Are you a fixer?
Well, I’ve got good news. You can learn how to stop trying to fix things you can’t fix and trust God. I know this is a hard thing for you to accept, but you can sit still and not feel responsible for the world’s problems. Truth is, we can’t fix the human kind of problems or the people in our lives that we love and care about. So why do we continue to try? It only frustrates us and most likely, frustrates the people we are trying to fix because maybe they aren’t ready to be fixed yet.
I get it! Your life is filled to the brim with people who need help. Most of the time, my life is overflowing with the needs of others. It’s not just personal family circumstances or friends that I interact with on a daily basis. The world around me is full of problems. There’s the newsfeeds that constantly scroll across Facebook and the stories on the 10:00 news. Let’s face it. This world’s in trouble and if you’re a fixer like me, you carry that huge weight on your shoulders. You feel like something terrible will happen if you don’t fix everyone and everything like yesterday! But it won’t because ultimately it isn’t up to you. It’s up to them and God and only He knows how to fix everyone and everything!
Learning how to sit still and trust God.
In one of my devotional readings yesterday, it talked about drawing strength from the Lord to live life. It outlined how He gives us strength to go on in the drudgery of life, how to go up when climbing a high road of difficulty, and how to go down after being on the mountaintop with God. But the one that grabbed my heart was this:
“The Lord is my strength to sit still. And what a difficult accomplishment this is! I often say to others during those times when I am compelled to be still, “If only I could do something!” I feel like the mother who stands by her sick child but is powerless to heal. What a severe test! Yet to do nothing except to sit still and wait requires tremendous strength (Streams In The Desert, pg. 251).”
Sitting in my prayer chair, I contemplated that paragraph as the weight on my shoulders pressed in. I have loved ones who are struggling just to make it through the day. I know of at least 3 marriages holding on by a tattered thread. Others need work to provide for their families. Still others are facing down the horrible pain of addiction desperately looking for a way out. I do feel like that powerless mother trying to figure out how to make things better for them, but the weight just becomes heavier as I helplessly attempt to fix everyone’s problems.
Stop trying to fix things you can’t fix.
My eyes went back to that page and my mind recalled several Bible verses:
- Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).
- Cast your cares on Him for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).
- Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).
- Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).
Suddenly, I took a breath and relaxed, allowing that weight to roll over onto God.
Engine parts and motherboards!
There are so many things in life that we wouldn’t even think about trying to fix. When my car broke down, I told my husband. After my dog had a seizure, we saw the Vet. During a thunderstorm, lightning struck our transformer and I called the electric company. When my computer freaked out, I didn’t open up the hard drive and poke around. I simply ran it down to the computer-fixing shop. Did I walk around feeling guilty that I couldn’t fix all those things? Absolutely not. I KNEW I couldn’t.
So then, if I can’t fix all those things, why do I think it’s my sole responsibility to fix everyone’s problems? It makes about as much sense as me trying to fix engine parts and motherboards!
I need to let God strengthen me to sit still and learn how to stop trying to fix things I can’t fix!
Don’t confuse sitting still with silence.
Now that we understand we can’t fix them, what should we do when they asked us for help? Do we just keep quiet and trust God? That depends. Most of us have been through life situations that have produced some great wisdom to pass on. If someone is sincerely seeking advice, we should offer up whatever wise counsel we have for their situation. Just because we’ve learned to sit still and trust God to fix them doesn’t mean we should confuse sitting still with silence. God can and will use our words in their fixing process. God tells us to bear one another’s burdens and to be ready to give an answer for the hope that we have. The key in doing so is to know how to walk away from the conversation without feeling like it’s up to us to make them follow that advice.
How many have tried that with their own kids? Anybody else get frustrated when you give them perfectly good advice and they won’t listen? Ugh!! I spent too many years trying to “fix” my family. If you listen closely, you can hear my three “adult” children saying a hearty Amen! Their mom’s a fixer, what can I say? I’m learning I’m not a very good fixer, but I am one awesome pray-er!
Are they ready to apply it?
On the other hand, there are people who ask for your help, but who aren’t ready to apply it. You probably know what I mean. There are those in your life that have been given the same advice 100 times, but they never seem to apply it. They just like to talk about their problems. In this case, sometimes it’s better to remain silent and just love them and pray for them.
Ready, Set, Sit!
How to stop trying to fix things you can’t fix requires sitting and trusting. When it comes to the human kind of problems, God is the only True Fixer in the universe. When the weight of the world becomes too heavy, get ready, set, and sit down…and pray with thanksgiving to the One who knows how to fix all those you care about and love.