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photo: CCO public domain

I think  hope I am coming out of a long period of feeling very overwhelmed. I have done a lot to deal with it. You know that feeling that you have when you feel like you are drowning in details? It might be paperwork or administrative work or housework. You name it. That is how I have been feeling. I feel like I am going to drown under responsibilities I am not used to or things I can’t seem to keep up with.

I have tried to ignore it. I can tell you that definitely does not work! I have given into it and slept and rested, hoping that would help. That didn’t help either because I just got more and more behind…and overwhelmed! I have tried to stoically work through it and keep going anyway but at the end of the day, I still felt very overwhelmed and I couldn’t seem to get to the bottom of my overwhelmedness. (I know, that probably isn’t an official word!)

Crying would really help, but I can’t seem to do it anymore. I may be overmedicated or something, but I can’t seem to cry anymore. You know how you take a medication for one thing and the side effects cause you to need medication for something else? That is my dilemma.

I get some assistance, but that doesn’t seem to help either. Somehow, I knew the problem was deeper than simply organizing my apartment, which I need, or getting my finances sorted out, which I do, or simply figuring out how to manage Ron’s limitations, which I do as well! And the combination of everything keeps me off center, befuddled and feeling like someone is going to find me out very soon…that I am at least a fake. I try to be real, but it is getting harder and harder.

I’m beginning to catch my breath and feel less like I’m drowning

This past week shed some light on my situation. Our study in Hebrews was helpful as well as the conversation in our small group. We all shared challenges we are facing in our lives. All of us have struggles for sure. And those are just the tip of the iceberg. They are just the ones we share with the group! We had plenty to pray for…for ourselves AND each other.

Our study that week was on finding rest in Christ. What does that even mean?! I could give words for what it means, but honestly, I’m afraid they would sound empty and hollow. What does it mean in light of real life and crazy, confusing situations that go on and on?

Here is part of the answer. One friend, who is in the middle of many overwhelming, hard situations, says it means clinging to Jesus. That has been helpful for starters. It is where I started last week in studying Hebrews 3:1-4:13. It is where we have to start no matter where we are studying GOD’s Word. Then we submit to what it says…in context, both in the setting where it is said and in the setting of the teaching of the whole Bible.

Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said,

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

Hebrews 3:12-15

If you read that full passage, you will read of the time when the Israelites were in the desert and ran out of water. Did they stop to pray or even ask Moses and Aaron to pray for GOD to provide water for them? NO! They complained about their leaders in ways that were totally unacceptable to GOD…who had put them there to lead His people to the Promised Land! They also remember fondly about the wonderful years in Egypt. WHAT? The great food, the slavery, the killing of their children? Well, no, it was a very selective memory for sure!

But did GOD leave them in the desert to die? NO! He provided water for them. He didn’t allow them to die in the desert, but He also didn’t allow them to go to the Promised Land. That’s how serious their sin was, but He provided for them.

Don’t rebel. Don’t harden your heart in unbelief. It’s a serious thing!

His word to us today is not to rebel as they did, trying to limp along without Him, not to harden our heats as they did in unbelief. How often do we not believe He cares for us? He loves us. He is with us in whatever we are going through? We so often function as Lone Rangers, struggling on our own, with our own resources. We forget that we belong to the Father. We forget that Jesus cares for us and has entered into our pain. We are like the 2 year old, who determinedly says, “I do it.” when she is unable to. He is the parent waiting for us to get to the end of ourselves and ask for the help we so obviously need.

As I read that larger passage and the accompanying comments from chapter 3 in Hoping for Something Better by Nancy Guthrie, I realized that I need to start finding rest in Jesus for solutions to the struggles I’m having. I lie awake at night, trying to think of solutions or discuss with friends and family how to work out problems. But they don’t know all the pieces of the puzzle and I often don’t know how to communicate the pieces clearly.

At this point, I don’t feel able to figure out the answers to my weight situation, home organization, money organization, etc. It’s all too big for me. I prayed to ask Jesus to handle the whole thing and lead me at the pace I need.

I need Him to soften my hard heart that says, “I need to control everything.” I just can’t seem to do it right now. I need to believe that He can manage my out of control appetites in many areas. Can I go at His pace instead of feeling it all must be fixed now?

He is slowly answering my prayer

Since last week, I’m finding that He is changing my desires. I’m resisting some of the foods I couldn’t resist before. I’m able to take on some of the organizing jobs I couldn’t before. I have a long way to go. But it’s not my work now. He is nudging me to take on bits and pieces of jobs that need to be done. I’m sure it won’t show for awhile. But that is okay. I may just be on the road to not drowning. That is a good thing.

I can rest in the most important work Jesus has done for me…making me right with GOD

Meanwhile, the work of salvation has been done for me by Jesus. I can fully rest in it. That is basic and foundational. After that I can rest in the other things. He will guide me in the other things too. Now I can take breaks. I don’t have to push through feeling guilt all the time that all the work isn’t done. I can walk and breath and fix the files and find a place of order.

After that? We’ll see. I’m afraid I sound more ethereal than ever. But I’m becoming more concrete. It may not show for awhile…but it will. Blessings as you learn to find your rest in Him and do not harden your heart in unbelief or callousness to what He is asking of you.

This is my new prayer spoken by the father of the demon  possessed boy. Obviously, the man believed that Jesus could heal his son because he brought the son to Jesus, but he also knew there was a lot of space between believing the impossible and actually seeing GOD work the needed change in his son! That was where he needed Jesus to work to undo the unbelief! I can so identify with that!

And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’!
All things are possible for one who believes.”
Immediately the father of the child cried out and
said, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

Mark 9:23-24

Yes, this is a very long one. It makes up for all the posts I have missed this past month or so. I tried to split it apart, but couldn’t find a way.