This hasn’t been my favorite week. It started on Monday – but then again, don’t all weeks? Yes, though this Monday was particularly challenging. My work load is and has been unmanageable. I sought relief on Monday morning, didn’t get it, and felt like I was suffocating. It was so bad … I cried in my office, contemplated quitting, and left a little after lunch to go home and hide in bed until dinner time. Bad.
And it’s been that way all week. On Tuesday I found out that the assistant I was supposed to get next week – a heavy hitter who would have taken half my workload once he was up an running – decided not to take our offer. No end in sight now!
I have felt like every day was an entire week. So stressful.
And yet I also know that God’s here with me and that He’s teaching me something through all this. For example, Dennis the Janitor came to see me randomly. He handed me his notes on something God showed him, and said he felt he was supposed to share them with me. They were titled “Stay Supernaturally Relaxed.” His reflections are based on Matthew 11:28 (Come to me all of you who are weary and heavy laden…), which has been repeatedly emphasized to me over the past year and a half. In his notes, Dennis says:
Remember Jesus said we are to come to Him when we have problems, and He will give us rest. Jesus wants us to live in a relaxed state, not tense, uptight, worried, or anxious about yesterday, today, or tomorrow. The Lord doesn’t want us to be upset with other people who aren’t doing what we want them to either (like how I was upset about not getting relief and about the assistant quitting before he even started). Jesus wants us to trust Him and relax.
Wow – that was just what I needed.
I also went to a Bible study at work in which they talked about Jesus asleep in the boat during the storm that was going to kill everyone on board. I taught on this story a couple months ago, so it caught my attention to be hearing it again. Whenever something from the Bible happens to be repeated in your life, that’s a good indication that God is trying to get your attention.
What I remembered during this Bible study is that the key to getting out of the storm you are in is to apply what Jesus has just taught you. The disciples had just received tons of teaching on faith, but when they had the opportunity to apply what they learned during the storm, they didn’t quite make the cut: “Oh, ye of little faith.”
That got me thinking – what has Jesus been teaching me lately? The main thing has been resting in His presence – having a prayer time where I am simply being quiet before Him, listening to Him, and enjoying Him. And that also was the first thing that went out the door when the storm hit this week. I was talking to Him, but not resting in His presence. Like the disciples, I was so panicked that I was waking Him up, but I forgot to go to where He was and rest with Him there.
I wonder if it would have been such a bad week if I had applied what I had learned first thing? I’m sure there will be future opportunities to apply this lesson – I know the Lord doesn’t give up on me. But for now I can say I’m glad I survived the storm, still have a job, and re-learned the lesson!