I get overwhelmed pretty easily.
Most of the time, I don’t handle this feeling of being stressed out so well. I have a tendency to shut down. Block out everything and leave things to be dealt with later. As you can imagine, this only creates more stress for myself.
I’m in a season of life right now with a lot of planning and a lot of change. These are all good things. Great things actually. But this is a recipe for stress in my life.
How do you handle overwhelming situations?
We all recite the verse that says, “When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2 NKJV).
But we tend to leave it at that. We never look at the beginning of this Psalm. Or, at least, I never did.
“Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to you, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:1-2 NKJV).
After reading this, I stopped all of my “self-help” tricks (running, yoga, Netflix binges, etc.), and I sat on my bed and prayed. Next, I picked up my Bible.
This has been my morning routine ever since. Even more so in seasons of great stress.
“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ Or ‘What shall we drink?’ Or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:30-33 ESV).
I love this passage.
After reading these verses, we can rest in the fact that God knows exactly what our needs are.
I used to do things backwards. I would worry, try to figure things out myself, worry some more, go for a run, and THEN take it to God.
I have found a way that saves me a lot of steps and a lot of worry.
I’ve not perfected it by any means. I still worry.
But I have found that I worry less when I first read the words of a God who already has it all figured out.
The story of Esther unfolds in a kingdom—the Persian Empire of King Ahasuerus. And as followers of Christ, we exist for a King and His eternal Kingdom.
This week, we read how Esther is prepared for her one-night stand with King Ahasuerus. We read how she presents herself to the king. And how he throws a celebration in her honor.
But we belong to a Kingdom with a better King named Jesus Christ. So, with that in mind, let’s see how we experience a better preparation, presentation, and celebration than Esther.
It was like being caught in a whirlwind. Shaken to the core. Reminded of what matters most. Stepping upon stones. On an unknown sea. And clinging to Christ through it all.
That’s what 2019 felt like to me.
Can you relate? Another year has come and gone. Like a tornado rustling through a village. And you’re trying to understand what’s left of it. Rummaging through debris. Picking up the pieces. Much has taken place. Some good stuff. Some bad stuff. Some stuff you’re still unsure about. As you walk into 2020 with a strange mixture of excitement and fear.
Hey there! Are you still in the waiting room? If so, I have good news. This week, I’m continuing my “In the waiting room” series on John 11:1-44. I’m studying three reasons why God keeps you waiting. Allow me to share them with you.
First, God is glorified through your waiting.
Remember, this series comes from the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead. It begins like this: “Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, ‘Lord, he whom you love is ill.’ But when Jesus heard it he said, ‘This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.’ Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was” (John 11:1-6 ESV).
It’s a well-known idiom. But to me, it means something more.
One of my favorite people in the Bible is John the Baptist. I preach about him quite a bit. And today is no different. After all, John the Baptist ranks among the most humble of any human in Scripture.
John is noted for saying, “‘He [Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease’” (John 3:30 ESV).
Preparing the way for Christ, John the Baptist was not liked by many. This landed him a spot in prison. He did nothing wrong. But John was unwilling to compromise his commitment to the Gospel.