Monday, October 15, 2007

Feeling Overwhelmed

I absolutely hate feeling overwhelmed. To me, it's got to be the worst feeling in the world. It's a feeling that comes and goes for me. And I'm sure we all struggle with it from time to time. You know that feeling--there's so much going on in your life that you're sure at some point it's all going to consume you. And one day, years later, your body will be found underneath piles of unpaid bills, dirty laundry, dirty dishes, unanswered emails, unreturned messages, and neglected school fund raising campaigns. I would imagine it's sort of what being in an elevator feels like to a claustrophobic. It also makes me think of the garbage compactor scene from Star Wars. The scene featuring Han Solo famously saying, "One thing's for sure, we're all going to be a lot thinner." Oh Han, if only that were true. That certainly would be the upside to having the fool squeezed out of you.

I've noticed that when I get to feeling this way, I really see the ol' "fight or flight" response in myself in action. I either get snappy and a wee bit confrontational, or I hole up and want to take a permanent vacation from life. I think it may be the result of focusing on too many things at the same time. And before I know it, I find myself at the foot of this cold, ominous mountain of stuff that needs to be moved from Point A to Point B, and I haven't the slightest clue on how to even begin to do that. It really is all about perspective, though, isn't it??? According to Matthew 17:20, it's because my faith is too small. Jesus says,

For if you had faith even as small as a tiny mustard seed you could say to this mountain, 'Move!' and it would go far away. Nothing would be impossible. Matthew 17:20 (Living)

I'd like to think that my faith is larger than a mustard seed. But at times, I'm afraid it isn't even that large! Especially during those times when I am feeling most overwhelmed. In that very moment, we cease to operate out of faith, and begin to walk in fear. How many of God's plans are aborted or disrupted when we choose to react in fear (fight or flight) instead of responding with faith? What I need to do, in that moment, when I feel like I am about to crack under the pressure, is stop, pray, and ask the Father to give me more faith and His perspective. For everything is possible for those that believe. And I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

However, I realized something the other day. It's not my faith that gets me through these things. It's God Himself. It's not faith in faith that I need, but faith in a faithful God. That certainly takes some of the pressure off, doesn't it??? Thank God that it's not my pitifully small faith that will get me through tough times. But a rather large and reliable God. My faith just lets me enjoy the process and the journey, and hopefully see God's hand guiding me along the way.


Scarlet Snow (mike) said...

I've never even seen a mustard seed, A. Have you? Good word. Glad you wrote on that. I know you know that you aren't the only one who feels overwhelmed at times. I have plenty of that sometimes myself. Luckily, being a guy [insert sarcasm here] I have a nice little compartment for that too. I have to wear so many hats sometimes I just forget to take 'em all off. We'll be praying for the B household the same thing we pray for our own...just some peace and a little rest.


Angela said...

Peace and rest is EXACTLY what we need right now. Especially with all the UNrestful little ones.

A mustard seed is actually like the size of a sesame seed. It really is the most unimpressive little thing you've ever seen.

shannon said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! God is always here. Whether we are piled in laundry or skulking in confusion, God's day is bright and we are his children. You know how much we do and worry for our children? He's got us, his children, all taken care of. Sometimes I look around and laugh at all my fussing over the house or the way things look because, it really doesn't matter. It's like there are two realities: one we make and another, under the surface. The one that's real is made by your heart, your soul, your prayers, your gifts (that you continually keep alive by giving so much to others). So all the stuff, the dates, the laundry, it's got to be done but it's the other reality that matters, that makes God happy. And so he's happy to take care of us.