When Life Overwhelms


     The “EASY” button was a brilliant advertising idea.  It readily connects to that part of each person’s psyche which prefers life to be far less stressful and far more convenient than it is.  Because the “EASY” button is fictional, anyone feeling overwhelmed by life—crushed to the ground, dwelling in darkness, and distressed—ought not to think that there is an “EASY” button for spiritually difficult times.  But this does not mean that such times are without hope and comfort.

     David describes what he did to hang on and hang in there during life’s overwhelming periods.  He writes, “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.  I spread out my hands to You; my soul longs for You like a thirsty land. Selah” (vv. 5-6).

     Because he writes “Selah” at the end of verse six, he is indicating to us that we need to slow down, pause, reflect, and ruminate on his words.  Consider thoughtfully these three things David did when his life caved in.

  • He remembered the days of old. “To everything there is a season” (Ecclesiastes 3:1); therefore, every life has its sunny days and its gloomy days.  The patriarch Job recognized this; his wife refused to accept it (Job 2:9-10).  The apostle Paul had periods/seasons in his life in which he abounded and those in which he was abased (Philippians 4:12).  Every person who desires to live a godly life will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12).  Remembering days of old in which God gave your soul gladness is an excellent way to help you remember that “this too shall pass”.
  • He meditated on all of God’s works, pondering upon them. Quiet, focused reflection on the works of God helps to remind of Jehovah’s eternal power and Godhead.  This is my Father’s world; therefore, I know that good WILL triumph over evil.  Though I be assailed by the principalities and powers, and the rulers of the darkness of this age, and the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12), my Lord—by the working of God—has been seated at God’s right hand, “far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:20-21).  If God be for me, who can (successfully) be against me? (cf. Romans 8:31).
  • He prayed, spreading out his hands to God. It appears that the purpose of this physical posture was intended to imitate a needy child beseeching a caring adult.  What loving parent would not respond promptly to a distressed child at his/her side whose outstretched arms and frightened face indicate an intense need for comfort?  If an imperfect father would immediately embrace his terrified child and seek to succor him, how much more will your Father in heaven do this for you?!

     Persevering faith is not EASY, but it is possible.

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Author: jchowning

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