I couldn’t believe my eyes.
I had cleared just enough off my to-do list for the day and pulled out of my driveway to hit the grocery store.
And then I saw them.
The trucks. The ones with long ladders and a crew of at least two men. Parked in front of not just one, but two, of my neighbor’s homes on the very same afternoon. To install Christmas lights.
I just about came unhinged. Yes, I suppose partly because it’s only early November and I can’t wrap my head around Christmas just yet. But more because this just pushed me over the edge into the dark, scary void. That place where if anyone so much as asks me to tell them whether their head is still attached to their body, I will lack the intellectual faculty to answer them because I’m so overwhelmed.
Been there? Felt like you’re drowning in the deepest waters of what life’s most necessary tasks require of you? Me, too.
Nobody asked me to think about Christmas lights today. In reality, they’re not even the true problem. The real issue is my mental bandwidth. I’ve cut the “extra fat” from my schedule and am trying to focus my energies on only that which is most necessary and fruitful. (“Trying” is the operative word here.) I know I’m doing too much when I react the way I did today: with a vehement head-shaking “noooooo” because I can’t bear the thought of managing even one more thing. Can.not.
Sometimes we put ourselves in situations that exceed our abilities… We take on too much due to an inability to say no (boundaries, anyone?), or a need to feel important. Or busy. Other times God throws a new mantle of responsibility over our shoulders that pushes us beyond ourselves to where we must rely on Him. Regardless of which path led you to this place, I think there are several tools the Bible offers to help us cope. None of us wants to be overwhelmed with a long blog post to read, so I’ll just throw one at you for today:
Remember who God is.
Don’t confuse basic with profound here, friends. It might sound simple to say “remember who God is” but step back and try to really soak that into your bones. Reflect on what we know about Him and His unbounded power. Genesis 1:9 describes God’s work on the third day of creation:
Then God said, “Let the waters beneath the sky flow together into one place, so dry ground may appear.” (NLT)
This God, our God, is the very one who caused all the waters to flow into one place, making dry ground appear. When I feel like I’m drowning in my life’s requirements, I feel I have no place to set my feet… that I can’t even touch bottom and take a breath, like a child in the deep end of the pool. But the Bible teaches us that the very same God who gathered the waters so that life on land could exist also governs the waters of our lives.
If He can gather all the ocean’s might into one place, He can most certainly help us find a dry place to stand.