overcoming what is overwhelming

There are times in my experience where life seems nothing short of overwhelming. When the tasks at hand seem difficult at best. And sometimes due to mechanical machinery issues along with the pace in which we work the job is quite challenging, though most of the time we figure out a way through the problems. And by and large either way by God’s grace we regularly do well.

Add to this the issues of life which we face. Seasons when it is especially heavy and a burden. In which we can hardly carry on without crying out in our hearts, a sense of quiet (or not so quiet) desperation.

I have this kind of experience regularly. I tend to experience life as something which seems overwhelming. More than I can bear. I used to kind of wonder if I would make it; if maybe somehow I would fall apart inside, have some kind of breakdown.

What has surely helped me through the years in this is to be in the word and along with that to pray such as I have (which is not enough, though I hope and trust I’m growing in prayer). I’m not sure how many people out there experience something of the same on a fairly regular basis. My wife doesn’t and from what I gather there’s a good number of people who don’t. On the other hand some seem to, at least during certain times in their lives. For me it has been largely ongoing for many years, even decades.

A key for me over and over again is to simply come to that resolve to accept it, if not embrace it. Accepting it means I don’t try to fight it off or wish it away, or even pray it away, though prayer is probably always good to do at any time. What I want to work on is just how I accept it. I want to do so with joy, choosing to rejoice in the Lord always. And so one of the passages I want to focus on right now is the book of Philippians. I have learned the lesson rather well to accept the sense of being overwhelmed (or close to it), though every time I face it, it takes a bit of time for me to get to the acceptance part. What I haven’t learned yet is to rejoice during those times. Even when my inward being would cry out otherwise.

This is an embrace no less of an inner experience which is in keeping with what we are called to in Jesus, as his followers and people of God’s kingdom, the fulfillment of Israel. We are blessed as the poor in spirit, as those who mourn, the meek, and so on. Hopefully something of what we experience is an actual participation with Christ in his sufferings, because of our witness to the world of him. For me this is likely nothing more than the unhappiness expressed by a spirit (or spirits) over my desire to follow Christ. We hardly face any persecution here, as do brothers and sisters in other places in the world.

And so we go on. In and through Christ through any number of things. More than conquerors through him who loved and loves us. Together in this in Jesus for the world.