Between A Rock And A Hard Place

Ever been scared? So scared and there’s nothing you can do about the situation? 

I was just there and it wasn’t any fun, but I learned it’s never as hopeless as it seems and there is always something you can do about it.

Dave, who never gets sick, got violently ill. Pretty scary for a gal who’s already buried 2 husbands. He had a fever, chills, muscle aches, light-headedness and stabbing pains through his mid-section. Right away, I was ready to call an ambulance, but he wouldn’t hear of it.


Of course, I fretted and feared. But then I realized that while circumstances were out of my control, they weren’t out of God’s. I started banging on the gates of heaven for relief, and for healing, and I called in reinforcements to pray with me in agreement.

A doctor friend came by and diagnosed him with influenza. Not the 24-hour stomach flu, but the ugh, feels like it’s going to last forever, wish you were dead, respiratory flu.

I stayed close, mopping his forehead, monitoring his temperature, watching for signs of pneumonia, dehydration and heart failure as he writhed in puddles of sweat, mumbling incoherently.

Praying. Praying. Praying.

  • Proclaiming God’s goodness – even in the midst of the lousy circumstances.
  • Being thankful for anything and everything that wasn’t related to Dave’s dis-ease.
  • Compelling the gap between heaven and earth to close.

In the second week of this crud, there was some relief and by the third week, healing really took hold. Though he tired easily, I could see progress every day.

Options for facing down dread. 

We have two choices when we get backed into the corner of dreadful circumstances.

1.) Slink down, suck our thumbs, cry, complain and give up, or …

2.) Look up, praise God, thank him for what is as we call heaven down to earth for what we long for and wait expectantly for God to show up.

It’s in the times when we cannot effect a change that God shows up as our Savior, Healer, Redeemer, Strength, Rescuer, Warrior, Peace, King, Sovereign, Security and Final Answer.

We see it throughout the Bible, when God’s people are backed up, or overrun, or under fire and look to Him for relief and solutions.

  • Between a rock and a hard place (Exodus 14)
  • Under water and under pressure (Jonah)
  • When the battle rages (Joshua 10)
  • In utter hopelessness (2 Kings 6:24-7:20)
  • Facing giants (1 Samuel 17)
  • Restoring mistakes (2 Samuel 12)

Your best strategy.

I don’t know where you are today or what you’re facing, but know that while your circumstances may be out of your control, they are not out of God’s. Though there may be nothing you can do practically, there is always something you can do spiritually.

  • Seek His face (Ps. 105:4)
  • Offer praises and thanksgiving for what is good. (Ps. 105:1-7)
  • Pray expectantly for intervention. (Philippians 4:6-7)
  • Repeat.

I’d love to know how God has shown up for you and/or what you do when it feels like all is lost. Leave me a comment and I’ll be sure to read it.

Prayer: Father, there is so much in this life that shakes us up. Be present in our lives and our circumstances. Let us experience your peace as we wait for you be, or solve or redeem. We love you. Help us to trust you in all things. In Jesus Name. Amen.


  1. Vicky K Gorsuch on May 27, 2019 at 2:44 am

    How awful. I too have a scare. My husband who never complains came home telling me his leg hurt. I looked at it and it was very hot to the touch, and swollen. He had a fever and had been running one all week. (101.9-104.9) I took him to the doctor Saturday and he said to take him the ER, but the doc said that we could go to our son’s wedding and then the ER.
    That is exactly what we did. He has cellulitis and in much pain. I have to watch for movement of the infection and the doc drew a line on his leg for me to measure any changes. Because of the infection, his blood sugar is way off (46-99) I am supposed to be out of town for the next 3 days. I know that God has Steve in his hands and will heal him. Our church is praying for him, friends and family also.
    I understand your 1st reaction of fear, then the knowledge that God is in CONTROL and it will be his way. We must step back and let Him do his will and take care of our loved ones.
    Thank you for sharing. I don’t feel so all alone.
    God Bless

    • Robyn Dykstra on May 27, 2019 at 2:37 pm

      Dang, thank you for writing. Now I don’t feel alone either.
      Praying your man Steve is restored to full health soon.

  2. Ruth Rottier on May 27, 2019 at 2:48 am

    Oh my the devil is working overtime these days. I had a scary week also. My blood pressure went out of control for no apparent reason. I was having pain in my right temple and kept checking my blood pressure. At one point it was 167-78-89. I prayed earnestly to the Lord and kept talking to Him all day and he gave me a scripture: Prov. 23-18 Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off. That gave me real peace knowing I wasn’t going to die as he promised me a future. I called my Dr. and he ordered blood work this Thursday and appointment with him on Friday. I have been walking for exercise and watching my salt intake and diet in general. I feel fine and it has come down but will spike to 155 at times. The Lord has given me real peace which is a blessing.
    Glad to hear your hubby is doing much better. I’ll pray for COMPLETE healing for him.
    I sooooo enjoy your blogs.

    • Robyn Dykstra on May 27, 2019 at 2:39 pm

      Hi Ruth,
      I’m so proud of you for being so pro-active, both practically and spiritually. St. Augustine said, Pray like it depends on God and work like it depends on you. Well done, Ruth, that’s what you’re doing!

      by the way, Dave is doing very well, a full recovery! thank you!

  3. Faith Kensell on May 27, 2019 at 3:38 am

    So glad we know God is in control ,especially when things seem impossible or unlikely. Happy your husband is well on the way to recovery. Would appreciate your prayers for my daughter, who is having neck surgery in 5 weeks. Thank u so much. God bless u both.

