“How was your week?”
I felt rather awkward making small talk after this past week. I was pretty certain my answer to that question didn’t fall in the ‘small talk’ category.
I felt overwhelmed.
I was exhausted.
It seemed like the universe was against me getting any sleep.
As an indicator of how the week went, take Monday. After 11 hours at work, I came home, did laundry, cooked dinner and Tuesday’s lunch, washed dishes, and finished up lesson prep. At 11:30 p.m., 5 1/2 short hours before my Tuesday morning alarm, I was trying to fish a broken measuring spoon out of the garbage disposal with a pair of chopsticks while holding a flashlight in my mouth so that maybe the disposal would work again. The rotting fruits and vegetables couldn’t wait another 17 hours until the faculty meeting was over and I was off the clock again. I didn’t remember signing up for this.
I was grumpy. I didn’t want to be a public school teacher anymore. I didn’t want to be a homeowner. I didn’t want to have to interact with any other people for the foreseeable future.
Did I mention I was tired?
I felt overwhelmed by things to do and beset by the temptation to be short tempered, complaining, impatient, and unkind. In my discontentment, I didn’t feel like fighting the temptation. After all, I felt justified. And surely God wouldn’t expect me to keep fighting when I was obviously overwhelmed.
How was my week?
I felt consumed.
I felt consumed by work, by impatience, by inadequacy, by discouragement, by weariness.
But then, the Holy Spirit sent a timely reminder.
I am not consumed.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV
My feelings were strong, but not stronger than the reality. If God’s great mercy means I am not consumed by his righteous wrath, how much less can the urgency and pressures of the world and my own heart consume me?
Meditating on that didn’t make getting the measuring spoon out of the sink any easier, or earn me extra hours to sleep. It did, however, take away the tyranny of the discouragement and bitterness that threatened to seize my heart. What light was brought to my mind by the beauty and glory of that thought!
Trials may try to consume, but the Lord’s love is greater still. Struggles will eventually cease, but his compassions will never fail. Discouragement and weariness may be great, but God’s faithfulness is greater still.