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Day 9: Overwhelmed by God

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Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Matthew 6:27

How little we control in this life. The illusion that we are somehow orchestrating events and pre-determining outcomes is just that. And illusion.

Did you choose to be born? Did you choose your parents? How about the country you were born in? Your gender? The biggest determinants of your life today were completely out of your control. And yet, we seem to forget that there is a power greater than ourselves who actually cares for us and is working life out for our good. The question is do you believe it?

In Luke 5 we catch a glimpse of Simon Peter, tired and beaten down by a night of fishing and returning to shore with an empty net. Of his own ability and his best thinking and actions, he couldn’t catch one darn fish.  He’s washing his net and listening to Jesus preach on the shore. People are pressing in and Jesus needs help. He turns and asks Simon if he can use his boat to push out to the water. How could Simon have possibly known what would happen next?

Jesus gets in, they glide out into the lake, and He continues preaching. Once He was finished He instructs Simon to go to where it is deeper and let down his nets. This doesn’t make sense to Simon. Afterall, he just spent all night out on the lake fishing and caught nothing and he had already washed his nets. Seems a bit inconvenient. But acting on faith he obliges.

We all know the end of this story. The catch of fish was so full their nets were breaking. It was more than they could handle. They were completely overwhelmed. Which stops Simon in the midst of this abundance to say to Jesus, “Leave me. I’m such a sinful man.” But Jesus, in His generous and loving way, does the unexpected. He calls him to follow Him and to become a fisher of men.

Self-care is choosing to trust God through the difficult times. It’s believing miracles can and will happen. When we do our small part and take action on His Word we don’t have to understand HOW it will happen. Could Simon have predicted that saying YES to Jesus using his boat would have resulted in a huge haul of fish and being recruited to be his first disciple? Not a chance!

Looking back on my past I can see now how God used even the worst situations in my life for good. In fact, some of those dark times brought forth the greatest change. They caused me to awaken in new ways and change the course of what I was doing. Today I look at life through a new lense. When tough times appear I take a curious approach.

“This is interesting. Unexpected. I’m excited to see how God is going to work this one out.” 

Remember that often your biggest breakdowns happen before your biggest breakthroughs. Praise God in the midst of the storm. Let go of control. You have so little anyways. Pray for wisdom, take actions based on the information you have and know that regardless of your plotting and planning and positioning the outcomes God has for you are far better than you could ever imagine.

It’s not based on your skills or your your perfection. Simon was a self-proclaimed sinner and Jesus, seeing his heart and his humble admission, gave him the opportunity to work side-by-side with Him. All he had to do was say Yes.

Jesus wants to overwhelm you. Not see you overwhelmed. He wants to pour out His love and abundance into your life in a way you never could have imagined. He can work with what you have. A small boat. An empty net. A willingness to take action. Sure. That’s enough.

Today in the midst of your storm, let go of control. Embrace an attitude of curiosity. Do what you can with what you have and let Jesus pick up the tab. Watch as your worries melt and you breathe easier. Worry is a waste of time. Trusting is the way.

Day 9 Lenten Love Prayer:

Forgive me for not trusting You in everything. I believe that all things will work together for my good because I love you and know I am called according to your purpose. And that is something you promised me. Today I made a decision to turn my will and my life over to your care. Casting all my cares on You because You care for me. I know I don’t see the whole picture and I know that You do. I am excited to see how You will work out the details of this situation in ways I could have never predicted or planned. Then I know it was of Your doing and not mine. Thank you that I don’t have to walk through this life alone and I don’t have to have all the answers. Instead of self-sufficiency I will rely on You. Thank you for caring! Thank you for loving! Thank you for calling me to greatness despite my human frailties. May any success I have point back to You. Amen.

Day 9 Scripture:

Casing all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7