Overcoming Overwhelming

It’s easy to get overwhelmed.  Many problems in life are overwhelming.  Some of us have been avoiding our snail mail.  Our mail box is stuffed full of bills like a collection agency piñata.  Our credit cards are winning.  Our bank accounts are losing.  Savings is nothing more than a category on our bank statements.  The possibility for a debt free future seems to revolve around lottery, invention, and inheritance scenarios.  The word for this reality is overwhelming.

Some of us are overwhelmed by our addictions.  We waste hours searching for pornography on the internet.  When we’ve had our empty fill, we try our best to erase our recent indiscretions.  We delete cookies, empty caches, erase histories, clear downloads, and head to bed tired and soul-torn.  Our justifications ring hollow under the weight of such sadness.

Others of us drink and drug more than we should.  Only on occasion, only on Fridays, only at the bar, only with friends, only when down, only when it doesn’t really bother anyone.  Only when we are mad, depressed, confused, or in need of a little sedation.  Just to relax, fit in, fall asleep, medicate, and waste away years of our lives.  The word is overwhelming.

Then there is the secret shame of disintegrating relationships.  In every neighborhood there are broken families, toxic marriages, and troubled children.  Distance breeds distance, while fear and anger become normative.  Children hear the bitter, angry words; they intuit the absence of love.  Disconnected lives spawn disconnected love.  The problems are simply overwhelming.

Of course, the truly troubling secrets are buried deeper.  They never enter the conversation, reach the printed page, or find voice in the sermon.  Even so, in the midnight hour, these secrets will torment the anxious heart and condemn the troubled soul.

So many of us struggle in secret.  Our trivia is public, our pain is private.  That which overwhelms us the most, we keep hidden.  We bury our trauma within our soul, we battle our demons with midnight tears, moans, and sighs.  We battle in secret, until the secrets overwhelm our resolve.

I believe that God is light.  In God there is no darkness at all.  When we bring our lives into the light, we find healing.  Hope and life are found in the light of God’s illuminating presence.

Often, before we come into the light of God’s love, grace, and mercy, we try to fix our lives in secret.  Unfortunately, this cuts us off from the revelation we desperately need.  To find healing we must first be willing to bring our problems into the light.  Instead of asking us to hide our failing, sins, and frustrations, God asks us to bring our entire life into his light.  Within the light of Christ we find correction, forgiveness, and life changing grace.

There is healing in God’s presence.  Let’s stop pretending that everything is fine.  We were not created to handle these problem alone.  Let’s bring an honest offering to God.  Let’s bring our unfiltered lives into the light; even our most overwhelming problems.

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2 Responses to Overcoming Overwhelming

  1. LeRoy Dean April 6, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    Amen!

  2. Cindy Holman April 7, 2011 at 10:39 pm #

    So good, Doug. I completely agree 🙂

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