The feeling of overwhelm crawled up my throat and I nearly felt the physical drowning of it. Ugh, was all I could muster. Some days it all seems to cave in around me and my own emotions tumble with the news and the circumstances and the trials. The spiritual weariness seems to creep into my physical body and the need for rest seeps into not just time alone but long naps. Who has time for that anyway?
How can I escape the exasperation? The overwhelm that has taken over and threatens to drown me with the text prayer need.
Solace often comes by way of God’s Word for me. This morning was no different.
David could relate to my exasperation and God through him penned words that would be a balm to my soul all these thousands of years later.
Psalm 61 gives us such practical how-tos for handling our exasperations and overwhelming burdens.
It begins with taking it to God, dumping it all on the shoulders of the One who can handle it without any exasperation. Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint (overwhelmed in NIV). Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge; a strong tower against the enemy (Psalm 61:1-2).
Remembering we have an enemy who is pulling our ankles when we feel we are drowning is often a helpful perspective for me. I am not just being overwhelmed and exasperated but the devil who hates me is pulling me down in the struggle. It helps me get the right focused anger I need to begin to shift my aim.
When I have taken my exasperations to God, David then asks God for a fresh nearness to God. I don’t just need to pour out my heart to Him but also draw near, crawl into His lap and let my Father hold my heart and lift the burdens. Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! (Psalm 61:4)
Finally after pouring out to God and drawing near to God and sharing his heart and his desires with his Father, the psalmist closes the psalm with praise. Did he feel like praising or did he just choose to praise? I’m not sure.
There is no indication his circumstances changed so the burden remained evident but the weight of it had now been shared with the Lord and he could freely praise the name and character of God, even IN the trials. So will I ever sing praises to your name, as I perform my vows day after day. (Psalm 61:8)
Even when we cannot praise God FOR the difficult, overwhelming, exasperations we can praise Him for His character, which is His name and we can continue to walk by faith that which He has assigned for us.
Today I praise Him that I can lean on the Rock that is higher than I. I can cast my burdens on Him and draw near to my Father as I let Him share my burden. I can walk by faith into what He has called me to and keep my eyes on Him. Will you join me? What name of God is an anchor for you in exasperating seasons?
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