When Life isn’t so Serene.
Life may seem like it is on an even keel for long periods of time. Then, something happens and you’re plunged into uncertainty, unfamiliarity, discomfort, discouragement or disappointment. And you feel it. You get tired and perhaps irritable or even afraid. You wonder, how can I feel this way when I know and trust God in all things.
It’s because we are human and subject to our limitations, physical condition and our hearts and minds. We can get tired, we can get ill and we can get overwhelmed.
We are not saved or have a relationship with God because we’re super-human. We have a relationship with God because of his incredible – unending love and kindness towards us.
And He understands us more than we understand ourselves.
Actually, I think because He understands us so well and just how circumstances in life can become tiring and overwhelming that He gave us examples of those we find in our Bibles who followed Him – did amazing things…yet struggled with fear, depression and just plain being tired.
Gideon – He was called upon by God to perform certain acts for God – yet, Gideon was reluctant…even though He knew for certainty that God had called Him.
King David – Once he admitted to God and to himself the severity of his sin – he feared and felt discouraged. Yet, he poured out his heart to God – admitted his sin – and then praised God for being who He is…despite David’s transgressions – God used him mightily.
Elijah – after he defeated the prophets of Baal – he was very tired and very discouraged. God knew exactly what he needed – rest.
Sometimes life can be full of things we need to accomplish, people who are really difficult, unfinished work that really needs our attention, health problems, financial problems…where does one start when surrounded with so many tasks.
Let’s look at a big example of when people – a group of people – the Jews – were discouraged while being threatened by their enemies…God didn’t berate them for their being tired and discouraged – even fearful. God sent them a leader – Nehemiah.
We find this story in Nehemiah 4:10-13.
Word had come to Nehemiah of the condition of the Jewish people and of the city – how that the walls had been destroyed.
They seemed to weary for the task before them – to rebuild the wall. We find that discouragement can be a familiar sense of being for any and everyone.
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” I Corinthians 10:13
The first thing Nehemiah did was to focus on God and to pray. Nehemiah prayed for some time for God to restore the Jews and the city.
Then Nehemiah took action. He formulated a plan. The first thing he told them was to not be afraid and to remember their God. Then he surveyed the situation; made a plan and got the people to task.
This is a big story and example to us that can apply even to the smallest of things in our lives – those things that when we’re tired and discouraged seem so big.
The first thing we need to do is to stop and pray. Have a real heart to heart with God. Then we need to place all of our trust in God and wait for Him to show us what we need to do.
We can’t overcome all of our obstacles on our own or even all at once.
Once we’ve spent time with God – then looked at our situations – what can we accomplish first. What can we take care of…Sometimes, I have found, that those things we think are big…are not so much. Time and circumstances make them bigger. Once we address situations – they’re more easily accomplished than we realized.
We can’t take on every task at once.
If we get tired, or have been sick and things have ‘piled upon us’. First of all – make sure we take care of ourselves. We should make sure we get the rest we need so that we’re prepared physically and mentally to take on the tasks before us.
What’s Important to Someone Else May Not be Your Priority.
Oftentimes – when we have tasks and responsibilities – others may try to interpose their will upon us to get certain things done – that may truly not be our priority. If it is part of your job, then take care of the tasks. But, if a friend or family member has things on their list and they want you to be a part of it. Make sure it will fit in with your list of things…especially if yours has grown when you’ve been away or ill.
Take one bite at a time.
Review all you have to do. Create your list of priorities. Then, address them – finish each task before starting another. Take one bite at a time.
Find What Encourages You
Each day is given to us as a gift. We can miss it easily. If noting the beauty of a new day – the songs of the birds – the sun shining encourages you – take time to notice them. If music encourages you – find music that will lift your heart and mind. If you have someone in your life that is gifted with encouragement…seek their presence. If someone is talented in seeing the whole picture and can give you advice on what you can/should do…seek their counsel.
We all have those days that may not be so serene. We all experience physical and mental weariness. The most important thing to realize is God is still in control – He knows and understands and He can walk you through this situation. Know also, you won’t ‘live’ there. This won’t last forever. Take care of yourself, rest, restore yourself and take on those tasks given to you…One step at a time and then you’ll see when you can look back upon it. You’ll see how marvelous God is – you’ll be able to empathize when you meet someone who is discouraged and tired. You’ll be able to share – ‘I know how you feel…I felt the same way…and this is what I found…’. We’re here to share and to lift one another up. Each will have their down moments. Just be kind and encouraging – remember, you needed kindness and encouragement at one point yourself.
“The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” Psalm 34:17-19
“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28