This Far Side cartoon by Gary Larson frequently resembles the cry of my life: "God, my brain is full, may I please be excused?"
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the needs of a special family. School appointments, work demands, tasks of daily life, conflicting schedules, overbooked medical and therapeutic appointments -- we go on like the Energizer Bunny who keeps going and going, until all of a sudden, thud.
Though we intuitively know our bodies and minds are not created for endless activity and stress, we often push ourselves as though they are. The demands of our lives are plenty. So how can we ride out the storms that overwhelm us? By anchoring our minds and hearts on the Lord. When there is a storm raging outside or inside, we must remember that it's safer to stay anchored to God than it is to go with the flow of the tide that threatens to pull us under.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 14 we are told that God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. I offer these suggestions as possible routes toward finding His peace:
Concentrate only on the things that are necessary. Ask God to help you discern what needs to be done. I have a doctor-friend who says in times of difficulty we need to triage. Treat your life like an ER and triage your troubles.
Meditate on Biblical teachings and stories that resonate with your situation or frame of mind. Remember the miracle of the single loaf that Christ used to feed many? Perhaps you can break your tasks into smaller parts to accomplish the many. Is there a way to work on one little piece at a time?
Read "The Sacrament of the Present Moment" by Jean-Pierre de Caussade. "The will of God is manifest in each moment, an immense ocean which only the heart fathoms insofar as it overflows with faith, trust and love."
Rest in the Lord. This need not entail attending a service or sitting for a half hour in contemplative prayer (although both are recommended when possible). Take any moment you can and use it for good. Waiting at a red light? Visit with the Lord. Loading the dryer? Let Jesus help you load the clothes. Walking in the grocery store? Take the hand of Christ and walk with Him. It is when we are worn out that anxious sensations come over us. We must let God into every moment of our lives. He is waiting for us to invite Him in.
It is important that we hold on to the truth that the darkness of our situations can never diminish the Light of Christ. It may seem like the world is crumbling around us, but God can, and will lift us. He will set our feet upon the rock.
God promises us that when life is overwhelming He will work with us.
Psalm 61, verse 2 offers some support in this direction: "From the end of the earth I will cry to You when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I."Remember that in the midst of our tears we can find that God is good, and in the bleakest of situations we can find hope. With God’s grace, we will transform the circumstances of our lives into refining experiences that help us become the people He wants us to be, knows we can be, and created us to be.
Go in peace this day. Love, Theresa
PRAYER: Dear Lord, when I am struggling with the demands of my special needs family or when I am overwhelmed with life itself, help me find your presence. Fill me with Your peace and draw me into a closer relationship with You. Remind me that nothing can stop the purpose and plan that You have for my life and the life of my children. Thank you for bringing us rest, and for being our Rock, our Shelter in the storm. AMEN.