I am about as overwhelmed as a person can be.
I moved to Guatemala this past weekend to teach missionary kids for a season.
I left behind my church – which is also my job and ministry.
I left behind most of my stuff (although it certainly feels like I brought A LOT with me.)
I left behind my family – bio, spiritual, and chosen.
I left behind my freedom in many ways. No car here – which means limits.
I left behind my (beloved) pets.
And I am currently in the chaos that is a new school year.
That is true for any teacher in the weeks before school starts.
But I am teaching a “split” this year of 3rd and 4th grades.
In a new-to-me school.
With two classrooms to manage.
And a new co-teacher to work with.
Juggling four cultures – Guatemalan, US, Canadian and Korean – since I will have kids from all four places.
And all new curriculum to learn.
Living with a new roommate who I met last night.
With new routines that impact everything from how I use the bathroom (don’t flush the TP!) to how I cook (disinfect the produce!)
In a new bed
In a new room
In a new place.
With a new laptop
Without God in the equation I would be a mess.
(Or more of a mess.)
But He is not absent from the equation!
He is the Author of it.
He called me here.
Made the way for me to come.
He goes before me.
He walks beside me.
He knows my needs.
And has already made provision for them.
The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in me.
And God is working all things together for my good.
And more importantly, for His glory.
He is my strength.
My strong tower.
The Voice of Truth.
And the Good Shepherd who daily carries me in His arms.
The One who does all things well.
And the One who is completely and utterly in control.
He has orchestrated my life and my circumstances to bring me to this place, this time, these people.
And He has a plan and a purpose for all of it.
So while I am completely and utterly overwhelmed by change and by the task at hand, I am more overwhelmed by Him.
By His goodness.
By His grace.
His incredible mercies that are new every morning.
By His faithfulness.
And His unfathomable love for me.
And I am grateful to be overwhelmed by my circumstances.
Because it drives me to His arms.
He has shown over and over again that I am right where I need to be.
And that He is in this.
So when I am weak – and overwhelmed – then I am strong.
How can He show that I can do all things in Him unless those things are overwhelming?
How is His power made complete in my weakness unless I am weak?
How can He get the glory if I can do everything in my own strength?
So bring on the overwhelming.
It is not a bad thing.
It is an utterly good thing.
Because He is good.
And He is mine.
I don’t know where you are today, what your circumstances may be.
Perhaps you, too, are utterly overwhelmed.
But He is never is.
And He longs to be your strength today.
But it is up to you.
You have to surrender.
Revel in the chaos even as you stand on His promises.
Taking every thought captive to Christ.
Resting in Who He is.
Trusting that He will bring you through.
Asking Him for wisdom, heartbeat to heartbeat.
Allowing the Holy Spirit – literally the Breath of God – to be the air in your lungs.
Delighting in His Word.
And allowing Him to lead.
He wants to do magnificent things in you.
For the benefit of a lost and dying world.
But you have to give up control.
Allow for the chaos.
Fight the spiritual battle.
Surrender your will.
Will you do it?
And in the meantime, here’s to being overwhelmed!