It’s literally been a month since I’ve posted. The reason may seem strange to you … it certainly has felt that way to me. It’s because I made an exchange with my Heavenly Father … I gave Him my thoughts and feelings of being overwhelmed in exchange for Him giving me contentment. Pretty good deal don’t you think?
As I sat down to write today, I started off by trying to ask for forgiveness for not having written for so long. My Heavenly Father was having no part of that. Instead He asked me questions.
- Question: Have your focus and energy been spent on what I have put in front of you? Answer: Yes Father.
- Question: Did I not promise you the gift of contentment in exchange for being overwhelmed? Answer: Yes Father
- Question: Then why would you need to ask my forgiveness for living as I’ve instructed in the moment and accepting my gift?
Answer: Ohhhhhh …. because I thought I was supposed to do more, do “it” all.
Lesson learned: part of being content is being in the moment. Being still in your spirit to ask and then listen for what it is in this moment on which Your Heavenly Father wants you to focus and not beating yourself up for “not doing more”.
May I fill you in on how all this started a month ago?
The last weekend of November is Thanksgiving here in America. I’d taken the entire week off from work hoping to be refreshed to start the holiday season combined with a very heavy workload at my job. The last 2 days of my time off, I ended up with a stomach virus that left me feeling, weak, drained and …. you guessed it, overwhelmed at the thought of everything “to do”.
Enter Jesus with a dream after my first day back to work. As I journaled the dream I named it “Broken iPhone” because in the dream I fall and land on my phone in my pocket. It breaks but I still try to use it [yes, sometimes I am a slow learner 😉 ]. How many of you rely on your smart phone quite a bit? Can you guess where we’re going here?
Bottom line – very succinctly Jesus showed me the reason I was feeling so overwhelmed is because I’ve been relying on what is in my hands – the phone in my dream and in real life my skills and resources, to try to meet all the demands in my life and when for some strange reason that doesn’t work, I berate myself. Definitely room for improvement in my modus operandi, don’t you think?
My prayer was simple, reveal me to me Jesus.
What follows is my journal entry of His answer:
Well You were very quick to answer Jesus. Thank You. I heard You tell me to go to John 8, The Voice translation. As I was pulling it up I was thinking I need to repent of relying so heavily on my own resources and not You, Jesus. What I found was the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery (verses 1-12). Yes, I’ve been “caught in the act” of relying on my own resources. My own will has been making the choice to cast stones and to condemn me. But You, Jesus, YOU do not condemn me. Here is what You ask of me
Well, I do not condemn you either;
all I ask is that you go and from now on
avoid the sins that plague you.
On another occasion, Jesus spoke to the crowds again.
I am the light that shines through the cosmos;
if you walk with Me,
you will thrive in the nourishing light
that gives life and will not know darkness.
John 8:11-12 The Voice
You reminded me Jesus of the prior afternoon when I had been condemning myself for feeling there is no way I could keep up with the demands. I had used the big bat of “I can do all things through Christ who strengthen’s me” to reprimand myself. As soon as I’d swung that bat, I heard You, Holy Spirit, clarify for me “all things does not mean everything”. Say what? So I looked up Phil 4:12-13 to see what I was missing:
I know how to survive in tight situations,
and I know how to enjoy having plenty.
In fact, I have learned how to face any circumstances:
fed or hungry, with or without.
I can be content in any and every situation
through the Anointed One who is my power and strength.
Philippians 4:12-13 – The Voice
There it was …. I am not condemned by Jesus plus He is offering me contentment in ALL situations rather than being overwhelmed. How do I accept? By walking with Jesus in every moment; thriving in the nourishing light of His presence; so that regardless of circumstance I’m attuned to the Annointed One who is my power and strength. Pretty different perspective than what I’d had that Jesus expected me to do everything. Can I get a Whoop! Whoop!
My perspective definitely changed. I’ve been expectant of “contentment” and that has opened my eyes (physically and the eyes of my heart) to see Jesus’ provision and to be willing to act and to do things differently in order to receive what Jesus is providing.
What do I mean by “willing to act and to do things differently”?
For me it looked like actually telling those around me that I will help them, but it won’t be immediately. It looked like me asking my boss if I could “leave early” after working a solid 10 hours because I had come in very early to run an event, but it was still not time for the office to close. That allowed me time to invest in me and prepare for the next day long day. It looked like giving myself permission to rest in front of my Christmas tree after long days rather than spend several hours writing on my blog.
I must admit I was surprised that it took action my part to receive the promise and provision of contentment. At that moment of revelation, I saw a deed. Contentment is mine, but I have to take hold and enter in. Like having the deed to a house, a place to dwell. If I don’t appropriate the house, enter-in, see the possibilities, live in it or steward it wisely I do not benefit from it. Seems pretty simple looking from that perspective, but I’ve not quite internalized it like this before.
I’m thinking I’m not alone feeling overwhelmed in this holiday season. I have very good news! There is hope. Jesus has a great offer to exchange being overwhelmed for being content. Guaranteed. And, it’s an unlimited offer.
Care to join me in front of my tree and receive the gift of contentment from the Christ child?