Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I needed that: Elisha and the widow's oil

Last week I began a new study through my Bible app for my daily devotions as I needed a mental break from studying Joshua, but still need something daily to keep me on track. the study is called "Elisha: A Tale of Ridiculous Faith." It's been good, but it's also been a weird mix of "yeah, yeah, I know this story" and "oh,  I don't remember that part at all... wow." Then, yesterday, it hit home.

I've been at my not-so-new-anymore job for almost 7 months now. I know a lot about how to do it, and about what needs doing. I also haven't had enough experience with some of the tasks, which means some days fly by in happy busyness, others creep by while I try to decide what to do next, and others are overwhelming and stressful as I feel I don't have enough knowledge and/or bandwidth to make the decision on what should be done first or how it will get done at all.

Now, please hear me. I am still so glad to be here. I am still so confident that this is where God led, and that hasn't changed. I am making friends and enjoying my coworkers, and like very much having a set work day! ;) But, my mind is very detailed (which is good for my job) which means it also over processes when I can't quite wrap my head around something, and feels overwhelmed when I don't have time to process as much as it would like. It also means I can internally talk myself into thinking I am failing miserably because I can't keep to the ridiculous schedule I've made up - even when I don't really know the best way to do that yet as I've not yet been here a year. On top of this, I'm still figuring out some personal stuff at home as well. So, I've had a few days of being super overwhelmed and trying not to let it show (at least not as much as it's actually happening - I know for sure I'm terrible at keeping my feelings hidden).

Then, yesterday's devotional was on the widow with the small jar of oil. It begins:
Do you feel overwhelmed with too many responsiblilties and challenges facing you at every turn? Do you feel like you've run out of options and you're doing life on empty? That is likely what the wife of the prophet that died in 2 Kings 4:1-7 felt. 
Wow. Now, as I read this, I was not feeling this way, but I have in the last few weeks. It's happened a few times, and it's been bothering me. I thought, "but WHY am I feeling this way? I shouldn't be feeling this overwhelmed when I haven't even been here a year!" As I processed, I realized that some of it is still leftover burnout from my past experiences. And I also have not connected at church much yet, so I am missing those parts of life that help keep me going. Thank the Lord he has given me friends at work who love him and who like me enough to hang out and be goofy and build me up. We have good discussions about all sorts of things, and because of that I have not completely lacked what I am in need of from a life group experience (camaraderie, spiritual encouragement and challenge, friendship, small-scale corporate worship).

The devotional later says:
Maybe you can relate to the widow in that when you don't think you have enough, you feel desperation and focus solely on your limitations. God sees your problem much differently from the way you do. 
...God specializes in doing a lot with a little and this story is another prime example. The world may see this as illogical or ridiculous, but God doesn't. God took one jar of oil and multiplied it so the widow could pay her debts. During those times when you feel overwhelmed and you've run out of options, remember that what you have is all God needs. God has given you everything you need.  

That's my prayer today. God, please help me to remember that YOU have given me everything (everything!) I need. And that even if it doesn't feel like it, it is enough for what you will do through me in my life and for me in my life. Thank you.

Devotional content from the Bible App from Pastor Craig Groeschel and LifeChurch.tv