Body and Soul

Crisis Overload

I have been trying to figure out lately why I am so tired all of the time.  Certainly poor diet and lack of exercise have a lot to do with my physical fatigue, but I am also mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually exhausted.  God has been calling me to learn about resting in Him, so I decided that before I can truly rest, I should know what it is that is wearing me out.

In college, I took a class on the family.  Of all of the classes I sat in, this one resonated with me as information that I would need for the rest of my life.  I saved my notes and every once in a while I refer to that notebook to see how it lines up with my experiences.  One particular section of the class talked about crisis and that little tidbit has camped out in a corner of my mind for the last twenty years!  As I contemplated my ever-changing circumstances of late, I pulled out the notebook for a glance at the section on crisis.  Here is what I read:

Crisis – crucial change in the course of events, a turning point, or an unstable condition of affairs

Crisis Overload – experiencing more than one crisis at once

These definitions jumped off the page at me and screamed, “Hello, this is your life!”  Truthfully, with the society that we live in today, I don’t know many people who are not in crisis overload on a regular basis.  We live at such a pace today that we often precipitate our own crises.  We don’t allow for times of rest and we move from activity to activity with little transition time.  A busy and hurried life is, in fact, an unstable condition of affairs – the very definition of crisis.

In an effort to identify the amount of crisis overload in my own life, I decided to make a list of the crises I have endured in the past seven years.  Some of the items on my list are too personal to list, however, here is an abbreviated version:

Separation

Divorce

Move (4 times)

Remarriage

Blended Family (new children)

Career Change

Lifestyle change (subdivision to farm life)

Financial Crisis

Church Change

Death of Grandmother

Surgery for my child

Now some may look at my list and think, “That’s nothing, you should see what I have been through,” and others will remark, “Wow, what have I been complaining for?”  But I have learned that crisis is relative.  There is no way to compare circumstances because what is painful and difficult for me is just that – painful and difficult.  We must also remember that even a joyful event can be a crisis.  Anything that causes change or significant interruption in our lives is considered a crisis. The bottom line is that crisis causes stress, and stress causes fatigue.

So now that I know what is to blame for my weariness, what do I do with it?  There is a certain sense of relief to know that I am justified in my exhaustion, but I don’t want to remain there.  Where do I go from here?  I will go to the only place I know that offers true rest!

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.                                                                 Psalm 91:1

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:  “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”                                                                                                                                Isaiah 30:15

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him.                                                                                                                Psalm 62:5

Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.        Matthew 11:28-30

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