Psalms 61:2 (NIV) From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
“And when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I, that is higher than I…” These words echoed in my mind as the day began. I had heard an amazing soloist pour the words of this gospel song out in church last Sunday. Although it is not a new song and it’s not my first experience with it, I have clung to its message this week. I have clung to it upon rising, getting ready for the day, when I am working at my job and when I am home again.
“Overwhelmed” is an understatement these days for me. I have heard people say that they were underwhelmed by something, like a speaker or a vacation spot meaning that it wasn’t exactly what they were expecting. Well, I can say, my life has been overwhelmed by the many hats that I wear. I love my wife and mom hats, but the teacher hat in May is heavy. The end of the year for a teacher is one that is filled with deadlines while students start their gaze toward summer so their behavior seems to loosen, I mean, get crazy. Teachers have to keep the wheels in between the lines of the classroom and manage it all. In my case, I realize that too much on my plate causes extra stress. I have had seconds, thirds and fourths of stress as a teacher for the past few weeks and I am expecting more. So, how will I make it until June? For starters, and for me, I had to stop and consider the best way to navigate after a rough day. Here’s my plan:
- I will keep doing a routine that grounds me at home: I start each day barely able to see with my eyes glued together as I prepare the lunches for my children and create their breakfast. Sure, they’ve done it for themselves, but I just want to do it. They get a bit of extra time to not stress in the morning and focus on getting ready if I help them in the kitchen. For me, though, I find myself running late as I finish my mom duties and race to the shower. I heard the words in my head today, “And when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I, that is higher than I,” as I washed my hair and rinsed. It occurred to me this week that God is not my project, rather, I am His project. I will be able to function as a mom, get ready for work and do my job because He is orchestrating it all. Sure, I go through the motions of doing the morning routine, but it is with the help of His Spirit that I can do it.
- I will survive as I read His Word, which is a stress reliever. I will read His Word to ground me in His truth each morning and night, and whenever I can. Recently, I was overwhelmed in a good way with a passage in Colossians which I just “happened” to find in my Bible. (Thank you, Holy Spirit, for your direction!) As I read it, the verbs popped out at me. Paul was telling the people in Colossians how he prays for them. I have decided to start praying for myself in this same way and pray for my family using similar words. Here’s what he said in Colossians 1:9-14: “So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. 11 We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with all the patience and endurance you need with joy. 12 always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. 13 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who purchased our freedom with his blood and forgave our sins.”
- I will take deep breaths and pray. As I have examined the Colossians passage, it is clear to me that Paul is asking God for help for the people but he is also thanking God for all that He has done to redeem His people and bring them out of the dominion of darkness and into the Kingdom of His Son, Jesus. I must remember and allow All that has been done for me by Jesus to rest on me and envelope me even in the difficult moments. I know that it would help me if I would choose to breathe for 10 seconds and let out the air. As I do this breathing exercise a few times, I release the toxic feelings and inhale newness. I love that I can talk to my heavenly Father at all times. In my effort to face the next month, I have composed a prayer, based on Colossians 1:9-14, which will be my heart’s cry to Him. My prayer: Father, I look to you for my help. You have never changed and have always helped me. I thank you that you have enabled me to share in the inheritance that belongs to your people who live in the light. I want to ask you now, to give me complete knowledge of your will and to give me spiritual wisdom and understanding. I know that if I have these things, I will be able to honor and please you as you empower me to produce every kind of good fruit. I also ask you to strengthen me with your glorious power so that I will have all the endurance and patience that I need with joy. Many days, Father, seem to be heavy with what needs to get done, the lessons that need to be taught, the deadlines of inventories, preparations for a tournament and end of year procedures. Help me, Father, to be lead always to You, my Rock. I don’t want to be tempted to draw away from your goodness. You are good and have been good to me. I need you to place me in an area of safety for my mind and body as I walk through each day and its responsibilities. You are my Rock. I trust in you. Help me, Father. Help my family as they end the school year. Please give them joy and fill them with your wisdom. For it is in the strong and mighty name of Jesus that I pray. Amen
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