Feeling overwhelmed

Wendy Young, of Christian Aid Scotland, writes about the experience of feeling overwhelmed, particularly in the context of contemporary digital communication. On the one hand it keeps us more connected than ever but it also bombards us with emails, alerts, and notifications - it is easy to feel overwhelmed but there is comfort to be found in identifying with the gritty, flawed lives of Biblical characters and our creator God who wants to partner with us.

Readings

  • Keep my steps steady according to your promise,

    and never let iniquity have dominion over me.
    Redeem me from human oppression,
    that I may keep your precepts.
    Make your face shine upon your servant,
    and teach me your statutes.
    My eyes shed streams of tears
    because your law is not kept

    Psalm 119: 133-136
    NIV
  • We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

    Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

    Romans 8: 22-27
    NIV
  • At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, ‘Ask what I should give you.’ And Solomon said, ‘You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant my father David, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart towards you; and you have kept for him this great and steadfast love, and have given him a son to sit on his throne today. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern this your great people?’

    It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this.

    1 Kings 3: 5-10
    NIV
  • Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

    Romans 12: 21
    NIV

Prayers

  • Deep breath in, deep breath out

    When opinions and expectations

    press in on every side

    when unrealistic demands of duty

    deny fullness of life

    when the to-do list is never-ending

    and nothing ever satisfies

    May your face shine upon us and

    May we cling to your Word of life.

    When advertising shouts at us

    telling us what is lacking in our lives

    when blatant lies and deceit

    are now false truth and alternative facts

    when instagram, facebook and twitter

    show us what we are missing out on

    When news alerts light up our phone

    with updates of conflicts, terror and tragedy

    May your face shine upon us and

    May we cling to your Word of life.

    When regret and unfulfilled dreams

    dilute our contentment and joy

    When friends and loved ones

    have gone, leaving us all alone

    When for whatever reason

    our eyes shed streams of tears

    May your face shine upon us and

    May we cling to your Word of life.

    Deep breath in, deep breath out…

  • Thank you, God

    Thank you, God,

    for the strange comfort to be found

    in knowing of the weakness and vulnerability

    of the Old Testament prophets, priests and kings,

    of their crises of confidence in themselves and

    at times, even in you.

    Thank you, God,

    for the deep comfort to be found in your words

    “Ask what I should give you”

    And the hope that even though we may feel out of our depth

    You do not call us to a task without also

    resourcing us with what we need.

    Thank you, God,

    for the great comfort

    that you know our potential

    that you know us,

    that we are fearfully and wonderfully made

    Help us to believe as you do,

    in the goodness of your creation

    and so share your gifts as the world has need.

    Amen.

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