Overwhelmed!

Rice and LoganFour years ago, my family and I lost everything. We were working overseas, and within a month’s time, we lost our jobs, our home, our vehicle, and everything we owned, save for what we could pack into fourteen boxes. How do you even judge what’s worthy, that you’ve accumulated in your lifetime, to squeeze into one of those boxes? It was a rough time for me, but during that period I learned a lot, but perhaps the greatest lesson I learned is how to face problems.

First, I learned that there are two unhealthy ways to deal with issues. The first way is to succumb to the trials. This approach forces people to be smothered by the issues. These people sink into depression that consumes them. Ailments begin to overtake their body, and they tend to struggle to simply find their way back to who they used to be—struggle digging their way back up to the surface.

The second way is to submerge into denial. Denial is a weapon of the enemy. It is what an alcoholic uses to convince himself that he does not have a problem. Denial that there’s an issue is the base of countless divorces, and denial aids the enemy’s attack into our lives. Denial escorts people into drug addiction, self absorption, and depression. God did not create denial, nor does He condone it. Dictionary.com describes denial this way: “disbelief in the existence or reality of a thing.” It is a lie of which one attempts to convince himself, and we can all read what the Bible says about liars in Rev. 21:8. Lying to anyone, especially yourself, is never a healthy way to cope with anything.

So, if these are the unhealthy ways of dealing with the pressures of life, what are the healthy ways?  Here’s what I learned: SURRENDER!

If you face something that attempts to harm you, there are two ways to respond: fight to the death or surrender. The enemy hates you and desires to steal from you, to kill you, and to destroy you, but what about a loving God?

So, if we are designed by THE God that knows every detail of our lives–The God that chose the color of our eyes with care, that knows how many hairs are growing on our head at this very moment, and that carved our fingerprints to their unique designs, how much does He love us and care about every detail of our lives? The question then remains. When trials overwhelm us, do we attempt to fight them on our own or surrender them to Him?

I can’t help to think of the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28 (AMP): “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]

You see God knows every detail about us because He cares. He did not create us to sink into depression, succumb to trials, or live in denial. He knew that trials would come in each of our lives. He even knew the exact moment they would enter our lives.  God knew the day that I, eight and half months pregnant with my third child, would board the plane with my husband and two young children, leaving behind all my world possessions and return to my native country with no home, no job, and no prospects.  Nothing surprised Him.

King David’s words beautifully describes it this way in Psalm 139:15-16 (MEV): “My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, and intricately put together in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw me unformed, yet in Your book all my days were written, before any of them came into being.

Does that mean that God does not love us because He allows trials to come into our lives? Heavens, no! Trials will come. We do not live in the perfect world that God created for us. (Gen. 1:31) “God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good,” but we do not live in that world anymore. Genesis chapter three describes why; man and woman welcomed sin into their lives. They were not content only knowing good. They wanted to know of evil as well, and nothing has cost us a greater price. From that day on, man has lived in a world tainted by sin: struggles, trials, sickness, depression, addictions, and death.

So, if these things will come no matter what, then what hope do we, as mere humans, have to fight against them? How can we fight a war against a trial that we cannot always see with our eyes?

SURRENDER!

The words of Jesus tell us to no longer live in fear, but rather trust Him. John 16:33 (AMP) “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

The Apostle Paul tells us to surrender to God’s love because there is no greater place to rest: Romans 8:31-32 (NIRV) “What should we say then? Since God is on our side, who can be against us? God did not spare his own Son. He gave him up for us all. Then won’t he also freely give us everything else?” Romans 8:37 (NKJV) “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

Here’s Misty’s translation: “Don’t worry! God’s got this!” He had me when my plane landed in America four years ago, and he still has me today.  There have been times when I have sat down and praised God that I made it through that period in our lives, and I’m grateful that I’ll never go through that particular trial again, but mostly I’m thankful that God never left me through it all.  He never abandoned our family, physically, spiritually, or emotionally.

Today, He’s got you. If you surrender to Him, He will carry you. You can age from trying to carry the heavy burden yourself, or you can live a victorious life surrendering the weight of the burden to the One that cannot be overwhelmed. He’s waiting on your decision.  Just trust Him, He’s got this!

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