Gifts
My Heart is Overwhelmed
Friendship is Sweet

My Heart is Overwhelmed Part 2

DSC03744O God, listen to my cry!
    Hear my prayer!
From the ends of the earth,
    I cry to you for help
    when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
for you are my safe refuge,
    a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
Let me live forever in your sanctuary,
    safe beneath the shelter of your wings! 

Psalm 61:4

I wanted to come back to this verse in Psalms because there is just so much good stuff in there for us. And as a little ‘mantra,’ it has really been bringing me comfort.

I love mountains. My earliest memories are family vacations to various National Parks, standing on a rocky outcrop and surveying all of creation laid out below. There were a lot of mountains and a lot of vistas. My little child heart didn’t even have the vocabulary to describe the feeling of awe and majesty at the mountains, and my own sense of insignificance. The best I had was John Denver’s "Rocky Mountain High" which we played on an endless 8-track loop.

Without any religious upbringing at all, I would still have to say those mountaintops were a religious experience to me. Imagine my surprise to find all those ‘mountaintop moments’ in the Bible 30 years later. Seems like God and mountains go together like peanut butter and jelly! And part of the National Parks experience is hearing about the geology and ecology of the mountains which confirms that mountains have been around for millennia and have been used to shelter people and animals and as places of worship since the dawn of creation.

My point is just that it was and still is a great comfort to me to know that I am not alone. Thousands of years ago some guy (David), charged with soothing a troubled King (Saul) also thought that mountains were a symbol of God’s power and comfort and protection. And this psalm writer, way back then, followed hard enough after God to want to live forever in God’s sanctuary in the safety of His protection.

In the hugs of Mommy and Daddy, or under the shelter of God’s wings, or the loving arms of Jesus there is comfort. It is a huge relief to give your cares, concerns, worries, anxieties, and uncontrollable situations to someone bigger, wiser, stronger, smarter and more able than yourself. With the ‘little stuff’ it’s easy to convince yourself that you can take care of it yourself. Why trouble God? Why call a friend? I got this. Reminds me of a favorite song “Trouble Me” where the singer encourages her friend to just unload their burdens because that’s what friendship is. God feels the same way. He wants us to ‘trouble Him.’ He wants us to give it all over and experience peace.

I’m still waiting for the peace that passes understanding. I’m happy if I just don’t end up with a panic attack. But I know that that work is mine to do. I’m the one who has to carry the worries and anxieties to the cross and LEAVE THEM THERE. I need to trust with my whole heart that God is in control. I need to cling to the mountain and enjoy the view, knowing that there is a plan and a destiny that is bigger than little ol‘ me. If I want to stay in God’s will, I can’t let myself be sidetracked by the temptation to worry and fret until I’m sidelined by anxiety. If you’re right there with me then you know this is no small thing. Unchecked worry and fear can lead to some really sinful, selfish decisions. Not to say that we don’t all need a little ‘me time’ now and then to rest, relax and recharge. But if your ‘me time’ involves Ben & Jerry’s and forgoing your commitments, you might just be wallowing in self-pity. If so, time to get back in the game! Cling to ‘the rock that is higher than you’ and step out in faith. Lay those burdens down and for goodness’ sake, leave them there!

Blessings of comfort,

Jen

Old pictures 081

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