Not Overwhelmed

I am still reading through the book of Isaiah, so my thoughts come from Chapter 43 verses 1&2, thinking about what overwhelms me and what consumes me.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire, you shall not be burned and the flame shall not consume you”

So What is It that overwhelms us? What is it that consumes us?

There is actually a lot in life that can threaten to overwhelm us – personal sorrow and tradegy, sickness, bereavement, disappointment, responsibility, busyness. Like most people I have had my share of these things, I have wept and wept till nothing is left, I have been so crushed by despair that I thought I would never rise again, so burdened by responsibility that it has been hard to think straight. And yet here is God in His Word saying that when we pass through these things we will not be overwhelmed.?  Perhaps it is in the midst of it, we feel we are overwhelmed, but actually when we have “passed through “, we realise that actually we have got through, we have survived, we actually haven’t been overwhelmed to the point of being totally drowned by it.?

I wonder too what it is we allow to consume us? When we are going through the fire, the trials, the adversity, the hard times do we allow them to refine us? Or do we allow resentment, bitterness, disappointments to consume us? I know for myself I would by nature give in to self-pity and allow that to consume me. It would be in my waking thought, “poor me”, “no-one else has to go through what I am going through” , etc. That can then lead to resentment and bitterness and also self-justification- I am the way I am because of what I have been through, because of hurts and disappointments, I display those bad behaviours because I have been hurt. Oh, I can get into a big negative pity party all of my own making!

For me then I have to catch myself before I get to that stage. Really it has to start as soon as I am feeling overwhelmed. I have to surrender all those things over which I have no control and which would threaten to overwhelm me. By surrendering at that stage and trusting at that stage then God steps in and I remember that He is the One who has said “I will be with you”. And because He is with me I won’t be overwhelmed. His grace is sufficient for me.

And because I have surrendered those things ,I can then place my trust in God, and that means I trust Him with His plans, the outcome and also the process and when I do that then all those negative thoughts and feelings will not then consume me!

Through the fire, the trials & testings of life the flames will not consume me. If I remain in grace then these things will not leave me scarred, bitter, resentful, unforgiving, cynical, hardened, but as I hand over each trial, each flame that licks at me then grace will see me through and I will not be consumed, I will not be overwhelmed, but rather refined, purified, shaped to be more like grace.


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