Growing Kingdom People – Overwhelmed
Today our church leadership is researching an avenue for helping a church family impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The situation is serious and will undoubtedly get worse before it gets better.
It seems no matter how much we prepare for natural disasters we are never ready for the “worse-case scenario.” When havoc strikes we quickly discover critical gaps where people failed to do their jobs. And as the water rises, figuratively or literally, we reach a point where our system are completely overwhelmed and all we can do is pray.
Not that we don’t pray all along.
But unlike action-adventure films where the hero always has one more trick up his sleeve, in real life we can run out of options. At that point we are at the mercy of nature’s fury unless God, in His providence and wisdom, chooses to intervene.
Just so you know, I believe when our options run out and we lose our lives, God is still merciful. He brings us home to live with Him for eternity and He comforts those who are left behind.
I am merely acknowledging the fact we have limits.
We can be overwhelmed.
Of course, it is possible to think we are overwhelmed while we still have options. For this reason we should not give up easily or expect others to take over when we are capable of doing more. The feeling of being overwhelmed can also come and go. Today we feel as if we have nowhere to turn. Tomorrow we wake up rested and catch our second wind.
But when we have been through our second, third and fourth wind and there is nothing left. When we have used up every resource we have. When we honestly don’t know what to do next.
We are overwhelmed.
One of the most important steps we take when we reach this place in our lives is to approach God and others with an honest assessment of our circumstances. Admitting we need help doesn’t come easily for most of us. Letting others help is even harder. If you have ever had to rely on others when you were overwhelmed you know first-hand how humbling it is to let someone else care for your needs.
It can be embarrassing.
Our privacy is invaded.
Word gets out.
And we are sometimes concerned we will never be able to repay people for the things they do.
But here’s a piece of good news, should you ever find yourself overwhelmed: Most of the people who will reach out to help you have been overwhelmed themselves. That’s right. In my experience, the vast majority of those who will drop everything they are doing to make sure someone else is taken care of in a time of need have personal experience in the realm of the overwhelmed.
So should it ever happen to you, don’t be crushed by the fact you need others. There are probably people around you who have been waiting for an opportunity to share the mercy God has shown them with others.
This is the way God grace travels down the line. We freely give what we have received, and one day you will have an opportunity to help someone else going through an overwhelming season.
Pray for the good people in Texas. Some of them have already reached the point where there is nowhere to turn. Ask God to be merciful toward them and to intervene in their situation and deliver them from harm.
I think of these words from a Rich Mullins song: “We are not as strong as we think we are.”
We certainly are not.