At this very moment, as I write, I lose count of the number of people I know and love that are facing challenges and trials in life that break my heart. Some are battling cancer—again. Some find themselves fighting the malice of others just to stay employed. Some cannot seem to catch a break financially. Some are weighed down by the sorrow of their children. Some overcome one obstacle only to find themselves confronted with yet another. Some are just trying to put their lives back together again after losing everything and—it sometimes seems—everyone. The harsh realities of life can be cold and heartless. They remind us daily that life is not fair. And yet, regardless, we feel overwhelmed by these burdens, overwhelmed at the challenge of having to start over yet again, and overwhelmed by the heartache we feel for loved ones whom we cannot help as we would like. These may seem like generic words, but only because they respect the privacy of people living with the details.
Situations such as these are humbling—not only to those involved, but also to all those who wish to help and yet feel so helpless. Sadly, it is only when confronted with the desperation of our own smallness that we truly come to appreciate the grandeur of God. We can only do so much, you and I, to solve a problem, to propose a solution, to offer counsel. The longer I live the more often it seems like I have less advice to offer people in their struggles and the more I simply promise to pray. They are overwhelmed, and so am I. But that simple recognition provides the bridge to a greater faith.
When David found himself in a circumstance too difficult to bear, he too felt the emotional weight of his situation and came to the same conclusion. “Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psa. 61:1-2). These words, both beautiful and powerful, offer hope to all who have endured a similar experience. When your heart is overwhelmed, remember that others have been there too—frustrated, emotional, and unsure of what to do next. Remember, like David, to pray your heart out. Do not be afraid to open up to God about your fears, because He knows them already. Pray with a confidence that He does listen, that He does care, and that He can help. Most of all, remember that you cannot do it all on your own. Your own resources can only take you so far. That is the beauty of David’s request, “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” There are times when the pathway out of darkness and despair is murky and unclear, but God can provide what you need to rise above the fray and emerge from the darkness to find peace, safety, and serenity once more.
We are all overwhelmed by our circumstances from time to time. We all have to suffer and endure pain—physical, emotional, and spiritual—as we journey through life. But God is never overwhelmed. He can handle all our problems, calm all our fears, and lift all our burdens. When I think of all the pain that those close to me are having to endure, it hurts so deeply that I cannot do more to help, but I am so thankful that I serve a God who can.