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ZMI Family Ministries International > Articles by: Amy Horton

When Life Overwhelms Us

“Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
Matthew 14: 22-23, NIV

I’ve recently thought about all the “hats” that a mom wears. Wouldn’t it be something if we tried to wear them all at once?  Our responsibilities are myriad. As a chef, we don an apron for our cooking role. We put on fashion wear to meet the beauty standards we’re held to. We could carry a children’s book to show how we should be reading to our children, with a robe over the whole mess for the romance we need to put into our marriage. Wait!  We also need a checklist and calculator to frugally stay within the household budget. Of course, we can’t forget our workout gear because we need to stay healthy. Let’s also carry a Bible for our daily devotion. I think we may need a few more hands!  A 2013, Business Insider article reported that “Based on the 10 most time consuming tasks listed by more than 6,000 mothers, Salary.com estimated it would cost $113,586 a year to replace them.”  That is a lot of responsibility!

    I could go on, and on, and on. Do you know how difficult it would be to walk around outfitted for all those different roles at the same time?  Often I become overwhelmed with the expectations placed on me. Instead of looking to Christ, who promises his yoke is easy and his burden is light, I put a magnifying glass on my own life and my own problems. Can you relate?  The problem is self-focus.

    How identifiable Peter is to me. He so desperately wants to be close to God and the work He’s doing.  But he becomes overwhelmed by his own earthly circumstances and physical limitations. Jesus responds immediately and catches Peter’s hand, reminding him of His power right away. He asks why Peter doubted. I suspect it’s a gentle reminder to keep the focus on Jesus instead of the circumstances that so easily overwhelm us.

    This week, keep your eyes on the real priority, Jesus. All those other pieces fall into place when I’m focused on Jesus’ perspective. He will immediately reach out to help me.  And when my faith falters, I’ll just trust Him, a life preserver in the middle of an ocean.

In Him,

Amy

God won’t give you anything more than He can handle.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9

    We’ve all heard the phrase, “God won’t give you anything more than you can handle.” Maybe we’ve even been told it’s in the Bible. Nothing could be farther from the truth. This little ‘gem’ gets passed around like a bad penny. It may be my least favorite saying in the English language!

When I’ve encountered difficult times in my life people have shared that little phrase in order to cheer me up or give me confidence that God wouldn’t possibly let me be so oppressed. I usually feel defeated when I hear it. It makes me feel like I’m failing, that I need to ‘bear up’ and ‘deal’ with whatever difficult or horrible thing God has chosen to let me experience. Weakness and failure are often mingled with my thoughts of grief. It makes me feel alone, that God is torturing me with a test to endure without His help.  The simple fact is that if I were able to handle the situation by myself, I wouldn’t need God!

Let’s look at some of the promises God actually gives us in the Bible: God will see our human weakness and meet us there; in the broken places, in the defeat, in the failures. In grief we all feel we’re not enduring well enough. That’s where God shows His power.  He knows we’re human, that’s no surprise to the God who made us. Godly living is about relying on Him even when we don’t understand or feel that we don’t have the strength to go on. He promises to love us, never leave us, and even take on our sorrows. The peace that God gives us often transcends understanding. That way, He gets the glory in restoring us to Himself.  In those hard places, remember God’s promises and ‘lean in’ to his strength.

If you’ve ever heard that phrase, “God doesn’t give us any more than we can handle,” Correct them! Tell them more accurately, “God doesn’t give us any more than He can handle.” In the words of Paul Tripp, “Don’t buy the false gospel of self-reliance. If you could make it without help, Jesus would not have needed to come.”

In Him,

Amy

Removing the Splinter

“Leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” 
Matthew 5: 24, NIV

I didn’t want to remove the splinter. It was glass and had lodged into my foot deeply. After a week of limping, it had to be dealt with but I was not enjoying the prospect of having to cut it out. Many Youtube videos later, having watched the proper procedure, I carefully and slowly cut into the wound according to the instructions I’d researched. Without a bright light to guide me, it would have been impossible to see that little glass splinter shining back at me. The offending object was invisible at first, painful later, and only worsened with time. The first day after I removed the glass shard I was sore, but the next day after some healing I was back to walking again!

     Recently when God called me to make some things right in relationships, I was reminded of the splinter. These offenses such as bitterness, unforgiveness, pride, are invisible at first, but become increasingly painful with time. God values living in right relationships even more than worship!  As He loves His children, He expects me to love them also.  It was obvious that carrying these offenses hindered my walk with God. He makes it clear that obedience is what he wants from us.

     The bright light of the Holy Spirit will shine brightly and show us where our trouble spots are when we are seeking Him, just as a proper light was needed to see the glass splinter. Even though we have no control over the outcome of humble apologies, I was blessed to be forgiven. The even bigger blessing was having my walk with God unhindered again!

In him,

Amy Horton

 

photo credit: https://www.freeimages.com/photographer/davidlat-56060