“Commit your actions to the LORD, and your plans will succeed.” -Proverbs 16:3 (NLT)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. -Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
My boss at work often likes to ask the question, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer: one bite at a time.
Every morning, you can look at your life at different levels of scale. You can look at the long commute to work, or that impossible project or workload waiting for you, or that personal relationship you wish would magically improve. You might forecast way out and be overwhelmed by how you think life will be for you in the long run.
In truth, no matter what we face, and what lies ahead, we can trust God to help us focus on just the next step. That’s all we need to do. We take it step by step with His guidance, and He will lay the next step before us. We entrust Him with our future, and every step on the way there.
We are not driven or ruled by our circumstances. We live in service to the Lord. So no matter how fast things are coming down the conveyor belt, we need to look to the Lord for guidance to discern which items, if any, on that belt are the ones to tackle to His glory.
There are spiritual mountains to which Jesus refers where we can, with total faith in God, have them cast into the sea. But some mountains are there because God needs us to scale them.
I used to get overwhelmed by the totality of a mountain of stressful factors, my mind and emotions overwhelmed in the attempt to solve all of them. That was before Jesus was in my life. Now, when I feel myself going to that place again, I stop to have a coffee or walk to anything else to regroup and ask Him for guidance.
He reminds me that busyness is a trap of the enemy…that by putting too much before me, my flesh mind and senses will be overwhelmed. Jesus helps filter out the noise, to see which steps are false. He reminds me that He can help me control the quality of my steps, rather than how many steps I take. It’s not the rate of steps that matters, but where I step. I need to step where He guides me!
You might be tempted to say that, in practice, this doesn’t work. But I’ve had to learn over and over that walking with God’s guidance, and not the world’s, will bring the heat. That heat may come when I propose a more sane, healthier way to approach work, or interpersonal exchanges. And I need to trust that God will bring me through that heat to the other side for a reason.
Your mountain, whether it’s the challenges of work, personal life, or both, can be tackled. You can reach the summit. But you do it one deliberate step at a time, with God, for God.
TobyMac’s “Beyond Me” acknowledges that when we’re overwhelmed, it’s time to let God shine.