For months . . . years . . . the one word that keeps popping up in my personal journal is “overwhelmed.”
Photo Credit: Julia Freeman-Woolpert (stock.xchng)
The everyday barrage of life events used to be enough to tire us and send us to our beds, eager to escape the rushing torrents. But now those commonplace things are almost like white noise in the background of a screaming world. Some of that shrieking is an intentional tactic of those who want to sell us something or divert us from the truth. On the other hand, many of those cries come from those who have been broadsided by life — hurricanes, cancer, poverty, being rolled over by people of privilege who are blind to the consequences of their indifference to others, disconnection from family, death.
Overwhelmed. Do you feel it sometimes?
As I’ve reviewed those journal pages, the notes surrounding this word are often filled with despair, attempts to fix blame on someone other than myself, a desire to exchange my life experience with someone who takes on each day with grace and energy. In other words, a cry for change and relief.
Psalms 77 is an odd text for someone like me — an unschooled theologian taught only by surface readings of scripture, bullet points from countless sermons, and the constant desire to have all of the answers. I hope you’ll turn to this little missive and read it in its entirety.
But you’re probably busy right now and reading this as you scan through dozens of email. In case you are a little overwhelmed and can’t find your way back, let me give you a summary.
- I reached out to God.
- He didn’t answer.
- I find this unsettling because He told me to call.
- I lost sleep.
- I momentarily lost hope.
- Then I remembered.
- I remembered when God delivered me.
- I remembered when God gave me some incredible gifts.
- I remembered that some of those gifts weren’t for me alone. They were meant to be shared with others on the journey.
- And I was satisfied with all of that.
When I’m overwhelmed and I’m desperately trying to move the challenges around me into something I can handle, I am always surprised. By the kindness of a stranger. The concern of a friend. A moment of mercy when justice was deserved. Evidence, even in the face of tragedy, that I am loved by a God who has stirred himself to love me and everyone else.