walking uphill

The Lord is my strength and my shield. I need to remind myself of this.  There are days when everything I have to do is basically pushing a rock up a hill. A really steep hill. The effort is almost too great for me. The journey is just taking too long. Does it have to be this difficult all the time?  I also have days when I am sledding downhill with the wind in my hair… but for some reason, those days go by so quickly I barely notice them. It’s the rock-pushing days that wear me down.

And of course, those difficult days can turn into difficult weeks which can turn into difficult years. Difficult seasons. Maybe you are in one right now. Dealing with an aging parent, or a colicky newborn, or trying to save a financially burdened company. I’ve been there in all those places.  I struggle with chronic pain and some physical limitations that make what used to be simple tasks complicated.

The Lord is my strength and my shield!

What I have learned when the burden gets too big — is to retreat back to God. Because he is our strength. For those of you that read my blogs, you probably know that is my go-to answer. But it really is the best answer. We really can’t do life effectively without God’s help. Maybe some people can. But I can’t.

So I know when I am exhausted and frustrated and fearful — it’s because I am relying on my own strength instead of God’s. I might have to step out of the way of that gigantic rock and let it go. I might be surprised that others will step in. I might discover that it was never my rock to be rolling up the hill anyway. Without God’s guidance, I won’t know and I will just keep blindly struggling on. But after spending time with HIm, I usually find the perspective I need to tackle what seems too big and overwhelming.

He tells us again and again in scripture to give Him our burdens. To cast our cares on Him. The only part we are responsible for is to trust Him and to have faith.

If you are tired today or overwhelmed or feeling hopeless, slow down your expectation of what you wanted to happen and let God carry the load for a while. Call a friend.  Listen to some music. Write your frustrations and fears in a journal. Take a walk outside. Make a list of all the good things that are happening right now. Thank God that you have a house that needs to be cleaned when others have no home. Praise God for that child that needs your attention. There are many who yearn for children and have none. Be thankful that you have a job that gives you a paycheck, a car that (mostly) runs. That you can do the things you can do. I have some difficulty walking long distances. But one of my closest friends can’t walk at all.

A little perspective can help bring the problem back down to size. I also know that no season lasts forever. Colicky babies grow up to be teenagers (!). Struggles at work can lead to promotions and a whole new level of struggles. The time spent with aging parents will seem even more precious when they are gone.  Every day has its difficulties and it’s joys. Focus on the joys and let God handle the rest.