What a Relief!

images.jpgThis morning I woke up at about 5:00.  It was dark in our bedroom.  I put on the fleece jacket that was on the chair on my side of the bed and slipped out of the bedroom.  Once in the kitchen, I began making coffee.  I always enjoy the smell and taste of coffee early in the morning.

I opened my Bible to the book of Isaiah.  Chapter 46.  With a yellow marker in one hand, I began reading the chapter. 

Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth.

Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am he, I am he who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you

To whom will you compare me or count me equal?  To whom will you liken me that we may be compared? . . .  (Isaiah 46:3-5)

I sipped the coffee and thought about these words.  After all, just days earlier I had told Charlotte that I felt overwhelmed.  You know that feeling.  You think about what you need to do, what should have been done yesterday, and feel tired just thinking about it.  Then I read these words,

". . . I am he, I am he who will sustain you.  I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

When I savor these words, when I let them soak in, I feel lighter.  No, the work doesn’t go away.  The problems don’t disappear.  However, the heaviness and gloominess that I might be consumed by becomes less dominate.  I am approaching a new day in which God has been at work long before I get to the office.  He has already been working on issues that overwhelm me.  My workload may feel overwhelming to me but that may be because I am focused on the work and not on him who sustains me. 

Regardless of what the week appears to hold, I can still expect to experience joy.   After all, experiencing joy is not dependent on having a perfect week.  Rather, it is rooted in the source of all joy — God himself.

Is this reality useful for you today as you begin your week?

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18 thoughts on “What a Relief!

  1. Thanks for sharing this! I’ve been searching for verses like this to meditate on, as I struggle to find true joy in my life. I also think it’s the perfect reminder of who our Heavenly Father is, especially for the daughters who didn’t have life-giving earthly fathers.

  2. What a glorious way to start the day!  "Even to your old age and gray hairs….."  Tears stung my eyes when I read that.  Makes me feel younger and lighter to consider those words.  Thanks!

  3. That deep abiding assurance of the presence of God, that we call Joy, is such a relief to me.  Thanks for reminding us of this.  I am so thankful that there are encouragers like you Jim.

  4. Kristine–I like the expression you used– "life-giving earthly fathers."  You are so right, God really is the "life-giving father."  A wonderful reminder.  Thanks. 

  5. Thanks Connie.  Those are very sweet and life-giving promises from God.  I am glad you were encouraged and blessed by them.

  6. Arlene,Thanks for your encouraging comment.  I want to live with a keen awareness of his presence.  Otherwise, it seems that it is far too easy to conclude that life and the problems/worries totally rest on me.Thanks Arlene–

  7. Jim, what a great scripture and thought to share with us.  I think we all feel overwhelmed at times and this scripture and your thoughts are very helpful to me.  Thanks!

  8. Jim, I didn’t look at the date before I started typing this response, but thanks be to God for his timing.  I have felt overwhelmed on multiple levels for about a solid week, and hearing these words was incredibly satisfying.  Thank you for sharing; I love Isaiah!

  9. Jim,
    Thanks for sharing your words and meditations.  The reality you shared is very useful and meaningful to me today.  I will reflect on your thoughts and scripture throughout the week.

  10. Jim, thank you for the great encouragement. As you can see I am up late reading and the Lord truly has blessed me with this message. God is the giver of life and peace, He is in control and at times I forget to focus. Thank you for the reminder brother.
    Eddie Stegall

  11. yes! yes! EXACTLY!!
    if i look around me the whole idea of all that is required of me is overwhelming.
    it is having to do things…a LOT of things that requre parts of me that are NOT my strong attributes…but I am able to complete them…i just have avoided them so long there is a massive amount of backlog.
    i have chosen, over the past few weeks, to NOT look at the overwhelming mountain…but to glance into His Eyes…with Him, all things are possible. with Him sustaining me and upholding me, i can do anything!
    the mountain of overwhelmingness is being cut down to bitesize pieces that He and I are hacking away at.
    thanks for your blog…keep it up.

  12. Thanks maryann.  I think many people can identify with what you refer to as "backlog."  Thanks for sharing how you have dealt with that.