It was a tough week.
Things at the hospital where I work were busier than usual with patients coming and going as if through a rotating door. There were also people to train, responsibilities to my staff, rumors to check out and dispel, students to accommodate, etc. All of that is just part of my normal week, however, so let’s add some emotional upset to the brew. People close to me were making bad decisions and I was unable to stop them. Then to spice things up a bit, our primary computer died a horrible death. It may not sound like such a bad thing, but it is from this computer that our ministry is coordinated and run. Without it, we are truly handicapped. Perhaps the worst, however, was the news that arrived midweek: my mother-in-law was in the hospital with heart issues and wasn’t expected to make it through the week. This meant we might need to uproot and fly to Europe at a moment’s notice. We needed to pre-arrange things at work and at school in preparation for us to be gone; we needed to pre-arrange the care of the house and the pets; we had to look into airplane tickets to Europe, hotel rooms and rental cars; and I haven’t even mentioned the funeral arrangements–all without our primary computer! And you can also imagine the emotional anguish we were going through.
At the end of the week, as I sat contemplating all of this, I was actually a little surprised. It actually sounds a lot worse on paper than it had seemed as I went through the week. Why? Normally just the busyness at work alone would have left me stressed out, tired, crabby and unable to sleep. What was the difference?
As I picked up my Bible, I could hear God’s loving voice guiding me to the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 4, vs. 6: “Better an armload with tranquility than both arms full of effort and feeding on the wind.”
I didn’t quite get it. What could this have to do with all the stress we had gone through all week? What could it have to do with the peace of mind that was so surprising to me?
Then I remembered how God had been working with me on the issue of self-reliance. He had been helping me learn that I cannot rely on myself, no matter how capable I think I am. Rather, I need to solicit His help in everything! As a result, I had surrendered the problems at work to Him, and I had been awestruck as ideas that actually worked began immediately flowing into my head. When the situation arose with those I care about not making right decisions, I had immediately turned the problem over to God, committing myself to praying for the situation, and listening to His voice of wisdom. In like manner, I had given my mother-in-law’s health and the arrangements to God as well, and God had given both my husband and me peace of mind about the whole thing.
Yes, our arms had been full of problems, and had we been trying to deal with the problems in our own strength, we would have been drowning in stress. Instead, we were relaxing in peace…“Better an armload with tranquility than both arms full of effort and feeding on the wind.” (Eccl. 4:6)
Are your arms full? Is there absolutely more going on right now that you can handle? Do you feel like you are drowning in the stress, the pressure, the responsibility, the inability to control and change your situations? If that sounds like your life at the moment, give it all to God. Surrender everything to Him. Stop trying to fix it on your own. Stop relying on your own might, skill, wisdom, knowledge and strength. Instead, let go and let God be God. As you do, you will experience the Truth in Eccl. 4:6: “Better an armload with tranquility than both arms full of effort and feeding on the wind.”
May God bless you abundantly this week as you give it all–to Him!
In His love,
P.S. My mother-in-law not only made it through the week, but is still with us today, a year later. Yet another “gift” of surrendering the problem to Him…
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.