Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thursday thought: on being overwhelmed

There are times in life when the clouds roll over us unexpectedly.  We are skipping along fine when, suddenly, we find ourselves on the ground with the wind knocked out of us. I assume this is common to the human condition and I am not alone in this feeling.  This morning I found myself contemplating the things I have learned after years of having those overwhelmed moments.  And I see some patterns there.

First, the sheer emotion of that moment is so weighty.  I would think I would have gotten used to that feeling by now.  But no.  It still drops me to my knees.  And that is probably a good thing, since on my knees is exactly where I belong before God.  

Second, during those times I seem to have two choices: to wallow in the mire of the situation, or to stand on God's promises.  I seem to naturally gravitate to the mire.  Once you have it smeared all around you, it acts as a sort of insulation.  But eventually, you get itchy under there, and need a bath and some fresh air.  In times of great trial, the promises of God become not platitudes, but things of substance-- places to stand on sure footing while the rest of the ground sinks away.  As a matter of fact, it becomes the only solid ground we have at all.  So there is really not much of a choice.

Third, I look back and see every time I was overwhelmed that God brought me to a new place of understanding, a new place of growth, a new place of closeness with Him or others through the pain of it.  That's all well and good afterwards, to revel in that 20/20 hindsight.  The challenge, it seems to me, is remembering that in the current season, when we again land on our back and the breath is knocked out of us, it is for a reason and it will be good.

So I turn quicker these days to God's word when I am overwhelmed, and quicker to beg Him to fulfill His promises now that I have itched in the muck so many times. I beg Him to be sufficient for me as He promised, to work everything for my good and His glory as He promised, to be my God and make me His child as He promised.  He has never disappointed me in those prayers.  May He prove Himself faithful to you, also, Gentle Reader.

And a P.S.  I am not currently overwhelmed.  Many of you dear and caring readers will send me e-mails asking if everything is OK.  The answer is yes.  I am only contemplating being overwhelmed currently, not BEING overwhelmed.  But don't worry.  I am sure I will be there again soon enough...

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