Tag Archive | overwhelmed

Abundant

Life.Full

It’s funny when it happens to others. The sight of someone dropping a bag of groceries can be hilarious. The shopper picks up several items, only to drop them while chasing down a runaway orange.

“Oops! Get back here. Oops! …  #* &#%!@!”

We can relate to their misfortune. Who hasn’t tried juggling two bags? Or who hasn’t fallen victim to a self-destructing grocery bag?

But, it’s no joke when we find ourselves dealing with more than we can handle emotionally. That’s what happens when our child struggles with mental illness (MI). Somewhere in the midst of coping, we discover we’re juggling the details of life, while ministering to our child. Our minds are full of worries and work, cares and responsibilities. No wonder our heavy hearts break.

Our mind’s eye keeps checking the needle of our stress meter. We watch it edge closer to the danger zone: the limit to what we can handle. We dread reaching the point where we’ll run out of emotional fuel to keep going. Then what would happen? Who would collect our cares and carry the load?

God offers His abundance.

When stress is abundant, seek His abundant grace and peace.

“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” (2 Peter 1:2).

When despair is abundant, seek His abundant hope.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).”

When sadness is abundant, seek His abundant joy (the fullness of His joy).

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11).

When a sense of inadequacy is in abundance, seek His abundant indwelling power.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” [Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV)].

When uncertainty is abundant, seek His generous wisdom.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5).

Many of our local food stores have hired helpers who offer assistance in the parking lot. When I exit the store, I can easily find them. They wear bright vests so a shopper in need could easily spot them. Often one of those teenage helpers, with bulging muscles, runs to my car and cheerfully asks, “Do you need any help?”

Usually I decline his offer. But, I’d be a fool to turn down God’s offer. He approaches me throughout my day and asks, “Do you need My help?”

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Feeling Powerless

cursive t

“I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high”                                                                                                                                                                                          (Luke 24:49.)

“I can’t deal with it anymore.”

What’s your “it?”

Is it watching the news—seeing what’s happening in our nation and in the world? Or is it life’s challenges? Or perhaps it’s your marriage. Maybe your “it” is struggling to forgive someone who’s hurt or betrayed you.

I once had a second grader who couldn’t deal with writing his first cursive t. That was his “it.” Even though Tommy had an artistic gift, he convinced himself he couldn’t write the new letter. His helpless feeling overwhelmed him. Feeling defeated, he stopped trying.

“Mrs. Chandler, Tommy’s crying.”

I walked to his desk. Countless erasures revealed his failed attempts.

“You can do it, Tommy. I’ll walk you through it. Start off with an undercurve stroke. That’s right. Now loop back and then make a slant. Yes, good. Now, do another undercurve. OK. Cross it. Yay! You did it! What a beautiful letter you wrote. See, you can do it.”

“Yeah, but you told me what to do.”

“Okay. I won’t tell you the strokes. I’ll just stand here to remind you that you can do it. Try again.”

All Tommy needed was my presence. That made a huge difference.

Perhaps all we need to face our “it” is God’s presence.  As believers, we have access to a power source greater than any nuclear power plant. Power that lasts longer than any solar power. Because God’s Son is the Source of that power.

Little things overwhelm us when our hearts are already overwhelmed. One tiny problem can break us. Make us want to give up.

We can cast our load of care on Him.

God with us, living within us, can carry our burdens. He will give us supernatural inner strength and peace.

Like, Tommy, we sometimes begin our day defeated. Fears overwhelm us even before we step out of bed. Powerlessness fills our heads with pessimistic thoughts.

I can’t face today. I’m powerless to control things, handle situations, or prevent problems.

Wouldn’t it be nice to put on power just as easy as we put on our clothes? We can! It’s possible to adorn ourselves in something more powerful than Superman’s cape.

Christ told His disciples they will be clothed with power from on high. We, too, can wrap ourselves in that power. As believers, it’s already within us. Who knew God was our personal fashion expert!

Dear Father, fill me afresh with Your Holy Spirit.

Overwhelmed with Sorrow

“From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2

Throughout Chris’s school years, learning was easy for him. He always brought home A’s. Until one day.

Chris’s first grade teacher wanted to prepare me for the unusually low grade he would bring home that day. Since I taught in the small Christian school he attended, I ate lunch with his teacher.

“I had to give Chris a D on his math test,” she explained.

“Why?”

“He didn’t follow the directions.”

After school, Chris came to my classroom. As soon as he started to talk, he burst into tears.

“What’s the matter, Chris?”

Thrusting his math paper at me, he sobbed, “I got this paper back.”

“Why are you crying?”

“I’m afraid you’re not gonna love me anymore.”

How could he think such a thing? What made him believe my love could be turned off by a mere bad grade? How could he ever imagine my love for him was conditional?

Then it dawned on me. Tests grades with A’s were proudly displayed on our refrigerator. Chris assumed the kitchen was our hall of earned love. The place of honor reserved for excellent work. In his mind, papers with A’s were payments to gain my love.

Chris was overwhelmed with sorrow at the thought I wouldn’t love him anymore. His sadness opened the floodgates of my compassion.

“Oh, Chris, nothing will ever stop me from loving you. Not this grade. Not any mistake you’ll ever make. I will always love you.”

Chris isn’t the only one who’s become overwhelmed with sorrow.

Jesus became overwhelmed with sorrow. In the book of Matthew, Jesus told His disciples He was “overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” when faced with bearing the burden of everyone’s sin (Matthew 26:38). What was His response?  He found a quiet place and prayed to His father.

We, too, suffer great sorrow. In agony, we watch our child struggle with mental illness. Do we pray to our Father?

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus told his disciples to pray so they won’t fall into temptation. That’s His desire for us too. He knows we face the temptation to give into our human reactions. It’s easy to become fearful, uncertain, hopeless, and depressed.

Just like Chris, go to God and honestly admit, “I haven’t followed Your directions and have neglected my private times with You. I’m afraid you don’t love me anymore. Show me Your love. Help me see Your path for my child’s life. Reveal Your presence in my house. Restore clarity of thought and joy to my son. Encourage me today. Bless me with Your perfect peace.”

Release the floodgates of His love for you.