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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Taking on too much

Have you ever been super overwhelmed?  Anyone reading this, most likely has at some point in their life.  That maxed out feeling when you feel like you are drowning, like you can't do it all and there's no way out.  No one really understands because they aren't you, at least that's what you tell yourself.  It's too much!  Why does God expect me to do all this?  Lies fill our minds. 

A few weeks ago when we were out hauling trees for Carpenter ( I wrote about it last Friday), I looked up from my work and saw one of my littler boys, Tank, trying to haul a cedar tree that was bigger than me.  He was struggling and tears were streaming down his face.  I didn't ask him but I'm pretty sure that he was thinking some of the same things I do when I'm in the middle of an overwhelming task.

Why do I have to do this all by myself?  Why isn't anyone helping?  I always get the biggest tasks.  If everyone would help me, then I wouldn't have to struggle with this alone.

What Tank didn't realize is we WERE all working together.  We were all doing the same task.  I didn't ask him to haul that tree alone.  I wouldn't have ever thought he should do that.  It was a task for someone bigger and stronger.  It was his agenda not mine.  He never asked for help either.

When we are overwhelmed, I believe that it's because we have taken too much on, or because we didn't plan well, which includes the first one.  There are other reasons, like not falling fully on Him and not taking time to read His word and get His perspective.

First let's start with Tank's first thought - that he was alone.  Now, we were all working on the same thing, in the same area.  He could see us and we could see him.  He wasn't alone, but in the middle of his back-breaking (literally) labor, he couldn't "see" us. 

Sort of like Elijah, the prophet, hiding in a cave, saying to the Lord, "I'm the only one left.  Everyone else is worshipping Baal, but not me."  So God said to him, "Get up and go stand on the mountain."  And that's when we see God, not in the earthquake or the fire, but in the gentle blowing.  And then God says, "There are 7,000 who have not bowed the knee to Baal."   

God's sort of saying, "Get up and stop whining and get a reality check."  Elijah wasn't living in reality.  He was telling himself lies, and God gave him the facts.  He did it a lot nicer than I do as a mom though.

Next, we tend to think that God gives us too big of tasks.  "Why did God give this job to me? It's too huge!"  If he were telling himself the truth, Tank would've realized that I never asked him to get THAT tree.  There were a lot of others, but he tried to take on too much.   There were plenty of trees that came as high as his waist, or were as tall as him that he could have easily dragged to the gulley.  He was telling himself more lies.

Think of Mary and Martha, Mary is wandering around grumbling because no one was helping her (Ahem, Mary!!!!!).  I think (it's not in Scripture) that Mary had decided that things needed to be perfect and lavish for Jesus.  Jesus didn't ask her to do that, but she thought it would be wonderful.  Then after she'd gotten herself in deep, she realized this job "He'd" given her was way too much to do alone.

Last, Tank was wondering why no one was helping.  He never said to anyone, "Hey, let's go tackle that huge tree over there and haul it down here.  Is anyone willing to help?  It's too big for me alone, but I think if we work together we could manage it."  No, he went and started hauling it on his own and had tears streaming down his cheeks, with his mouth firmly shut.  He wasn't going to ask for help even when he knew he was in too deep.

We do this too all the time.  How many times am I in the kitchen, grumbling "When are they all going to come help?  I never asked them for help, or asked if they would like to be a part of making a big meal.  Nope, just started it and got in too deep.  Jesus talks of a man counting the cost before taking on a project.  This is where planning is key. 

As much as possible assess the task you are considering taking on, and decide if you need help or not.  Recruit help. Not everyone feels obligated to do the same things that we want to do or feel called to do.  That is fine.  They have their own responsibilities and we need not condemn them because they aren't called to do our job. 

And what about when things get heavy, loads you didn't know that you would be expected to bear.  Mom's cancer, a sick child, a fire, financial burden that you didn't place on yourself.  Then we can rely on the fact that He doesn't place to much on our shoulders.  We need to fall heavily on Him and trust that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  Spend time thinking of His words to us, and reading His word, calling out to Him.  He will lift you up and maybe not remove the burden, but walk with you (or carry you) through it.


That's just my two cents. :)

Making the most of today,
Steph


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