Overwhelming Times Require Quiet Places of Hope

Overwhelming Life

Hope - Let it overwhelm you! - A Studio 1-37 Original Image

Have you had an overwhelming week? Sometimes it seems that we are in overwhelming times and if you listen, read, or watch the news then it appears certain. Some days can catch us off guard and if we don’t have a plan in place on how to approach such times it can rage like a fire out of control. What do you do in times such as these? Do you have a plan when the things of this world appear hopeless? Because some days you just get sucked in, washed up, and blown over and without a plan of hope in place, relief seems impossible.

Chippie the parakeet never saw it coming. One minute he was peacefully perched in his cage. The next he found himself sucked in, washed up, and blown over. Chippie’s problems began when his owner decided to clean out his cage with the vacuum. Just as she stuck the end of the hose into the cage, the phone rang. As she turned to pick it up, suddenly she heard, “sssopp!” as Chippie was sucked in.

The bird owner gasped as she dropped the phone, turned off the vacuum, and opened the bag. There was Chippie, alive but stunned. The poor bird was covered in dust, dirt, and all the yuck the vacuum cleaner had picked up. So, in her zeal to make things right she rushed Chippie to the bathroom. There she rapidly turned on the faucet and proceeded to hold Chippie under the water to rinse him off. Then she realized that the poor bird was now both soaked and shivering. So, she did what any compassionate bird owner would do…she reached for the hairdryer and blasted the poor pet with hot air. Poor Chippie never knew what hit him.

Recovering with Hope

A few days later after the trauma, the owner was asked how the bird was recovering. “Well,” she replied, “Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore, he just sits and stares.” (Lucado, 1991) When life comes at you hard it can steal the song from even the strongest among us. Therefore, it is important to have a plan in place.

“There are no hopeless situations: there are only people who have grown hopeless about them,” said Clare Boothe Luce. When we chose to place all our hope in God, we have a plan in place to help us get through the overwhelming times of life. Chippie got through his most challenging day, but he didn’t seem to find relief. Perhaps he was so stunned that he was simply waiting for the next bad thing to happen, the proverbial “other shoe to drop.” He didn’t find relief simply because his problem was resolved.

The problem with problems is that they simply don’t end. We can’t find true relief when a problem is resolved because there will always be more problems on the horizon. True relief can only come when we hold an enduring hope in God and His ultimate salvation. It is only here that we can find our trials resolved. When we place God in control it allows us to wait patiently for Him to rescue us. This means coming to Him not just first but regularly in the quiet to express not only our concerns but our thanks. It is in this place that we can faithfully recognize His enduring power.

Never Giving Up

The Bible is all about how God never gives up on us even though we quickly dismiss Him when overwhelming times seem to take over our life. God doesn’t pick and choose favorites or only listen and act with devoted followers. He is all about second chances just look at Jonah, Jacob, Peter, and Paul to name a few. When the first time didn’t go so well the Word came again. There is power in words, especially God’s and this is the place of hope. But even in our words, we can help turn lives around by offering others the key to hope. This gift of love is one that shouldn’t be kept secret and it is one that we must share until all know how to find overwhelming hope in an overwhelming life.

Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him.

Psalm 62:5 (NLT)

When we live a life that seeks God daily in the quiet, we learn to trust Him even when life is not overwhelming us. As we build a relationship with Him, we learn that He can change our entire outlook on life as God becomes our rock, fortress, and salvation. Prayer is our connection with God. And it can release our tensions in times of emotional stress. But if we come to God daily in the quiet, our relationship will constantly and consistently deepen. This allows us to step back and trust Him to act always in our best interest.

Begin with God and Seal Your Plan

Revivalist, Vance Havner told a story about an elderly lady who was greatly disturbed by her many problems, both real and imaginary. Finally, after listening to her grumble and fret for years, her grandson told her, “Grandma, we’ve done all we can for you. You’ll just have to trust God for the rest.” With a look of absolute despair spread across her face, she replied, “Oh dear has it come to that?” Havner comments, “It always comes to that, so we might as well begin with that!”

Life can be overwhelming even in the best of times which is why it is so important that you spend time each day in the quiet with God. It is here that you find the enduring rock of hope that gets you through all times. Won’t you take the challenge today to spend a few moments in the quiet with God? Just allowing Him to speak while you listen. Allow your convictions to be firmly rooted in the Bible and the God that offers second chances and more to everyone. Seek your motivation in knowing that when you develop a deeper relationship with God daily, you store up your hope for when life is overwhelming you. Lastly seek your comfort in knowing that if God is for you, who can ever be against you. (Romans 8:31)

Beat the overwhelm by allowing hope to overwhelm you instead.

For hope is taking hold of God, holding onto Him, and not letting go!

Love in Christ,

E.J.

Postscript

Effective prayer is the fruit of a relationship with God, not a technique for acquiring blessings.

D.A. Carson

Extra Study

Psalm 33:20; 37:39, Jonah 3:10, 1 Corinthians 7:29- 31

What are your thoughts?

Do you spend time with God daily in the quiet to build your relationship with Him? Have you experienced the power of God in overwhelming times? Share your thoughts and the benefits of allowing hope to overwhelm you, instead of life.

Join the Discussion!

Lucado, M. (1991). In the Eye of the Storm. Nashville: Word Publishing.

How God is working through your life?