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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Swirly Life

Life gets pretty swirly sometimes, doesn't it? For me, more often then not, I find myself feeling like the person in the infamous painting, "The Scream"; feeling that myself and my life are bending in too many directions - things swirling around me, confusing, chaotic.

This is similar to what we in the education field call, "a sensory overload day"; too much going on too quickly with not enough resolution to those things swirling around us, and not enough resources, time, money, etc, to process what is coming at us, fast enough. Children react to sensory overloads in a way that we adults, more often then not, do not; they holler, scream, push things and people away, cry, retreat, or even sometimes, seek out even more of the behavior that is making them upset in the first place.

How does it feel for you when life gets swirly?

On any given day, we have a thousand things going on in our own lives, as well as within the world around us. We have jobs to go to, houses to clean, kids to shuttle here and there, meals to prepare, financial woes, health issues, aging parents, husbands stressing us out, ministries to run, and the list goes on and on.

Yet, because we are Christians, we are expected to "keep it all together" so that we can present this image of "perfection" to the world, that we have been made completely (note the word "completely") perfect by the fact that we put our faith in Jesus Christ. Yet while it is true that, "All who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Acts 2:21), we have to remember what we are saved from: sin, hell, eternal damnation. Is there a promise anywhere in scripture that ensures us that because of our faith we will no longer have stressful days? That troubles won't come? That something magical will happen and poof all our troubles away when they occur? No!

In fact, there are more scriptures that state just the opposite - they promise that trials will come and that people will fail you and that you will face days, or even an entire lifetime of sensory overload. Not the best marketing campaign to pitch to a nonbeliever, is it? I know when I came to faith in Christ, I thought that He would magically make all of my troubles disappear (I think I was looking for a "fairy godmother" character, and not a redeeming Christ!), but they never did.

The promise Christ give us is this; "Come to Me, all who are heavy laden [stressed, burnt out, throwing temper tantrums, feeling like they are in sensory overload] and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28).

How many of us want to rest?

How many of you feel like you have a hiking pack strapped to your backs full of stress that has your knees buckling, your limbs shaking, tears and sweat pouring down your feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually weak - or even completely spent?

Good - you know why that's good - because that means you're not broken in two to the point where you can't go on - you're not dead, in the ground, crushed by the weight of the world. However, there is something you can do with that pack on your back - you can let it make your legs collapse, resulting in you falling to your knees where you will cry, "Abba, Father!", and the promise of help from the Lord will come. God doesn't break promises for anyone - anyone, and that means you! Let the Lord take that pack off your back as you read this Psalm:

"I lift my eyes up to the hills -
where does my help come
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
will not let your foot slip -
He who watches over you will not
indeed He who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor
The Lord watches over you -
the Lord is your shade at your right
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord
will keep you from all harm -
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will
watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore."

- Psalm 121

How awesome of a promise is that?

How awesome to know that when everyone and everything around you is crumbling, Jesus Christ, God, the Maker of the universe, will come to your personal rescue because He loves you and cares for you personally. That's pretty amazing if you ask me!

So next time (or even right now!) when life around you gets swirly and you feel like you're being bent in too many directions, scream...but scream on your knees, in a voice of honest desire for the Lord's rescue - and my friends, be patient, our God is faithful, He is mighty to save! So scream...scream to the Lord...on your knees, He will rescue you, He alone will give you guidance, peace, wisdom and strength to endure, eventually lifting your chin, then taking your hand, lifting you up, helping you to stand tall again - ready to face the world head on as a light of His promise of redemption unto all the world! Amen!

"Do you not know?
Have you not heart?
The Lord is the
everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow
tired or weary,
and His understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength
to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired
and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be

- Isaiah 40:28-31

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Blogger Shannon Jacobyansky said...

Allison...wonderful post!!! I find to clear the clutter and relieve "sensory overload"...I need to sit in a quiet place for a noise...and just listen for the sweet whipsers of the calming Holy Spirit which soothes my soul to tranquilty.

January 7, 2010 at 7:00 AM  
Blogger Faith Imagined said...

I certainly needed to read this tonight. I have been having a "Swirly" week! I am going to take my pack off and read the Psalm again.

January 7, 2010 at 7:22 PM  
Anonymous Laurel@FromMyHeartToYours said...

Allison, thank you for this post. Sometimes it is easy to start thinking we're the only ones who's lives are swirling!! I had a VERY swirly day yesterday and through His goodness, there was a great outcome! I posted about it today on my blog.

I love that verse in Isaiah! Thank you for sharing your heart here.

Hugs from Canada

January 8, 2010 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger Carla Gade said...

That was a truly inspiring post. Thank you so very much. I needed this today.

January 9, 2010 at 6:26 PM  

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