictator. He created us with a free will. Only when we surrender our will can He change us. So, while placing your hopes in a person isn’t wrong, it can be an act of futility.

An encouraging verse comes from Psalm 71:5: “For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth.” 

To hope in God, now that is the secret. That doesn’t mean God will always give you what you’re hoping for, but it does mean that your hopes are in good hands. Psalm 31:24 says, “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.” 

You may be beat down by circumstances beyond your control. You may have given all you have, and it's just not enough. But the good news is, if your hope is in the LORD, He will strengthen your heart.

I don't know about you, but I find great comfort in that promise.


Linking up with:

Juana Mikels
Darlene Schacht


  1. This is what I needed to hear today, Dayle. It feels like I'm coming up for air in a long plunge beneath the waves. I can't explain exactly what it is/was, but I know God is showing me His love in so many little ways. I'm so glad you shared this!

  2. Tremendous comfort in that promise, Dayle. And peace and strength, too. After you have done all that you can - it is then that we choose to stand on The Rock, and trust Him with the circumstances and/or people we can neither change nor influence.

    He knows.


  3. Oh- I have walked that path, Dayle. A path that led to nowhere and noone at the end of it. It is a heartbreaking journey. Even harder is giving up the hope of a solution. Sometimes there is NO solution...and then is when we need to look to God for comfort and support. This is a wonderful post, Dayle, and one I needed to hear. xo Diana

  4. I think we have all been there at one time or another, Dayle, and there comes a time when we just have to turn it over. xo Laura

  5. This is what I heard Joyce Meyer say once: "Unforgiveness in your heart is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies." Thanks for posting this, Dayle.

  6. Absolutely! We're in a season where the Lord is stripping earthly comfort away. The challenges are greater than anything that we can "fix" in our strength. Hope in the Lord is exactly what is strengthening our heart. Thank you! And thanks for popping by my site today too. :)

  7. Thank you Dayle. I needed this. God is our hope & strength. I choose to keep my eyes on Jesus not man. Jesus will never disappointment me. God Bless you~

  8. In Christ alone, my hope is found. He is my strength, my hope. On those days when others continue to turn away, I turn my eyes to Jesus, knowing He will take the hurt and pain. He's all I need!

  9. Thank you for sharing this. I think I've been struggling with this for a long time, but I have to say that God is my strength!

  10. Hi Dayle! I really connected with the point that we can do all we can to repair a relationship, but it may not be accepted. And that is hard. You think you have a friend, but maybe you never did. I must have hope in the Lord that he will repair what is good for me, and help me let go of the things I don't need.

    Tough lessons, but his hope will fill me with strength.
    Very true post today. (or yesterday really!)

  11. There are times when I'm at my lowest that you post something like this and I just know it was meant for me. This is one of those times and it has nothing at all to do with friendship or family issues. Thanks for speaking your heart.

  12. Strength that comes in the waiting is so foreign to our human nature. But it is God's way and I have clung to that verse in Psalm about the strength in waiting. He is always so faithful and I have learned to trust to such depths while waiting on Him. Blessings to you! Love, Rachael @ Inking the Heart

  13. Such true and instructive words this morning, Dayle. I loved what you said about God not being a dictator and that one must surrender his own will to the will of God. I have a relationship that, no matter what I have done, remains polite and terse rather than true and warm. It has pained me so, and these words ring very true for me.

  14. so many of my prayers are not specific at all. They are prayers for hope and faith, with these two gifts I feel like everything else will fall into place. This is a lovely post, when I read it I thought of how letting go is often the most peaceful reaction we can choose at times.

  15. Oh yes, been there and done that! It is amazing how we hope and pray that a situation will right itself, but sometimes it just does NOT. So backing away might truly be the best. Then not always can that be done entirely if the person is one we see most every day! God help us to smile anyway and go on!

  16. Even knowing you have done all that you can do and put it in the lords hands doesn't always take away the heartache does it?

  17. I needed this todya and than you for sharing it. You are such a sweet spirit and have such a lovley blog.


Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle