How do you live a good story with your life? The premise of the short film contest I just competed in, required that a good story must involve a character who wants something bad enough, to overcome conflict to get it.
Good stories don’t all look the same.
Beyond the things that happen to us, there is another story being told– in us.
These tales may not take the spotlight, but they are the ones we live and the same ones God writes into.
Sometimes, our storylines may not be so clear, exciting or winsome.
There are seasons they can look downright common place.
This everyday life is the material of great faith writing.
It may be overlooked as ordinary, but I am learning God sees our lives through a very different set of lenses.
He sees “extraordinary”.
The Journey Is Too Much
Sometimes, the circumstances we find ourselves in don’t always turn out the way we expect them to.
Sometimes, when we dive deep into our stories, the journey is too much.
Have you ever found yourself in that place?
Have you worked hard to do what was right, only to find that it wasn’t enough? Maybe you’ve sincerely sought and waited for God to answer– yet, one obstacle after another crossed your path?
Sometimes, despite our best efforts and the earnest of prayers, we can become overwhelmed, overtired, and overstressed.
When your mind is frazzled, body worn and spirit down, what do you do?
For much of my life, I’d been running from the things that wound me, to find the good instead. As a result, I placed a lot of pressure on myself to find “God’s will” for my life. One of the greatest fears I carried was the fear of missing out on God’s plan for me.
This kind of thinking set me up for a series of falls and disappointments. Including getting burned out and depressed at times.
God saw things differently. He set out to change my line of sight.
Making Me Rest
He started first by making me rest.
He allowed the circumstances in my life to turn, in such a way that I was painted into a corner. I was stopped in my tracks.
I certainly didn’t feel restful. It was the very opposite.
I felt frantic, trying to find some peace and purpose. I needed to see a way out. And I couldn’t.
I’ve Had Enough
I’d had enough… of being in the dark about my life.
I was like the Old Testament prophet Elijah, after winning the battle of the bulls against 450 false prophets of Baal.
Elijah ran straight into the wilderness, alone– away from Jezabel, who had a contract out on his life.
It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Sometimes, we, too, draw that short straw one too many times.
Like Elijah, we end up running straight into the desert.
Elijah came to a broom tree… and prayed that he might die.“I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life.” ~1 Kings 19:4
I’ve never seriously plotted out my own death. But, I have uttered these same words.
The Bible says Elijah collapsed under the tree and fell asleep.
Have you done just that– collapsed under the weight of expectations?
The Journey Is Too Much
God didn’t give Elijah a pep talk or straighten him out by should do’s or ought-t0-know’s.
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.“
There by his head was a cake of bread baked over hot coals and a jar of water.
He ate and drank and then lay down again.
The angel of the LORD came back a second time, touched him and said,
“Get up and eat,
for the journey is too much for you.”
~ I Kings 19:5-8
If you’re finding you’re–
overstressed and tired…
overwhelmed, trying to figure everything out…
discouraged your story isn’t working out the way you expected…
You’re in good company. God’s company.
Sleep and Warm Bread
God wants us to sleep, eat some warm bread, drink and sleep some more.
Wash, rinse, and repeat.
How long do seasons like this take?
As long as it takes us to regain our strength– to make the next leg of our journey.
So Elijah got up and ate and drank.
Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.
No judgment. No guilt.
God finds our stories meaningful when we stop to sleep, eat, and drink in the desert. Sometimes, it’s a short time. Other times not.
Maybe you’ve wondered how much time passed between the moment God turned me around from my point of hopelessness, to where I am today.
It has been 10 years.
If you are living this part of your story — when the journey is too much — I hope you will be encouraged to know, we can stop, catch up on sleep, eat and get rejuvenated.
God sees you. His story is being written in you– while you rest.
What do you do when the journey is too much?
We’ll be exploring the ways God writes His story into our lives and sharing how we can live those stories. These are the “faith” stories that God values as extraordinarily good.
Subscribe to get updates automatically via email and join me, as we explore how God writes in our stories. ]
Oh, how I do identify with that Elijah. This is a very thoughtful post, Bonnie. I think it is important to keep the big picture in mind. It’s so easy to get caught up in the minutiae of life and forget to tell a beautiful story with our lives. Reminders. That’s what I need. This is one today, and I thank you.
.-= laura´s last blog ..Gift Circle =-.
