Ever been overwhelmed?
Yep, me too.
In fact, it happened recently, out of the blue.
It was almost midnight. I was getting ready for bed and thinking about which episode of my Bibles and Bathrobes™ video devotionals would post in just over four hours.
As I sometimes do, I decided to look at it again before it went live.
I went into my study, pulled up my video account and waited while that little blue circle chased its tail.
Such is life with country internet.
When the video finally loaded, I watched it through the slow agony of buffering stops and starts and decided I wanted to hold off on publication so I could tweak it a bit more.
Though I had more loaded into my account, I didn’t have another one formatted and ready to go.
Which made me think of the old oak tree.
The one by the cell tower.
Where I often must go if my work requires a strong signal.
Such as working with videos.
It’s a beautiful spot during the day. Once I’m parked, I have a grand view of a gorgeous horse farm from my front-seat office.
But I wasn’t about to head to my oak tree at midnight.
Instead, I sat at my desk, head in my hands, exhausted and overwhelmed.
“Lord, what am I doing?” I asked.
At that moment, all sorts of doubts raced through my mind.
Why am I hosting a daily video devotional from a remote area where video rarely works?
Who am I to be doing this? I’m not a pastor or theologian. I don’t have any formal Bible training at all.
Why do I have to make things so difficult, wanting them to be just so?
And whose agenda is this anyway? Is it mine, or is it Yours, Lord?
Instead of trying to come up with any of those answers while in such a state, I decided to post a note with my apologies to the Bibles and Bathrobes™ crew who faithfully show up every morning to meet me on the red couch.
Although I felt bad about that, I figured the world wouldn’t come to an end and they’d give me the grace that I needed.
To step back and gain some perspective.
In the days since—while doing all of that—I believe I’ve received God’s confirmation that this is a ministry He wants me to continue during this season of my life.
Getting ready for each episode in the morning makes me seek Him more intensely.
Dig into His Word more deeply.
Hold myself accountable to live what I’m sharing.
Plus, how could I ignore the June 20th entry from Charles Swindoll’s The Grace of Encouragement calendar on my desk?
There is nothing wrong or unnatural with feeling weary, but there is everything wrong with abandoning ship in the midst of the fight.
Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life by Charles Swindoll, p. 202
I may have laughed out loud.
God can be a very clear communicator.
I’ve realized that cutting myself some slack is okay, too. To that end, I’m going to revise my posting schedule to M-F only, so I have a little breathing room.
And I’ve developed a new appreciation for the old oak tree He has provided.
It’s a wonderful reminder of the elegance of my problems today, and what blessings I get to embrace.
I may have to endure the dreaded blue circle on my screen—but only because I live in a setting more peaceful than I’ve ever known.
And I have a car with gas in the tank.
And a laptop.
And a smartphone that can pick up a signal from a cell tower to connect that laptop to the internet.
Which then gives me access to the entire world to share God’s hope and love through videos recorded while sitting on my couch in my bathrobe in the middle of nowhere.
And I get to do all of that from under an old oak tree, while gazing at the beauty of God’s creation.
God sometimes calls us to ministry that isn’t comfortable or convenient.
That may overwhelm or exhaust us.
That may cause us to question our credentials or effectiveness.
That can make us feel like we’re chasing our tails in endless blue circles.
But the Bible is full of examples of God using the least likely people to accomplish His purposes in the least likely ways.
And we can count on the fact that if He has called us, He will provide the resources we need to see us through.
Like an old oak tree overlooking a beautiful horse farm located next to a cell tower with a very strong signal.
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