A fourteen hour day can feel kind of overwhelming & sometimes we have long days, overflowing with demands & activities. Modern living pressures us to stuff our days to the gills so that the more we get done, the better we feel and the more significant we are. Consequently, the idea of a Sabbath flies in the face of the modern lifestyle.
Nevertheless, God instituted a day of rest in each week as one of the 10 Commandments, so it’s on the same level of importance as not murdering, loving God, etc. And I’m writing this blog, maybe to myself more than anyone else because I’m on a gerbil wheel with overflowing days and more work than time. When we keep time and fellowship with God as our top priority, then the speed of life won’t result in a trainwreck 🙂
I woke up today, thought about what’s happening throughout this day & maybe I considered, for a few minutes, going back to bed because of all of today’s stuff. Then I was reminded by the Holy Spirit that nothing will happen today that isn’t already in His mind & He will be with me in all of this day. So I prayed & asked the Holy Spirit to direct all of today’s schedule, events & demands.
As I’m in very important meetings, watching my daughters theatrical performance, praying with a friend, preparing for a speaking engagement along a few more things, I’m keeping my focus on the Holy Spirit to help & keep me settled.
When the Holy Spirit is my life preserver, He keeps my head above water!
The words, “shallow” & “superficial” almost evoke a gagging reflex in me & I’ve been this way for my entire life. Case in point: as a 4year old, I preferred Seasame Street, Electric Company & Zoom to Mr Roger’s Neighborhood, because I thought Mr Rogers was juvenile. I even complained to my parents, “He talks like I’m a child!” So the idea of being shallow, superfical & juvenile has been repulsive to me for a long time.
Now, however, I kind of like shallow & superficial and here’s why: the world is too heavy to carry and the challenges I have are too hefty to solve, despite my best thinking, planning, education and efforts. Even though I like to think deeply, I need to come up for air and be more lite & bright, from time to time. I remind myself of these guiding principles when I get morose and dark:
Luke 1:37, “Nothing is impossible for God”
Ps 55:22, “Cast your cares on the Lord because He cares for you.”
Rom 8:28-29, “All things work together for good to those who love God & who are called according to His purposes.”
Ps 25:15, “My eyes are continually on You & You pluck my feet from the net.”
Matt 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God & all these things will be added to you.”
John 14:16, “I will ask the Father & He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever.”
So let’s stay lite, bright & maybe even a little superficial & shallow! Feel free to pass this along to someone who might be a little discouraged 🙂
I was texting with a friend recently & they were talking about some frustrations on their job & how they don’t feel adequate to the challenge – in over their head. Me too. Depending on when you ask me, I can often feel that I can’t do everything that I’ve been given, that I’m not wise or smart enough and / or that I’m ill-equipped. What’s great about all of these challenges is that they force me to look to & trust in Jesus – and at the end of the day, it’s a better place for us to be to have to trust in God rather than to rely on ourselves.
So if you’re in over your head, keep your eyes & confidence on Jesus because He’s more capable than your best efforts to bring you through very well 🙂
One of my first experiences with swimming in the ocean was when I was about 9 yrs old. I was really enjoying the sand & the waves but when I tried to go deeper one of the waves up-ended me & jammed me into the sand. It was a really painful experience because I was slammed down on my head, spitting out sand, sea water with burning eyes & my sinuses were overloaded with sea water. I was thoroughly discombobulated.
I’ve had a few repeats with this kind of overwhelming experience and sometimes, there can be things in our life that can be like my 1st ocean swimming experience – a physical challenge that is overwhelming, or a financial need that slams us into impossible situation, or a family / relational crisis that leaves us discombobulated. I want to encourage you today that when we hold onto Jesus, He can help us through anything overwhelming. Consider how my dad helped me with learning to swim in the ocean without getting hurt:
After my wave slamming, overwhelming, discombobulating & ocean swimming experience, I ran to my parents on the beach & they checked me over to see if I was seriously injured. They saw that I wasn’t, but my dad noted that I was pretty scared to go back & try the swimming thing again & he didn’t want me to live with this fear. So he took my hand & we slowly walked back into the ocean with the waves coming one after another & I remember being scared but holding onto my dad, super tight. He was very calming, encouraging & super sturdy. When a wave might have been too strong for me, I’d grab onto my dad & I knew that I wouldn’t get dumped again because he was so strong. He coached me on how to walk into the ocean & to time my progress so that the waves wouldn’t be able to pick me up dump me. Consequently, because of his help, one of my favorite places to swim now is in the ocean.
I’m not overwhelmed by the ocean because I held onto my dad & he taught me to not be afraid, to be strong & to work on my timing. The same is true with our heavenly Father. Perhaps this is what the Psalmist is talking about is Ps 42:7-8, “Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; all Your breakers & Your waves have rolled over me. The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime; and His song will be with me in the night, a prayer to the God of my life.”