Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Over and Under

Vacations already seem to have faded into the haze of summer past; children are back at school; churches and ministries are gearing up their Fall programs and new seasons of ministry; college classes have started; stores are already enticing us with goods for thanksgiving and Christmas…  All the activities and responsibilities of the new season can leave us feeling already overwhelmed!
How often do you use those words?
“I feel overwhelmed.”
“I am overloaded… over-burdened… over-exhausted… overanxious… overstressed…”
 Alternatively, because of all the circumstances of life that seem to be getting on top of us, we may feel as if we are under a great weight, or even under oppression or depression. Perhaps there is tension in a relationship, and it seems that there are undercurrents. Or maybe it seems that your reputation has been unfairly tarnished, and now you feel that you are under a cloud.

Do you catch yourself thinking or saying words like these?
“I’m under so much pressure…”
“I am understaffed… under-represented... underprivileged… underrated… underestimated… underemployed… undervalued… And all I need is for someone to understand!”
God does not intend for us to live overwhelmed, overstressed, under pressure lives. This is what Jesus said about it: “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew11:28 – 30).
“Come to Me…” That is the first step towards freedom from feeling overwhelmed and under pressure. When we come to Him, we find a place of stillness and peace, a place of confidence and strength. We find the reality of His promise: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27).
He is the Prince of Peace, the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God! He can certainly command peace in our lives and circumstances – if we submit ourselves to His sovereignty, rather than being governed by our circumstances.
When we come to Him, we also discover that the Bible promises that rather than being overwhelmed these things that are over us instead:
His banner over us is love! (Song of Solomon 2:4). A banner both signifies victory, and sends an announcement to the rest of the world as to who you are – the beloved of the Lord, under His protection and provision!
“You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows” (Psalm 23:5). “Oil” speaks of joy and anointing!
The Lord watches over you – the Lord is your shade at your right hand” (Psalm 121:5). Nothing falls outside of His care, covering and protection.
These are just a few of the “over” scriptures in the Bible. Because of these promises to us, we are overcomers who overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13)!
The Bible also promises that instead of being under pressure, these things that are under us instead:
“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27). He carries us through whatever circumstances we might be facing!
“He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge” (Psalm 91:4). Peace, safety, comfort, strength!
“For He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care” (Psalm 95:7).
“Because You are my help, I sing in (under) the shadow of Your wings” (Psalm 63:7). Not only joyful, but carefree – free of care!
Perhaps instead of looking at the circumstances and declaring them overwhelming, we need to re-focus our attention on all that God is and all He has given us. He is far more overwhelming than any circumstance! He is capable of overwhelming any seemingly overwhelming circumstance with His power, His glory, His victory, His sovereignty, His magnificence, His radiance, His peace.
Instead of thinking and saying, “I am overwhelmed and under pressure” we will be singing, “The splendor of the King… How great is our God!” Instead of being harassed by our circumstances, we will become divine change-agents of the atmosphere and the world around us!

Repairer of Broken Walls Ministry