Crushed and Overwhelmed [Devotional]

crushed and overwhelmed devotional 2 corinthians

 

I think you ought to know, dear brothers, about the hard time we went through in Asia. We were really crushed and overwhelmed, and feared we would never live through it. We felt we were doomed to die and saw how powerless we were to help ourselves; but that was good, for then we put everything into the hands of God, who alone could save us, for he can even raise the dead. 1And he did help us and saved us from a terrible death; yes, and we expect him to do it again and again (2 Corinthians 1:8-10 TLB).

Have you ever been crushed and overwhelmed? Even though I likely don’t know you personally, I can pretty well guarantee that you answered, “Yes!” along with everyone else reading this.

I’ll never forget the time when I hit a genuine crisis of faith – probably my only true crisis of faith in my entire life.

And it was a doozy! My husband and I and our two kids had gone to India to do, “God’s work.” We went out in faith, and it wasn’t easy.

I had always been under the impression that if you do what God calls you to do, everything will go well. Sure, there may be some hard times, but those would be short lived as God would no doubt come through and save the day in record time.

But it didn’t work out that way for us. We returned from India and were beyond poor. We didn’t have money to pay our rent, our electric bill was overdue, and there were many other absolute necessities we didn’t have the money for.

I hit a breaking point. And to be honest, I was not only overwhelmed, but I was also crushed. Where was God? Why oh why did He call us to sacrifice for Him only to abandon us seemingly as a direct result of our obedience? I was angry, hurt, and completely devastated. Crushed and overwhelmed. Had I not felt responsible for my children, suicide would have been a consideration. It was that bad.

That Sunday I went to church, and while others worshiped, I fumed. How could I trust God? It seemed that everything I ever believed about Him wasn’t true. All the Bible promises about His provision mocked me. If what we were experiencing was His provision, I wanted nothing of it.

After church, Jim, one of the elders – who also happened to be a good friend – saw me and asked, “Are you okay?” I couldn’t even speak. His very next words were, “You’re not okay.” We sat down and I poured out my heart. I didn’t “prettify” my words or filter them. I was honest about my pain and how much it seemed God had abandoned us. Thankfully, there was a box of Kleenex nearby.

He listened, didn’t judge, and empathized. He prayed with me, in a raw and honest way, and together we acknowledged that there was nothing that I could do. While I was still hurting, I came to a place of peace about our situation, and completely put it into the hands of God.

Unbeknown to me, while I was, crying and praying with Jim, Bob, another one of the elders in the church was talking with my husband. Someone in the church had felt led by God to anonymously give us a sizeable financial gift.

Needless to say, that not only took care of our immediate situation, but reminded me that God is indeed aware of our pain and He is there for us, even when it seems like He isn’t. He knows when we’re crushed and overwhelmed, and He is able to do whatever is needed. The catch is that sometimes He doesn’t come through for us until we hit that breaking point and are utterly undone and 100% dependent on Him.

I wish I could say that things will never get that bad for you. I also wish I could say that if you’re in a financial hardship, that an anonymous benefactor will give you a ton of money. I can’t promise you either of those things.

But what I can promise you is that walking in your own strength will only get you so far. At some point, it could lead to you being crushed and overwhelmed. That’s the bad news. The good news is that when you hit that breaking point and give your situation to God, He will work on your behalf.

My prayer for you is that if you are crushed and overwhelmed, that you’ll look to God for His help. That you’ll trust Him to come through for you in His way and time, even if it seems like the situation is impossible. After all, if He can raise the dead, He can certainly deal with anything you’re facing right now.

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Praying the Word

God, I completely give my situation to You. I acknowledge that in my own strength, I am nothing. Forgive me for my pride that makes me want to do things on my own. Please, God, give me the help I need today. I trust you. I rest in your provision and goodness. Thank You that You are always with me, even when I can’t see You working on my behalf.

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Applying the Word

Acknowledge that apart from God, you can do nothing. If you’re facing a hard time right now, stop and give it to God. I also want to encourage you to share any struggles or doubts you’re experiencing with a trusted, godly friend, rather than trying to handle the situation on your own.

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