I've said it several times in recent days; sometimes helping those in need is challenging. Some wounds are so deep, so disturbing. Some needs are So Big.
I remember a song from childhood:
My God is So Big
So Strong and So Mighty
There's Nothing My God
My class of 3 year olds love to point at each other (and me) and holler the final phrase:
There is comfort in that long held truth, though I know that moving forward towards healing is daunting for some and others need a great deal of intervention to get free.
Setting foot on the path to wellness sometimes requires help from outside ourselves. Yet God IS capable of providing every resource needed. My role is to be the light- for there is only ONE who is the healer.
Perspective and self care is imperative when faced with the overwhelming and nature is a balm when I am troubled by what is beyond my scope.
Behind our neighborhood is an undeveloped area, and I burn off stress as I exercise in places where I have a clear view of trees and the hills beyond. I walk quickly, reciting Psalm 121:
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
Sometimes I speak the refrain over and over, until I can truly release and take a deep, cleansing breath.
My mindset in past seasons been to see challenges as a mountain to be scaled. Once I reached the top of the mountain, I thought, I would figure out how to find that magic formula for balancing family life, ministry, work, and self care.
Yet now, I see the goal is NOT finding the formula to make all things right. The goal is to walk with Jesus along the topsy turvy path.
I've been blessed to contribute to a few book projects by Jocelyn Green, the most recent of which is a reminder that life is unruly: Free To Lean: Making Peace With Your Lopsided Life.
A re-framing of my thought process is often necessary. My mug from Jocelyn says, "God never asked us to do it all."
Relief. I can let myself off the hook. No perfection needed.
So I work to embrace climbing the metaphorical mountain, the goal being moment by moment closeness with God.
After all, I love a good hike. My most recent mountain trek took me off the beaten trail, in the Alaskan wilderness. I never did make it to the summit, yet I learned it's challenging and exciting to make a new path- as long your Guide knows where you're going.
There may be steep inclines, deep ditches of mud, and fallen trees. Places where I need help from outside myself. Yet if my Guide is True, and Wise, and Loving, then I have all I need.
So, when the climb is treacherous, and the hurdles difficult, I look to my Source, who finds joy in pouring all out that is needed, as I bring concerns to Him.
Psalm 28:7 in the NIV and Voice versions reflect the process:
The Eternal is my Source, my strength, and my shield in this chaotic world. Learning to release and rest in Him gives Him freedom to draw me- and those I seek to help-- towards deeper peace.