[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Melissa Brotherton, FaithBarista and FaithBarista, FaithBarista. FaithBarista said: New Post– What Do You Do? When The Journey Is Too Much http://bit.ly/aTSwDH The Weight Of Expectations […]
This is exactly what I am going through right now. I didn’t realize that being still and waiting were so hard. I am glad that I am not alone in this sort of thing.
.-= Kristine´s last blog ..Happy Friday! =-.
This is a beautiful posting. Thank you, Bonnie. That’s exactly what God called me to do when I’d gotten to the end of my rope–come and rest and walk with me. So that is what I do when life gets just to heavy–I rest and meditate and spend time filling up with His love and healing. He can turn the heaviest, hurtful days into calm and serene. But like you said, you need to rest and take in nourishment slowing the pace so you can see what the next step is. I really appreciate your perspective. It meshes with my experience exactly–not the same story–but the same remedy. I know God will continue to bless you as you bless us.
“Have you done just that– collapsed under the weight of expectations?”
Yes. I so identify with Elijah. I have uttered those words and unfortunately have tried to take my life, a long time ago now. I saw no way out and collapsed, overwhelmed with life and emotions and pain. Depressed so much by my pain that there was no way out.
“What do you do when the journey is too much?”
I have learned to rest and eat and share with God and other people. Sharing my heart when it is in pain helps. Elijah did this when he told God “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life.” ~1 Kings 19:4 Sharing allows God to help heal us. Sharing with people allows us to have others help carry our burdens.
Thank you so much for this inpspirational post. Thank you for sharing your heart and journey with us. Your encouragement is so much needed right now.
.-= Katie´s last blog ..Stories =-.
Looking forward to reading the series. Once again, your post is timely. I for one get so wrapped up in the stress of today that I fail to see how God can use it for my good and His glory, just as He has so many times before. Resting is hard, especially for someone like me – a classic A type personality. Thank you.
You are so talking about my life right now. Boy did I need to read this post today. Thank you for sharing this. I am so stressed, depressed and like Elijah have asked God many times to end it and just take me home. One thing after another, one let down after another, hopelessness. But…God is faithful and thankfully doesn’t condemn me when I get this way. I am trying to rest today, eat of Him, enjoy the relationships of family…and just keep on going. Waiting on Him to bring about a turn in our lives, a change of events to bring His blessing so we can rejoice.
Pray for me Bonnie…I know you know how I feel today.
Thanks so much.
.-= Mari Larkin´s last blog ..Starting Today =-.
When my journey is too much, I tend to want to give up or escape. Either retreat into a shell or take some kind of action– not always the best kind, either. It would not have occurred to me to rest in that state. So thanks for this post. I am not currently in that place of too much, but I’m sure I will plunge into it again sometime. When I do, I can remember to relax and eat some warm bread (I love that image), to take care of myself, and rest rather than get frantic or depressed.
.-= Julie Benner´s last blog ..Look For The Gold (As A Man Thinketh…) =-.
This is exactly where I’m at; frantic, scared, panicked, backed into a corner and trying to claw my way out. I desperately need rest and nourishment; thank you for the reminder.
.-= Sheri´s last blog ..End of the week ramblings =-.
[…] Faith Barista ~ When the Journey Is Too Much Asking the question: “When your mind is frazzled, body worn and spirit down, what do you do?” […]
“What do I do when the journey is too much?” Sounds simple, but I enter into prayer. Relational, heart to heart prayer, with Our Lord. I examen my day, my week, my life, in His presence and let the Holy Spirit illuminate for me where the Lord is revealing His love in my life and how I have responded or failed to respond. I find gratitude is important as well. I let the Spirit reveal to me all the things that I should be grateful for. At the end of my prayer, I repent for failing to respond to His grace, but then I renew my promise to follow Him in love. It takes 15 to 20 minutes, but it is very renewing and helps to refocus me.
.-= Fr. Michael´s last blog ..She Preached Without Words =-.
I too identify with Elijah. I am at that point right now; wrestling with life. After months of “illness” and depression, God finally gave me a glimpse of the big picture. He got my attention but for some reason, the depression has returned, deeper than ever before. Unfortunately my release is not positive. I hurt myself and get into suicidal ruts, but then a friend will call or someone, like you, will post a devotional which I know without a doubt is God speaking to me, reminding me that He always has me in His hands. Thank you for this post. It did speak to me. Pray that I will be able to pull out of this rut soon.