Overwhelmed. Over-trialed. Over-stimulated. Overweight. Over-burdened. Underqualified to do it all.
Two weeks ago, life at home was just…oh, let’s say…unpleasant. Everyone was just on edge. The kids were bickering constantly. The chores just never seemed to end. Everyone was complaining. Work was getting busy. None of the kids seemed to listen to Mom and Dad. Mom and Dad were just tired of hearing complaint after complaint and whining and bickering and chores and messiness and everything else! Oh, and by the way, the world is crumbling with ebola and ISIS beheadings and apathetic parents and frustrated people and entitled people who just want everything for nothing and politicians who lie up the wazoo and a complicit media curtain to keep things, oh…entertaining. Aaaaugh!
I’m just tired. And I think we all are. I’m just plain overwhelmed with family life, work life, church life, and scout life to even have a “me” life. Add to that the worries and weight of the world…you know, financial worries, whether or not to look for a new home, getting rid of junk, homeschooling, the impacts of the political world into everyday life, the increasing speed of the loss of freedoms, the seemingly never-ending barrage of chores, schedules, temptations and distractions, while trying to raise a family through it all. To me, it seems that as the world seems to become heavier, we become acutely aware of our incapabilities. We sense our weakness in our ability to be able to deal with it all. AND WE CAN’T DO IT ALL.
Bigger than us all
The problems and burdens we all face are much bigger than we are, much bigger than what we’re capable of handling on our own. That part is true. Welcome to earth…where everything is designed to fail, to break down, to end, to erode, to die. Essentially…everything is designed to be a problem. Nothing on this earth is designed to run perfectly and be perfect. There’s cancer, crime, cruelty, corruption, injustice, indecency, interruptions, deception, distraction, despair, apathy, aggression, an endless to-do list, or even the unfulfilled bucket list. Trials from A-Z…and up the wazoo.
How we deal with it all is the real test.
Why else would pop culture promote Superhero entertainment? What are they telling us? That this is all bigger than all of us, and by ourselves…we can’t fix it. These Superheroes…these modern-day mythologies…they are our unconscious way of dealing with seemingly insurmountable problems. There would be those who’d say that that’s the problem with Christians as well…that they believe in a mythical God that doesn’t really exist to help them overcome problems that’s really all in their mind.
I say, “Let them be”.
I know enough about God to know that He exists…but more than that…that He exists to help me succeed if I seek His guidance.
I know enough that I can say that He has helped me out of sticky situations when common sense says, “That can never happen. That should not have happened.”…only to end up as, “wait…That just happened?”
I know enough to be able to say that the requests I have prayed about, He has fulfilled or helped me fulfil.
I have experienced His love through other people–whether forgiveness or assistance or service or joy–in times when I’ve needed them most but never told a soul except Him.
He has spoken to my mind when my heart was being stubborn and prideful…and when I humbled myself sufficiently, He gave peace to my heart that I troubled no more.
When troubles started mounting around me that I couldn’t deal with on my own, I’ve seen events and people come into play for my benefit…all in answer to prayers of guidance and protection.
When faced with problems to tackle, He has spoken assurances in my mind…pointing out the strengths I have to deal with them…while showing me my weaknesses where I need to improve…and then sending me the people I need to help me on my way.
He has taught me in my mind, through thoughts and images and symbols and words, clarified many points in the scriptures, and expounded passages of scripture and how to apply them to my situations…all while I knelt in prayer.
Yet, in all of these, He has required me to trust Him, to follow what I’ve been taught, and to give to others without expecting anything in return. Whether I share the lessons I’ve learned or I share the gifts I’ve been given, I’m expected to give these without any desire of praise or payment to me. I’m learning how hard it is to make sure my heart’s “eye”–my desire–is on His glory…not my glory.
There are many tests we face that will be too big for us to deal with…but they were designed to be too big for us deal with on our own. The ones we can do on our own? Well, do it! You can overcome those mountains! Great! It’s called “skill building”. Like knots and building fires and camping and programming and teaching kids. But the ones you can’t? Those are designed specifically to bring us closer to Him. God may be the most powerful being in the Universe…but of all the titles we are asked to use, he asks us to call him “Father” first. And like with any loving father, He wants to be close to us…and He wants us to be close to Him. And He wants us to call Him. And when we do, why, He shows us just what we can do when we involve Him in our lives!
Yet…for many…this is the greatest insurmountable problem they face: To believe in God..even the very existence of one…is way too overwhelming for them to even conceive! To even consider that a God is our Father is too much of a stretch as well. Funny how the world’s problems and the weight of the world comes bearing down on us when we take Him out of the picture…when He has no room in our lives….when we’ve kicked him out….and we’ve become defiant enough to say, “I can do this…all on my own…and I’ll do it better than YOU!” That’s when He says, “Ok. Suit yourself. Here you go!” and hands you those problems to deal with on your own.
Sometimes, that’s what it takes for us to realize just how small we really are. That’s when the problems seem big…too big…too overwhelming.
But He’s right there, waiting for our call. Waiting for us to pray, for us to realize that maybe…just maybe…if God…if there is a God…that somehow, He’s listening. He’s ready…once we are ready for Him. He’s been ready. Readier than ready.
No problem is too big for Him. It’s all a part of His plan to begin with: for us to want to be close to Him. Because He is our Father. And He loves us enough to teach us….and let us learn for ourselves that we can love Him, trust Him, and count on Him to see us through.
I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, ... my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.
I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things;