I’ve been under pressure for a few weeks. My wife has been unwell and I’ve had to take time off work and there have been other things going on. I am blessed by a really supportive leadership team at the Church who encourage me to rest and take the time off I need.
I talked with a friend today who was feeling overwhelmed as they headed off to work. I read a facebook status of someone who had been faced with several overwhelming and horrible experiences. I talked with someone else who is really discouraged at being unable to find work. In Les Mis, Fantine sings about her broken dream. She had such hopes for life but her dream has been smashed to pieces. She sings:
I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I’m living
Many of us have experienced deep pain and we have asked the question that naturally follows, WHY? Why would all this happen to me?
There was a man called Paul who wrote about the time that he felt ‘crushed and overwhelmed’ (2 Corinthians 1.8-11). He thought he was going to die and things were a real struggle. Instead of dwelling on the question why or complaining he says:
As a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely on God.
I don’t think Paul was saying that God allowed his suffering so that he would have to rely on him. I read it simply as a statement of fact, we couldn’t cope, we thought we were going to die but we relied on God who rescued us.
My friend who was feeling overwhelmed as he headed to work prayed and God met with him and gave him a better perspective on things. He felt overwhelmed but instead of staying in that place he chose to rely on and put his confidence in God. Gods presence transformed his day.
The person who has faced some horrible experiences had a friend who was kind enough to write:
Keep your eyes on Jesus. He never promised us an easy time, but he did promise to always be with us through whatever happens.
I spent some time praying for my friend who can’t find work.
In amongst our tragedies and trouble we can given up, curl into a ball and hide or we can reach out to God and cry for help. Like a person sinking in quicksand, we can give in and be sucked under or we can reach out towards someone with the power to pull us out.
My hope and prayer for us today is that we would choose to rely on God.
As we call on God, that he would change us by bringing peace, a good perspective and guidance for the way forward.
As we call on God, that he would be at work changing the situations we are involved in. God can do amazing things, let us trust in him afresh.