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Thursday, May 19, 2011

When Life Piles On

As children we liked to pile on someone who was on the ground. It was fun to trap someone by lying on top of him. And it was all done in fun so that the one being piled on wasn't angry. It was a childlike symbol of affection. We never piled on the people we didn't like.

In organized football penalties were given when we piled on. It was easy to get hurt at the bottom of a pile of guys who weighed much more than you. I'll admit that I sometimes hit people when they were down. I had plenty of penalties called on me. It was easy to land on someone who was already down.

We may have thought that piling on would never happen once we became adults. Adulthood looked so problem free from the outside. Now, as adults we think we never had problems when we were younger. As we get older life seems to pile on.

In the movie, The Replacements, Keanu Reeves makes a statement of what he fears. He says that he is afraid of quicksand. It seems that everything is going well when something goes wrong and then something else and then something else until there is no way to escape these things going wrong. I remember saying, "Yes, I am afraid of that quicksand too."

In church we are always asking for new teachers. We have so many preschoolers and children that we are constantly in need of people willing to help these children grow toward and in their relationship with Jesus. It is frustrating when you continue to ask potential teachers who keep refusing the responsibility. They say that they want to keep their weekends open or that they just want to come to church when they want to come without any responsibility. Then, when you are at the end of your rope, three of your teachers quit. Of course, the next Sunday morning four more teachers say they won't be at church because something came up.

So, Sunday begins with no new teachers, three who are quitting in a couple of weeks and four places that have to be filled on the spot. This is not the best situation for the children. These "fill in" teachers cannot possibly be prepared to teach the children what they should be receiving. In the midst of your frustration a parent decides that her disruptive child is not at fault. It is because the teachers aren't doing a good enough job in engaging her child. She tells you that this is your responsibility. The trouble is that you are angered because the parent doesn't know how hard you are working or how concerned you are for her child but you also believe she is saying out loud what you have thought in your heart. It feels like your fault.

I don't have this responsibility in my church but I have been there. I realize that it just doesn't happen only to those who are in church. It happens in every job and in every family. One bad thing is followed by several others. Someone will say, "You know, it comes in threes." My reply is, "Yes, and it sevens and eights too!"
Your finances are bad, your car is broken, your children require new clothes and your boss is talking about cutting back at work.

Life piles on so much that you can't move; you feel as if you can't breathe. You wonder if God cares or if there is a god at all. Anxiety turn to outright fear. You don't know where to turn. You just want some relief.

So, what do you do?

First, you need to get real honest with God. Quit using the flowery language that you are supposed to use and tell God exactly how you feel. It does no good to hide your frustrations. Pour out your heart to Him

Then, praise Him. I know that this makes very little sense at this point but God inhabits the praises of His people. The solution you need comes from Him. Praises provide you hope, strengthen your faith and place you in a position for God's solution.

Claim that God will deliver you. It may not be today or in the way you want His deliverance but He will deliver you if you are one of His children.

When life piles on you can know that your deliverance may not have arrived yet but it is on its way. Life will pile on but God will unpile it. He is in the deliverance business.

 Psalm 22:1-5 (ESV)
1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? 2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest. 3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. 4 In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. 5  To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. There are days (weeks!) when this seems to be happening in my life. I am learning that Jesus meant it when he said to 'cast all our cares on Him, because He cares for us'...and I do my best to do that when things seem to pile up. And then I thank Him for taking these cares also. I've enjoyed reading here and will be back.
Louise in MI