Summary: How to have faith when you're overwhelmed
(Message #11of the Series: View From God’s Mountaintops)
1 Kings 18 October 8, 2000
Have you ever been so overwhelmed by life that you wished to die? Or perhaps just go to sleep – or start over again, as a new person? Life has been known to put that on people.
Perhaps life hasn’t quite come to that for you; but, it has gotten to all of us at one point or another. We feel so inept – like we haven’t got a clue. There was a man raised in the back woods of the hollows. His wife went into labor in the middle of the night, and the doctor was fetched to assist in the delivery. Hours later, he arrived, but still in time!
Since there was no electricity, the doctor handed the father-to-be a lantern and said, Here, you hold this high so I can see what I am doing. Soon, a baby boy was brought into the world. Whoa there, said the doctor. Don't be in a rush to put the lantern down, I think there's yet another one to come. Sure enough, within minutes he had delivered a baby girl. Wait now, don't be in a great hurry to put down that lantern. It seems there's yet another one to come.
Sure enough, within minutes he had delivered another baby girl. No, no, don't be in a great hurry to put down that lantern. It seems there's yet another one in there! cried the doctor.
The father scratched his head in bewilderment, looked at the lantern, looked at his wife, and asked, Do you think it's the light that's attractin' 'em?
Well -- maybe not!
Five Overwhelming Realities of Life
Consider with me the kinds of circumstances we fear today, those things which cause us to imagine a great loss is just around the corner. (After we look at the fearsome five we will consider God’s Timeless Answer – Faith!)
Financial Ruin is Overwhelming
Who hasn’t felt the sting of too much month left over at the end of the money? One wag said,
If your outgo is bigger than your income,
Your upkeep is going to be your downfall!
What is the possible loss we fear? If you don’t pay the mortgage or rent, you’ll sleep under the stars. The finance company could come and take away that nifty ’54 DeSoto you’re driving. Many people live just about one paycheck away from repossession and eviction.
Relationships Lost is Overwhelming
The world is a tense place to live these days. We fear the loss of affection from spouse, children, and parents. We could lose our friends; we could lose a job. Many men identify so strongly with their career, that when it ends, so does their reason for living. Mothers, because of the innate nurturing instinct, suffer worse than Dads do over the empty nest when children leave. We fear this loss.
Schedule Demands can be Overwhelming
One of the most overwhelming aspects of our society is the incredible speed at which everything moves. Soon four year-olds will be driving, and we’ll have a 7th grader in the White House.
Mostly it is not a fear – more a realized loss, that many folks today do not rest or sleep long enough to regain their full charge. Without adequate rest, we can become irritable and grumpy. That causes us to be less effective in everything we do…especially when it comes to dealing with people. Remember the rhyme…
Mary had a little lamb, that would’ve been a sheep;
But he went and joined a Baptist church, and died from lack of sleep
Some people, after riding the treadmill of rush hour day-in, day-out for years on end, fall victim to the melancholy malaise; they lose hope. Humans can live without a lot of things, but hope is one of the essentials – right up there with oxygen.
Health Decline is Fearfully Overwhelming
In our HMO, managed care, impersonally specialized world of ills, pills and bills, we may be living longer, but I’m not certain it’s much better. We fear the pain associated with chronic or serious health issues. Like the man said, I’m not afraid of dying – I’m just not too crazy about the trip.
Another fear connected to this issue is the loss of independence. As we live longer we become more dependent on the system, the kids, or kindness of others. And we also fear the ultimate loss – life itself. One other….
Information Glut is Becoming Overwhelming
With the advent of accelerating knowledge, most of us reach the point of fear that life is passing us by. We buy a computer to keep up, and by the time we get it home and plugged-in, there is an improved model being advertised.