Yes … this sound ominous, maybe a bit depressing, and possibly overly dramatic. Well, duh! It is from the Lord of the Rings and it is supposed to be dark and dramatic. So what is drama any way? Drama –. Whose life is not full of this kind of drama?. It is what makes life interesting after all.
Thin … stretched … “like butter spread over too much bread.” This may be my favorite line from all of literature. I think I identify with this more than is healthy. How is it that I am overwhelmed so easily? It might really discourage me if I did know that I am not alone in my “overwhelmedness” (feel free to use my new word). Just a little while on Facebook or Twitter and you see scores of people who seem to be ready to throw in the towel. We have some good company. David filled the Psalm with statements like this, “Therefore my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled.” (Ps 143:4). What about Paul? “…For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself.” (2 Cor 1:8).
Certainly I am not comparing my “afflictions” with those guys. I know many of you that are living in constant pain, dealing with bad news, have lost loved ones, or are struggling with financial situations that I cannot even fathom. All over the world we are seeing people in dire situations that are beyond my comprehension. I am not persecuted, chased, or even going through anything that is outside the normal realms of life. The “bread” is not to big, I just seem to always be running out off “butter.” So why do I even mention my piddly little battle with life?
Simply because I know that I am not alone and that God has a mission for us that depends on hope!
So Paul was despairing of life in in 2 Cor 1:8 & 9, but he knew there was a lifeline:
“Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.” (2 Cor 1:9,10)
So if I am grappling with life changes, some minor health issues, or just not getting my way, I can rest in Him because I can be confident that He is going to bring about His purpose through me. It is His plan so I need to rely on Him instead of fighting.
To be honest, I have been working on this little spiel for weeks. Mostly because I am bummed about letting life get to me. Coaching, parenting, husbanding, car and pet malfunction and a touch of bronchitis filled my days. Something had to give, but my pride said I have to make it all work. I did not want to give up on my plan. The last two weeks God has been slowly replacing my disappointment with peace and restoring my hope. I am not quite there yet, but He is filling my butter dish. Can’t make a grilled cheese yet. (Mostly because my children have me on this “whole life challenge” think and I am not allowed to have any dairy products (except butter). (OK maybe I am being persecuted #lifewithoutcheese)
Anyway … all of this to say that instead of writing about completing my second marathon over the weekend, I am whining about disappointment and being stretched and spread over too much life. Stretching is growing. Training continues for an event to be announced later … if it is in His plan.