Are you tempted to give up on God or your commitment to living out your faith when life is overwhelming?
I can certainly raise my hand! An ordinary day can be overwhelming enough when it comes to balancing motherhood, marriage, ministry, and work, nevermind what life feels like when the unexpected happens. Health issues for my daughter. House issues and too many sales guys trying to pitch solutions. A limping dog. Car dashboard lights flashing warnings. Dear friends going through horrible losses. Friends not being nice to friends. All that an add on a pandemic like the Coronavirus, and feeling out of control, anxious, and totally overwhelmed is to be expected.
It’s tempting to feel defeated and declare, “I’m done, cooked, and finished!” We want the pressure to end, even though we know that suffering and trials are a part of life on this side of heaven.
So what choice do we have for moving forward?
I’ve come to recognize that a dozen little issues can feel as daunting as the great ones. It’s the “wearing down of the saints,” as Watchman Nee describes in his book, Let Us Pray, as he draws from the words found in Daniel 7:25.
The enemy’s intent is always for destruction, and that is certainly what the hard days feel like.
Rather than giving up or striving harder, we can do the opposite.
We can stop “the crazy chaos” we feel inside our heart and mind by stilling our soul before the Lord and seeking the support we need to move forward in step with the Spirit.
The process of stillness, studying God’s Word, and finding support is easier than you think, yet they take practice to develop. These three steps are disciplines we can take long before the chaos hits our lives. No, these aren’t overnight fixes, but over the long haul, these practices prepare us for the trials and will carry us through by the power of the Holy Spirit.
1. Get Still
We have limits and God knows it. Taking time for rest, especially in honoring the Sabbath, is God’s solution to the chaos. It is a gift to slow down for 24 hours a week, ceasing the striving and working and choring. Yes, stopping everything to fellowship with Him, to let your body rest, to refuel your soul with creativity and connection. Not sure where to start? Well, this episode on the More to Be Podcast unpacks the Sabbath principles. You can also listen to Part 1 and Part 2 on Strategies to Avoid Burnout and Enjoy Everyday Life for suggestions on how to make stillness part of every day.
2. Study Up
Without the Word of God as our plumb line, we’re doomed to be spinning our wheels in an effort to figure out our purpose and worth. We’ll take in everyone’s opinions and criticism and even empty praise without considering what God has to stay about the matter. Moreover, when we don’t know the character of God, it’s tempting to believe that His intentions for us are not the best. The only way to counter is with the truth and that comes through revelation of the Holy Spirit through the study of His Word. The Encounter God Bible Study will help you do just that!
3. Get Support
You’re never meant to go at this alone. God designed the body of Christ to serve one another in every regard. Yet, we all know our body is broken. So if the people in your life aren’t able to support you, choose one person who can, even if it is for a short time. Connecting with a coach can help you gain the clarity and accountability for strategizing how you’ll align your life with God’s best.
These three steps may feel pretty basic, but it is these daily disciplines of rest, Scripture study, and connecting with others who are following hard after God that will gird up your faith.
We’re not meant to face the hard alone.
We’re not meant to muster up more effort to just push through.
God designed for us to draw near to Him and rest in the shadow of His wings. We created us to find strength by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us and through the fellowship of the body of Christ. So before you give up, sister, grit up by God’s grace, doing the very opposite of what may have been your pattern up to this point.
Stop spinning. Sit with God in His Word. And reach out for the support you need to press on.
Heavenly Father, thank you that Satan has no authority over us.
We are already victorious in Christ. May we live like that, taking no offense, responding with truth, overflowing with grace, filled with compassion, and walking in forgiveness.
You have not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, love, and a sound mind.
You have made us bold, brave, and confident through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
We are your beautiful, beloved, chosen, redeemed women, warriors of righteousness, purity, and kingdom purpose.
Lest we not forgot who we are and whose we are today, in the face of any fear or opposition that is coming our way.
In the strong name of Jesus, Amen.
If you are in a place where the overwhelming is not lifting, please be brave and seek professional help from a doctor and licensed mental health professional.
If you’re looking for a biblically-based mental health professional, consider FaithfulCounseling.com (partnership affiliate link).
This episode on the More to Be Podcast will help explain the difference between counseling and coaching and debunk the myths about getting professional help.
If you are experiencing any thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-8255.