(beautifully) in over my head

Let me preface this by saying that if you have not heard “In Over My Head” by Bethel Music, stop what you’re doing and look it up right now.  I could honestly just stop here and this would be enough because this song is that good.  When I’m searching for answers/guidance/help, music is a big way the Lord reveals these things to me.  It may be a single sentence or the whole song, and often it comes when I least expect it.  This song was no different.  It was a normal day of me getting ready to go sit and study for hours and hours, and then I heard this song and it stopped me in my tracks.  The honesty, the purity, the genuineness of the words just wrapped around my heart and stopped me right where I was.  So here are my thoughts:

How many times have you felt overwhelmed? How many moments have been filled with doubt and insecurity because you find yourself in an unfamiliar place, way outside your comfort zone?  Think of those times, or maybe you’re in one now, and say this:

“I was (am) exactly where God wanted (wants) me to be.”

Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I think we have all (especially me) become too quick to cry out and question why God would put us in a situation/season of life where everything just seems so difficult.  Where we just don’t understand why we’re having to deal with everything happening in our lives.  Why?

Because we don’t have the perspective our God has.  We aren’t all-knowing.  We don’t know what’s going to come out of these hard times, and it’s in these moments that we have to remember that we are exactly where we are supposed to be.

God has planned each moment of your life and purposefully laid it out before you, preparing you for each step before he reveals it.

So while you may not understand the purpose behind you walking through some kind of heartache or sickness or all around stressful time, God knows that in order for you to appreciate what is in your next step you must walk through this first.

God may call you deeper into a place you’re not entirely comfortable with to help you break down the human-sized box you’ve tried to fit him in.

He may have you walk through a little fire today to truly appreciate the joy you’ll find tomorrow.

Or He may even take you to a point where you feel like the waves are crashing over your head and you can’t catch a breath and you would do anything to just make it all stop.  No, this place isn’t pleasant, but it is purposeful. God may allow this season to continue because he realizes the need for you to trust him in every aspect of your life.  He may know that in order for you to accomplish the amazing life he has set before you, you have to come to a place where you finally give up the control you’ve held so tightly to and are willing to follow him wherever he may lead.

Whenever you find yourself in one of these overwhelming phases of life, remember that the Lord is sovereign.  Remember that he is with you through all of it.  He knows how you will come out of this phase and what you will find in the next.  Trust him. Give him control.  Allow him to to take the lead and follow him wholeheartedly down the path he calls you to walk, even if he leads you to a place where the waters are deeper than they’ve ever been before.

Every moment God is preparing you for something.  Whatever that may be, wherever that may lead you, my prayer is that you come to accept these moments not as a punishment, but as a place where God is beautifully, carefully, and lovingly molding you into the person he created you to be.

I pray you see the beauty of these “in over your head” moments as God works in you to become your sole desire, your only source of hope and joy and peace, and where he reveals himself as the only one worthy of such a title.  Don’t feel defeated by these moments, see them for what they are: a beautifully broken place where you find yourself lifting your heart to the One who strives so hard to protect it, saying “I’ve lost control but I am free.”

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. -Psalm 37:23-24

“Let the whole world bless our God and loudly sing his praises…We went through the fire and flood, but You brought us to a place of great abundance.” -Psalm 66:8,12

The One who formed you says, “Do not be afraid for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” -Isaiah 43:1-2


I am Martha.

As Jesus  and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.  Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught.  But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing.  She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come help me.”  But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about.  Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken from her.” 
Luke 10: 38-42

I read this story and  I think to myself, “How does Martha not realize that spending time with Jesus while he is in her home is more important than worrying about the house?”  And then I sadly realize that I do the same thing each and every day.

If only I could get ahead in school, then I can spend time with Jesus.  If only I could keep my house cleaner, then  I could rest easier.  I’ll just watch one more episode on Netflix, then I’ll read my Bible.  I don’t have the time to do my devotional.  I can’t go to church because I have plans with a friend…and the list of things I daily put before the Lord goes on and on and on.  I quickly let these distractions take my focus away from the one thing that will give me true rest…because I am Martha.

I worry and I stress out and I often find myself overwhelmed by the list of things I need to do.  My relationship with Christ is often the first thing I put on the back-burner as  I try to find time for everything in my seemingly busy schedule.  But honestly, my issue is not time, but rather my simple decision to put things before my relationship with Jesus.

Jesus may not physically walk through my door and demand that I stop worrying about all the details..but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t want me to lay down the distractions and just rest in his presence.

We don’t have Jesus physically walking around with us, but we do have the Holy Spirit living within us, surrounding us, and walking with us each and every day.  As a follower of Christ, it’s embarrassing how easily I forget this.  I get caught up in the day-to-day distractions and the never ending to-do list found in the calendar I have grown to call “My Second Bible” (awful I know), that I lose sight of the incredible power of the Holy Spirit waiting for me to take the time to truly live in it.

I’ve read this passage many times before, but each time it seems to shatter the view I have of my life.  To me, this is a passage that bears repeating each and every time I catch myself overwhelmed by the list of things I need to do and giving them priority over my faith.

My prayer, for myself and for anyone else willing to acknowledge their Martha-state-of-mind, is that we lay down the distractions and just be with Jesus.

I pray we stop placing emphasis on the daily struggles of keeping everything perfectly in place, and allow ourselves to simply sit at the feet of the only One that can give us peace and listen to what he has to share with us.

I pray that we find ourselves intentionally spending time with Jesus, and not just doing so when we have “free time.”

I pray we shake off the worry and the stress that hold us back from joyfully loving and praising the God who created us.

I pray that we remember that we are graciously saved, wholly forgiven, and unconditionally loved, because nothing is more important and more inspiring than our being gifted eternal life.

I pray that we grow to become the Mary that Jesus spoke of when he said “There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken from her.” (v. 42)