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My Heart is Overwhelmed Part 2

My Heart is Overwhelmed

Overflowing with Your BlessingsWhen my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:2

Last year was one of the hardest I’ve ever faced. It wasn’t only that difficult, bad things happened, which they certainly did. It was that it just never seemed to end. It was one crisis after another. Like one of the Die-Hard movies, it felt like as soon as one fire was out, one or two more flared up.

And what those action-adventure movies don’t really show is the mental and spiritual exhaustion that is just as debilitating as the physical exhaustion. And I’ll wager that you know just what I’m talking about. The amount of change and bad, sad, worrying news we’ve all had to endure for the last few years is just objectively overwhelming. I came across the above verse this week and it practically leaped off the card. These were exactly the words for how I’ve been feeling – my heart is overwhelmed.

I started 2020 looking to keep my spirits up. I felt this was a time to rally for whatever God was up to. I tried to find encouraging verses to post and to cling to as we all adjusted to the ‘new normal.’ I went into 2021 looking for encouragement to just keep on going. The worries and busy-ness were starting to wear me down. Then month after month the crises kept coming. By 2022, I was hoping for relief. Unfortunately, this year has had plenty of troubles of its own.

This particular time in our history reminds me of this story I re-read recently:

I ask, “If I’m holding a cup full of coffee and someone bumps into me, what happens?”
You answer, “Coffee spills out.”
You are right.
I then ask, “Why did coffee spill out?”
You’re most likely to answer, “Because you were bumped.”
You are wrong.
The reason coffee spilled out is because coffee was in the cup.
If lemonade, tea, or any other liquid had been in that cup, that’s what would have spilled out. The bumping is simply the catalyst to reveal what was tucked inside.

I suspect many, if not most of us are feeling the pressure and stress of years of worries and crises. It feels like everyone’s cup of stress is filled to the brim. I’m sure you’ve witnessed encounters where one tiny ‘bump’ sent the angry, frustrated contents of that cup overflowing onto everyone around them.

As Christians, we know that what should spill out are the Fruits of the Spirit: Love, peace, kindness, gentleness, self-control. And Luke 6:45 says, “A good man produces good deeds from a good heart. And an evil man produces evil deeds from his hidden wickedness. Whatever is in the heart overflows into speech.” Therefore, it is especially important in these stressful times to ‘top off the tank’ with God’s Word, with Psalms and Hymns, with inspiration and encouragement, with beauty and art, with stories of hope and good news, and whatever else feeds our spirit rather than our flesh.

As times get tougher and money gets tighter and more is expected for less pay while less is purchased for more money, selfishness and a sense of self-preservation will rise. Tempers will flare. But these reactions are based on worldly assumptions and expectations of what is deserved, what is expected, what is fair and what is our right. As God’s children, we look to and depend solely on God to meet our needs. And those needs are met just day by day. This difference in perspective is so counter-intuitive and so opposite of the worldly view that it will draw notice. But that is our opportunity to be a witness to joy in the midst of depression, hope in the midst of despair, peace in the midst of chaos.

I’ll admit I’ve let fear, anxiety and helplessness creep into my thoughts. It’s a hard habit to break. It’s often a challenge to reign in the competing emotions as obstacles and challenges mount up before me. It’s times like these I miss being a child and running to Mommy or Daddy for a big hug, a good cry or maybe some hot cocoa. I was thinking exactly that when I flipped my verse card over, and found this short prayer:

Lord, please help me feel Your loving arms supporting me today.

That is my sincere wish and prayer for you today and every day – that we would FEEL His love, and His strong arms and His support as we face the continuing challenges in our country and world. We need to remember that we are OVERCOMERS, not just ‘make-it-through-ers.’ And we are called to comfort others with the comfort we have received and to bless everyone with the many blessings we have received.

Blessings of comfort,

Jen 

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