The following post is a collaboration with our featured guest writer, Benjamin Pearson. As a recent graduate of Bethel University, Benjamin brings a fresh perspective on what it’s like to seek the Lord while facing overwhelming trouble and sorrow.
Are there any creatures on earth that make future plans, besides humans? I wonder if migratory birds spend their days planning for the long flights they take when the seasons change. I’ve watched squirrels prepare for winter by burying acorns, but they just seem a little too random as they go about it.
I like to have things planned out. The more organized my schedule, the more confident and productive I am. I like to have everything lined up before I move forward. When this summer started, I had my week, month, six month, and one year plans organized. Planning seems to bring me peace and security. It’s my way of managing the future. Like they say, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
But the Bible warns us in James 4:13-14, “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.“
I guess the reality of that word hit home this summer. Without warning, my wonderful plans were completely destroyed. Instead of going home after work I found myself in the emergency room with my mother. She was having seizures from an aggressive brain tumor. Now she’s facing a very intricate surgery with so many uncertainties and complications.
I’m feeling nervous and worried. My mother’s crisis sent me into chaos, and I feel as though a rug has been pulled out from under my feet. Where did my peace go? My well thought-out plans are gone, like they never existed.
I believe I can identify with those around me who have feelings of fear, doubt, uncertainty, and pain. We’re somehow all in this thing together, sharing a common bond as we search for some level of stability and certainty. And oddly enough, I’m most overwhelmed when I’m looking to myself for those things. When I find myself in a whirlwind, the last thing I should do is be my own anchor. There must be someplace I can go to find shelter and peace from the storm.
So how do I overcome the overwhelming? Where do I find rescue in the midst of trouble? Quite simply, I give up.
No, I literally give up. It’s not in my own strength, and I give up trying to rescue myself. I am learning instead to use the ultimate 911 call for help. Not the actual 911 phone call, but the Psalm 91:1 message of assurance: “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.“
Like it says in that same psalm, my deliverance is just one 911 call away:
Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.
Please ‘like’ and ‘share’ this post as you find it helpful and inspiring. Thank you.