Overwhelmed

I was up in Northern CA this past weekend visiting a friend and we decided to go on a late night walk down a path that was up against a preserve.  Unfortunately, the walk way was not lit up so we only had the lights from the neighboring houses and street lights from the opposite side of the walk way.  As we were walking back, there was a slight breeze that just made it a gorgeous night until we saw a dark outline of something right in the middle of our path.  We didn’t realize what it was until we got pretty close to it, and what was it?  It was a big snake.  Now I don’t know about you, but snakes are right up there with my dislike of spiders.  This fear rises up in my throat and my heart starts to beat faster than it should.  And I for some reason get really itchy.  Bottom line…they scare me, and I would rather not even know they existed.  As we started to quickly take steps backwards away from the snake a bike rider was coming towards us from the opposite direction not realizing the snake was right there.  She almost ran it over, but the snake sensed the danger of a rubber tire flattening him and started to slither further towards our direction.  My heart is pounding by this time and I just wanted to run.  As we turned around to walk the other way there was a bench where a couple was sitting with a dog which started barking like crazy scaring us even more.  We jolted across the plants onto the actual street and walked a whole mile out of the way to get back to the house.

In that moment we were completely overwhelmed with the snake on one side, and a dog barking at us from the other side almost putting me into a straight panic attack.  Which brings me to what we tend to do when we get overwhelmed in life.  Do you start to stress out so much that you have a break down and have a hard time functioning?  Do you turn to food, smoking or drinking too much?  How is your response to being stressed and overwhelmed?  Do you go to something else or do you go immediately to God?

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” - Matthew 11:28-29

In this crazy and busy world we tend to forget that we are able to rest in God’s sovereignty and we need to rest and set our overwhelming burdens at His feet.  Sometimes we just need to stop and be still in God’s presence.  If we can remember to stop and take that deep breath and just whisper “Lord” then He can give us enough strength to get through the panic and sense of being overwhelmed with stress.

If we take the alternate route of thinking we can handle it, then we tend to make quick decisions to try and make sense of being overwhelmed only to take a longer detour than if you were to just stop and whisper His name.

So how can we get into the habit of leaning on God in these types of situations?  We must stay in the word and make sure we are spending quiet time with God.  

Be still and know that I am God.  - Psalm 46:10

The more we are in the word the more we are connected to God and closer in our relationship with Him.  We need to have fellowship with others through bible study and being consistent in attending a church.  Building a church community is so important in your walk with God.  The more we do these things, the more natural it becomes for us to automatically go to God first than to try and deal with things on our own.

So as we live life in this fast paced world let’s be still in God’s presence and not make those quick decisions that lead us to take a direction opposite of God's will.

 

Discouraged

Have you ever just been so utterly discouraged about where you are and what you are currently doing in life?  I was there last night.  I was just plain exhausted feeling like I was just running around in circles and thinking that everything that I am doing to try and glorify God was not bearing fruit.  I started then questioning all of my decisions that I made when I felt that they were the Lord leading me.  Maybe I was wrong and I wanted to do the things that I wanted and I rationalized that it was God telling me to do it for my own selfish reasons.  Have you ever thought that?  I then started feeling depressed because I am still single, my job is not exactly what I expected, and my ministries are not showing the fruit how I thought it was going to.  I started to feel like Alice in Wonderland falling down a rabbit hole not knowing which way was up.

Can we say self pity party of one please?!

I started to share with my accountability partners at church my feelings.  They basically hit me over a head with a 2x4 and snapped me back into reality.  How quickly satan can use exhaustion and one little thought and turn it into a massive ordeal that starts to put doubt in your mind that separates you from God.  I knew in my head that they were right, but I still had that heavy feeling of burden on my chest.

He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your mind?" - Luke 24:38

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. - James 1:6

I was definitely tossed around by the wind last night, but I knew that I had to just have a conversation with Jesus and figure out what was going on.  I know that overall Jesus is truth and if I wanted to become upright again I would need to talk to Him.

Our lives are built around our FAITH and our FAITH is built upon our TRUST in knowing that Jesus is the son of God and that God has a plan, a righteous plan that in the end will make things right and pure again in eternal life as long as we accept Him as our Lord and Savior.

You see the problem I was having was that my pride and ego were getting in the way of God's plan.  I wanted to know that I was helping people grow their relationships with Christ and I wanted a job where I can contribute my abilities to the fullest, and I wanted a godly husband years ago, and I wanted....  The problem was it was all I, I, I the whole time.  Are those still my desires?  Absolutely, but I need to trust and have faith in God knowing that He has a plan and that it will not be in my own timing, or in the way that I thought it would be, but He will use me to the fullest in His way and not my own.  So as I continued to pray and talk with Jesus I felt a peace come over me that everything I thought God was calling me to do, He was indeed calling me to do it.  I just needed to remain still in Him and He will use me for His purpose and His will.  I may never see the fruits of everything God has me do, but that is not the point and it shouldn't be the point.  Our purpose is to plant seeds and trust that God will grow those seeds.  We cannot change and transform people's hearts even as much as we would like to force it upon people.  So I need to stop trying to take control and stop trying to do God's job.

He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." - Psalm 46:10

If you have ever had a day like mine or are going through a day like that now have faith knowing that God has a plan that is so much better than we can imagine for ourselves.  We need to trust in Him and His own timing and not ours.  As long as we continue to be radically obedient and strive to live our lives glorifying God, we will be just fine and God will bless us for it.  So have hope that you may going through a rough time of discouragement now, but there is always something to be thankful for, and that God has always got your back.  You just need to believe and surrender fully to Him.