“My life is in shambles!” Have you ever felt that way? It’s one of my life long sayings and my sister jokes that it will follow me to my grave: “Here lies Kim Hill whose life is no longer in shambles.” 🙂 Hallelujah! SO looking forward to that blessed day!
A family crisis. A new baby. An unexpected illness. A new job. A difficult marriage. Or maybe it’s just a bunch of small changes that add up to equal way too much. And you are completely overwhelmed.
There are seasons of life that are just plain hard because of things outside of our control. A divorce, a death, a disease…Not only are these things overwhelming in and of themselves. It’s like a package deal where you don’t just get the initial hardship, you get multiple hardships that keep on rolling in one after another. And they can add up to an overwhelming amount of pressure and stress.
Whatever it is, we find ourselves struggling just to stay above water. There’s no respite in sight and we feel we might drown, or in fact wish we would, because we are just so incredibly exhausted.
And deep down we know it’s not supposed to be this way.
So, what are we to do when we find our lives void of that peace that passes all understanding that brings rest in the midst of life’s difficulties?
First and foremost, we are to look to Jesus. Jesus was never overwhelmed. He was never seen frantic or moping around depressed. He wasn’t stressed out or frazzled. And He most certainly wasn’t running around telling everyone how His life was in shambles. Imagine. 🙂 No, friends. He was always at rest even when chaos was swirling around Him. What was His secret?
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. – Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)
Wasn’t Jesus mind continually fixed on God the Father? In fact numerous times He claimed that He did nothing. He continually gave all credit to the Father working in and through Him. That was His example to us. He trusted the Father intrinsically and looked to Him for and in everything. And we are called to do the same.
The very word Christian means “Little Christ.” Made in the image of God, we are His ambassadors. We are here to represent our King. The world should be able to look at the way we live our lives (and the way we deal with diffuculties) and know something of what God is like. Convicting, isn’t it?
Have you ever thought about the fact that every problem we have is related to our concept of God? Think about it. Are any of our problems problems for God? Is He up there wringing His hands trying to figure out a plan B? Is He frustrated and overwhelmed by our difficulties? Well, if it’s not a problem for God, then should it be a problem for me? When my focus is on my Heavenly Father, my “problem” suddenly becomes an opportunity. An opportunity to rest in Him and reflect the character of God to a watching world. It’s not easy but it’s true.
The watching world is not impressed when we handle good things well.
- “Oh look! Her family is totally healthy and she’s not down in the dumps about it!”
- “She just had a perfectly beautiful baby and she’s just so at peace with it. Would you look at that?”
- “Her husband loves her so much and ya know, it really doesn’t seem to bother her! Amazing!”
I love stating the obvious. 🙂
We don’t have a problem handling good things well, do we? It’s really not impressive. It’s when we have a sick child or a difficult marriage or our bodies are plagued with illness and we look to God for the power to rest in Him even when life is tough. That’s when they see Jesus in us. That’s when God gets the glory.
Who my God is changes everything. And that includes my perspective.
So, when a season comes where physical rest is not easily acquired, take heart and look to Jesus for the spiritual and emotional rest that He gives in the midst of the turmoil. It’s not so much, “What would Jesus do?” It’s “Who would He be looking to if He were in my shoes?”
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. -Phillipians 4:6-7 (NASB)
We are commanded to not be anxious, to look up, to be thankful, and then expect the promise of His peace that goes beyond our understanding. That is how we rest in the chaos and that is when others see Christ in us.
By faith, let us take God at His Word and look to Him for the rest that only He can give. Everyday. In every situation. He is full of wisdom and kindness and everything good. Rest in His sovereignty and in His eternal love for you.
And then go have some fika! 🙂