    • Robyn Dykstra on May 27, 2019 at 2:41 pm

      Lord, we know how scary it is to face a surgery, especially one for our children. I’m asking along with Faith, that you guide the surgeon’s hand, give everyone in the operating room full attention and provide a textbook procedure. We ask for a full recovery and successful procedure. In Jesus name amen.

  4. Amy Bartz on May 27, 2019 at 9:10 am

    I too have been fighting yhat aweful virus. I am on my 2nd week. I am so glad your husband is doing better. Thank you for your dedication to our Lord, and sharing that with all of us.

    • Robyn Dykstra on May 27, 2019 at 2:42 pm

      Oh Amy, so sorry. It’s yucky stuff!
      Dave is completely back to full health, and I pray that you feel 100% again soon.

  5. Ann wilson on May 27, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    Hi Robyn i have been there many times when i.feel so hopeless. . Turning to God is the only way. I have had my share of disappointment. I did get tested for a kidney for my . Husband but i was rejected. I was disappointed but God has shown me that he will provide in his timing and right now he has provided we got the call last week that an anonymous donor has donated his kidney and my husband was at the top of the list .his surgery is june 19th .praise God his timing is best. His preop testing is tomorrow. Praying for no infection or sickness before the surgery . Thanks for letting me share this

    • Robyn Dykstra on May 27, 2019 at 2:44 pm

      Agreed! Lord, as Ann and her man have waiting and prayed for this day, I ask that you be in the midst of them. I ask in agreement with Amy that he get the kidney he’s been waiting for, that there are no complications at all and that his life, health and marriage be restored fully. In Jesus name amen

  6. Nozi Moyo on May 27, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    Thank you Robyn. This just came at the right time. I have been struggling with several issues in my life recently and honestly am at a place where I want to sit in a corner, suck my thumb and cry…but God. Thank you for letting Him use you to speak to those who need to hear Him.

    Praising Him for your husband’s recovery. Our Father is so faithful.

    • Robyn Dykstra on May 27, 2019 at 2:45 pm

      Hey Nozi, It’s ok to sit in a corner, suck your thumb and cry a bit. 🙂 So glad you’re not gonna stay there.
      Thanks for writing and I’m praying for a reprieve from your junk!

  7. Penny on May 27, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    God is great indeed! He always knows what we need and he knows this is the message I needed to hear today. Since having knee surgery 2 weeks ago I have felt depressed and discouraged at what I see as a lack of progress, forgetting to turn it over to God and thanking Him for my blessings instead of focusing on the negatives. Thank you Robyn! And thank you Lord!

    • Robyn Dykstra on May 27, 2019 at 5:24 pm

      Happy it helped you, Penny.
      What you focus on grows, that’s for sure!

  8. Cheryl Hicks on May 29, 2019 at 12:37 am

    It seems like my corner likes to be filled. I am getting through the grief of losing my husband of 45 years to cancer and now I have a mass on my thyroid that was discovered through a visit to ER. Testing is going on now to decide what it is and what needs to be done. I am scared but trying hard to hold fast to my faith. I so needed to read the words you sent out “between a rock and a hard place”. Thank you.

    • Robyn Dykstra on May 29, 2019 at 1:27 am

      Hey Cheryl, so sorry about your double whammy!
      Praying for God to comfort you in your grief and heal you of all dis-ease. In Jesus Name amen.

  9. Shannon Willoughby on May 29, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    I have definitely been there. A couple years ago I woke up at 5:30 in the morning as usual, to get ready for work. I was fixing to get in the shower , I started cramping really bad . The pain was a 10 on the 1-10 scale. My husband had come In the bathroom as well to relive himself( you know what I’m talking about , never a moments peace. Even in the bathroom .) I told him what I was feeling, but I got into the shower anyway thinking it would make me feel better. I guess it wasn’t but a few minutes later he was picking me up off the shower floor. I had passed out. That was pretty scary, not sure what was wrong with me. He took me to the local clinic, they did blood work and all kinds of other stuff trying to figure out why I’d pass out. My EKG come back fine, blood work came back fine. They made me an appointment with an OBGYN. At my initial appointment the OBGYN said he thought I had endometriosis , but had to schedule a ultra sound to be sure. Went to the ultra sound appointment , had to wait for the results of that. Went to another appointment to get the results from the ultra sound, I was told they couldn’t see anything on the ultra sound. They made me another appointment for a different kind of ultrasound( ladies know what kind I’m talking about). So I went to that appointment , then they made me another appointment for the results . I went for the results appointment, GUESS WHAT. They couldn’t see anything on that ultra sound , so the next step was laparoscopic surgery. By now it’s been almost two months and still no closer to a diagnosis. They schedule my surgery, finally they found out my issue. I was hoping it wasn’t cancer and it wasn’t . I had three cysts on my ovaries which were removed during surgery. The Lord is so good and gave my the strength to get through all I was going through. Life is sometimes scary but, I HAVE A BIG GOD THAT IS ALWAYS IN CONTROL. AMEN

    • Robyn Dykstra on May 29, 2019 at 7:31 pm

      Shannon, I’m so glad you got your answer. Wow. Praising God for that and a great outcome!

  10. Linda Swanstrom on June 6, 2019 at 1:43 am

    My Great Granddaughter was only 3 weeks old when she developed a fever. Her parents took her to the ER. They kept her to run some tests, which revealed she had meningitis . She was able to go home after 3 or 4 days and is apparently doing OK now. That was very scary and potentially dangerous , but God is faithful and hopefully there will not be any brain damage.

    • Robyn Dykstra on June 6, 2019 at 5:04 am

      I’m in agreement for that, too.

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