A 'God Nod' for the Harried, Stressed Out and Overwhelmed

Monday morning started out with the promise of an awful-terrible-no-good-very-bad week. I was still in bed and already I was near tears in stress over the list of things I needed and wanted to do over the next two days. Not even twelve hours earlier I had crowed to a room full of family that know me better than I know myself that I was much improved in the area of jam packing my days. My husband reacted skeptically and I was almost offended. Fast forward to the very next morning and here I am freaking out over my "to do" list.

My husband proved that God exists that fateful morning. John isn't much of bible reader so when I walked back into the bedroom and saw him with his bible open I had to ask "So what is going on here?" He explained that he was trying what his Mom mentioned doing...asking God for help and just opening the bible. I know God had to have whispered to him to get that bible open...which renewed my faith even if that had been it for the day. He frowned at the unexciting pages he had turned to, apologized and said "Maybe you can find something here, I dunno..." I just love this man.

I already felt better just from his thoughtfulness. He was trying to encourage me in the language I like by seeking a biblical solution. I may not agree with a lot of the Bible, but I sure do know what they mean by calling it the 'living word'. Unfortunately I believe it is alive because it often smacks me in the face with truth about myself I would rather not know!

I took a look at the pages, not expecting much from boring old Jeremiah. Maybe Psalms or Proverbs or my favorite Ephesians could have a good word for me, but not...OH WAIT...as I skimmed chapter two I started to see lots of things relevant to my stress that morning. Kind of like the hidden eye pictures you have to stare at to see the secret picture, I started to see way more than I could have imagined. I started to laugh ruefully and read aloud to John, "Do not run until your feet are bare and your throat is dry." We both smiled. "Does that sound like anyone around here?" I decided to cancel some things on my list that morning and spend some time studying this chapter.

I was hurting in the areas of busyness, gluttony and trying (but failing) to improve myself. Here is what God said to me through Jeremiah chapter two. I truly hope this helps you in your crazy life too.

Verse 5 "They worshiped worthless idols, only to become worthless themselves."

I realized I stay busy to feel important, to take advantage of all the fun out there in life and to feel like I am earning my keep as a stay at home mom. In all my busyness and bother I was wrung out and strung out and no good to anyone.

V. 19 "Your wickedness will bring its own punishment. Your turning from me will shame you."

I realized that while I wouldn't call my choices "wicked" they did end up punishing me because I was so wiped out I was unable to keep my commitment to run with my Dad or serve at the Food Pantry. I also hurt my husband by being a stressball instead of enjoying breakfast with him. When I loose the perspective I gain from spending regular time with God, I am much better at screwing my life up in big and small ways.

V.21 "How did you grow into this corrupt vine?"

Again, I think 'corrupt' is a bit harsh, but I had to take a hard look at how this crazy week happened. I realized all the individual items on my "to do" list were innocent on their own, but when lumped together into two days it was too much. My view had been too short sighted, I needed to step back and look at the bigger picture.

v.23 "You say 'That's not true! I haven't worshiped the image of Baal!' But how can you say that?...Face the awful sins you have done."

God is talking about idol worship here, which I am guilty of when I put myself first in an arrogant way, when I choose to eat food that makes me feel and look unhealthy, when I gossip or judge other people. Our human nature practically requires us to deny any guilt the first time around. Remember me, the girl who the night before was bragging how much better I was about over scheduling my life? Yeah. That was me. Now I do not feel this is an 'awful' sin but it is hard to face reality, even when it is this obvious.

I learned so much from this one 'boring' chapter in the bible...but my favorite, the verse that needs no interpretation was Jeremiah, chapter two verse 25:

"Do not run until your feet are bare and your throat is dry."

Anyone else so frantically busy you have run your shoes right off your feet? I sure would love to know I am not alone!