“One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:6, NIV)
Overwhelmed. When God spoke this word to me, I agreed. Yes, Lord, I am indeed overwhelmed. I need to stop being so overwhelmed with everything that is going on in my life. I need to cut back so I’m not spread so thin. I’m too emotional and too messy. It sounded like a good plan to me. Let’s get out the schedule, begin erasing and start saying “no”. However, that wasn’t what He meant. One day, the Holy Spirit whispered, “You have a choice. A choice about what you are going to be overwhelmed by”.
What? Not a choice about what is on the schedule? A choice about my attitude? This overwhelming season is exactly where you want me? But it’s too much and I’m not enough. Obviously, I’m doing something wrong. If I am truly where You want me to be, this season wouldn’t be so hard or so impossible, and I wouldn’t feel so inept.
My patient, merciful Father painted a very clear picture:
Jennifer, are you going to be overwhelmed by your circumstances? Or, are you going to be overwhelmed by My provision in those circumstances?
He knows that I’m a strong-willed daughter who wants to do everything herself. I analyze the options, develop a plan, and carry it out. When challenges come, I plow through them. Even after years of walking with the Lord, I still rely on my own strengths. This overwhelming season is not to strengthen my muscles, improve my endurance, or demonstrate how little sleep I can function on. This season in my life is a stage for God to do amazing works that bring Him glory.
I am slowly learning to exchange my worry for praise. I worry that I don’t know enough, am too tired, am not a good enough mom for my kids, and that people think I’m unqualified. I confess there have been times when God parted a figurative Red Sea in front of me and all I could do was fret over the Egyptians breathing down my neck! Can you relate?
I’m learning to praise Jesus for the healing that He has already performed and has promised to complete. I praise Him for the honor of being His daughter and never being separated from His love. I praise Him for the provision that He established before I was even born, and his intention is not to hard me, but to bless me. He continues to show me daily how He is Father of all, over all, through all, and in all.
Jennifer Nickell-Ogden is a beloved daughter of the Creator of the universe. He has provided her opportunities in motherhood, wifedom, nursing, running, yoga, and knitting. Occasionally, she sleeps, but mostly she drinks coffee!