Do you ever feel buried under something like this?
This picture might be a bit dramatic, but it certainly makes the point. Sometimes life gets a little overwhelming. And while we’re trying to process one thing, another “thing” is piled on top of us. Then another. And another. Until we feel buried and burdened and too exhausted and ineffective to do anything about it.
Can you relate? I sure can. This picture and description pretty much defines the past 5-6 months of my life. I could give you a list of 20 reasons right now, but you’ve got your own list of what you’re going through or have gone through in the past. Maybe different subjects, but the same effects.
But by the grace of God, I didn’t realized how “buried” I was – until now that I’m out from under the pile and can look back. I love how He shades our eyes from the intensity of our circumstances when we’re trying as hard as we can to keep our focus fixed on Him! He is so good to us!
I knew I felt overwhelmed and stressed physically (My eyes even developed an uncontrollable “tick” where it looked like I was winking at everyone at the strangest times! When I would wink at strangers and they would stare blankly back, I learned to sweetly smile and say something goofy like, “Well…Have a great day” before I ran away!). How Embarrassing!
I knew I felt overwhelmed and stressed mentally – because I couldn’t keep my mind focused on anything. I would be talking and in mid sentence, change topics or forget what I was talking about. Emotionally the stress came out in bouts of sudden tears or an intense need to sleep – right at that moment!
I felt the stress Spiritually too. It was hard to stay focused on the Lord and His Word during my quiet times. A few minutes later, I couldn’t even remember what it was I had just learned or read – even though I had written it down! Some days I didn’t want to have a quiet time – I just wanted to sleep – and I did. It was very hard to pray for others and to help carry their burdens when I was feeling so overwhelmed myself.
But the Lord was with me under the heap. Because of His mercy, I’ve walked with Him long enough to KNOW that He would never leave me nor forsake me (Heb. 13:5). He continued to feed me something every day from His Word – even if I could only digest a crumb. And, He propped me up – so that along with family, ministry, church, and civic responsibilities God called me to, I could also take the public stand (and public rejection) that He chose for me to take during those months. He helped me cling to Him minute by minute, and in His timing, “out of the wreck I arose”. How I praise Him!
I love that phrase “Out of the wreck I rise.” I was just arising out of the “wreck” around May 19th, when I read this from Oswald Chambers’ “My Utmost For His Highest.” I’ve been wanting to do a post on his May 19th devotion since then, but am just now finding the energy and time to do so. However, in trusting God’s timing, I pray that someone reading this today will be encouraged and strengthened in the Lord as “out of the wreck you arise.” His loving-kindness is better than life. (Ps. 63:6) He loves you, and so do I. 🙂
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” Romans 8:35
God does not keep a man immune from trouble; He says – “I will be with him in trouble.” It does not matter what actual troubles in the most extreme form get hold of a man’s life, not one of them can separate from him his relationship to God.
We are “more than conquerors in all these things.” Paul is not talking of imaginary things, but of things that are desperately actual; and he says that we are super-victors in the midst of them, not by our ingenuity, or by our courage, or by anything other than the fact that not one of them affects our relationship to God in Jesus Christ.
Rightly or wrongly, we are where we are, exactly in the condition we are in. I am sorry for the Christian who has not something in his circumstances he wishes was not there.
“Shall tribulation…?” Tribulation is never a noble thing; but let tribulation be what it may – exhausting, galling, fatiguing, it is not able to separate us from the love of God. Never let cares or tribulations separate you from the fact that God loves you.
“Shall anguish…?” – can God’s love hold when everything says that His love is a lie, and that there is no such thing as justice?
“Shall famine…?” – can we not only believe in the love of God but be more than conquerors, even while we are being starved?
Either Jesus Christ is a deceiver and Paul is deluded, or some extraordinary thing happens to a man who holds on to the love of God when the odds are all against God’s character. Logic is silenced in the face of every one of these things. Only one thing can account for it – the love of God in Christ Jesus.
“Out of the wreck I rise” every time.”