Why We Shouldn’t Settle For a Quick Fix Life

quick fix life

Searching for a quick fix to stop the pain in our lives is a natural response for most of us. Especially when it’s more pain than we think we can handle.

But what if we didn’t rush off searching for a solution every time pain comes to call? What if instead, we saw in our pain an opportunity to create something new?

A different way to think about pain.

I started suffering from headaches when I was 14 years old. At the time our family doctor’s best advice was this: “You’ll probably outgrow them. Take two aspirin when you need it and try not to spend so much time reading.” (Ah! The world of medicine in 1973!)

It was a quick fix to a problem that didn’t go away.

Over the years, I learned to live with my headaches by having a ready supply of extra-strength Excedrin on hand at all times. When the chronic pain would become too much for me to handle, I would strike out once again seeking answers. And a new battery of tests – MRIs of my brain, blood work for allergies, eye and dental exams, etc. – would reach the same conclusion. I suffered from chronic cluster headaches that would worsen into a migraine if not treated. And the treatment? Two Excedrin at the onset or risk a debilitating migraine.

I settled for the quick fix as a way of life.

quick fix life

Then several months ago, something surprising happened. I made some changes in my eating and sleeping habits and started using a few essential oils (Tension Relief Synergy Blend from Plant Therapy is the one that worked for me.) And for the first time in as long as I can remember, I woke up without a headache. The pain was gone. And it hasn’t come back. Finally, I’m living nearly headache free.

Why did it take so long to find a permanent solution? Because I settled for a quick fix that only masked the pain. I settled for living a less than healthy life, surrendered to the belief that it was the best I could hope for.

God wants more for us than what we’re willing to settle for to stop the pain.

I find sometimes I tackle other pain in my life the same way I approached finding a solution to my headaches. With the belief that finding temporary relief is the best I can hope for. That I just need to figure out how to handle it because, after all, doesn’t God promise that He won’t give us more than we can handle?

But here is the problem with that often misguided sentiment. God does give us more than we can handle on our own. We were never meant to tackle the painful things life throws at us by relying on our own strength or cleverness to fix it. And when we follow our natural instincts to go for the quick fix, it’s not only the pain that gets cut short. We can also cut ourselves off from the new thing God wants to build to take its place.

Patching up the old thing is never the main thing with God.

quick fix life

You see God is in the business of making things new. So He’s not much interested in temporarily patching up the things in our lives that are causing us pain by not working the way we want them to. No matter how good of a job we do at making repairs or propping things up, if God wants something more for us, a quick fix to stop our pain won’t satisfy Him. He’s after a full renovation.

So the next time you find yourself tempted to settle for a quick fix in a painful situation, take time to ask, “What new thing do you want to do in this part of my life, Lord? And how far have my attempts to fix things taken me away from your vision?”

Then hang on. Because when you allow the pain to do its work, the Father who loves you just might create something that looks nothing like the quick fix life you would have settled for.

And as you shout, “This, Lord? I can’t handle this!” remember that you don’t have to. Not in your own strength or cleverness or ability to fix things. But by the power of His love and the grace He supplies as He creates a new and healthy thing from your pain.

“But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 NLT)

8 Comments

  1. You my friend just sent something very special my way through your words. I often have said the very same thing as even though the actual infusion treatments have ended, the long lasting side effects still remain! I’ve said many times, “Lord if this be your will, then let me accept this and praise your name for giving me life”! Each morning I wake up praying before I step into the floor that this will be the day that my joints won’t ache anymore! One of these days I know that will happen! And if some days are better than others, then Hallelujah!

    1. Eileen, you are such an inspiration to me! Thank you for sharing the wisdom you’re gathering on this journey and for the joy that bubbles up from you even in the midst of your pain. I’m so glad that God lets us experience both together – joy AND pain. And that we don’t have to wait for the pain to pass before the joy enters in. I’m praying that your joints will ache a little less today and that your joy will overflow!

    1. Yes! Something really special happens to us when we keep our eyes on the reward while trusting God to supply what we need to persevere. Those are the times in my life when my faith has deepened and my joy expanded. It’s good to know God will take us there again and again to bring us the life He wants for us!

  2. Thanks, Jody. It is a lesson God showed me this summer, and I reflect on the past few months and totally recognize some of the blessings of not getting a “quick fix”.
    P.S. What good news about your headaches!!!
    Xoxo

    1. You were on my mind when I wrote this, Carol! I know you have had a summer that removed any “quick fix” options and I’m so glad to know that God held you up with His faithfulness and love. Did He reveal “new” things He would like to give you while you rested and recovered with Him?

    1. Thanks so much, Christy! Isn’t it so great to know that at every stage of life we CAN learn new things that will change us for the better? I think there’s no better proof of God’s love for us than knowing He won’t leave us where we are. Even if where we are is relatively pain-free! We don’t have to settle, do we friend?

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