by Pastor Tim Burt
Most people have experienced overwhelming hurt, anger, and pain at the hand of another person at some point in their life. There can be so much emotional resentment built up in you, that you feel almost numb. You can’t think. You don’t feel like doing anything. You just want to shut your eyes and escape. And many do to drugs, alcohol, or a favorite vice.
I pray that none of you are in this state of mind and heart today, but its likely that you have felt like this and will feel like this again. What can we do at times like this? What should we do when we feel so overwhelmed and out of control by circumstances and our own feelings that we can’t focus or think straight?
I’ll make a suggestion at the risk that you might think it overly simplistic. I don’t think it is. I believe it can work every time! It’s something I first noticed, then learned, by observation. My father-in-law executed it perfectly and repeatedly when my children were small. It’s the art of distraction.
You know how little kids are. They get upset easily and over the most ridiculous things. (Much like adults do only they don’t want to admit they’re acting like children.) They get upset, scream, the cry, and can be difficult to get under control. My father-in-law was the master of distraction when my kids got this way. He simply drew their attention to something else long enough to forget what they were upset about. It worked and it was amazing!
When a person is feeling overwhelmed, the negative thoughts creating this feeling are recycled over and over. They exacerbate the feeling of being overwhelmed. If you keep your mind on those negative thoughts, you will stay in that smothering state of mind. If you become distracted, your thoughts have time to move elsewhere and you can begin to find light and your way of escape.
You can probably remember a time when you were really mad at someone when suddenly the telephone rang or somebody walked in on you and interrupted the moment. Because you didn’t want them to see you angry, you quickly put on a fake face and had a normal conversation with them, even talking and laughing with them. It probably distracted you enough to partially forget what was bothering you before they came along. When they left, you may have gone back and continued to be mad, but if you did, it was only because you’ve made the decision to be and it wasn’t close to the level before the distraction.
There is another distraction I would call a godly distraction. It’s my favorite and it works every time! It’s called spending time in the Word of God. It might seem like the last thing you’d want to do when you feel like this, but it can be your answer. Let me explain.
At first you might read for a while and catch yourself thinking about everything but what you are reading. At that point what you are reading is doing no good. It’s not penetrating. Your mind is still elsewhere. But if you will ask God to help you focus on what you read, He will help you! As you will begin to see, hear, and think about the words you are reading, His Word can get through to you and begin to take your heart to a better place.
On this Spirit-led journey you may stumble across some scripture like Proverbs 20:9 NIV that says, “Who can say, ‘I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin?’” That verse may speak to your heart and soon you’ll hear the Holy Spirit speak to you saying, You’ve blown it too so why don’t you cut them some slack! You may stumble across others scriptures that begin to speak to your heart and soften the anxiety your feeling. You begin to experience a refreshing of mercy, grace, and forgiveness, as well as instruction for what to do.
Then you may drift over to another scripture like Isaiah 55:6-7 NIV that jars you saying, “Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.” You know that God is speaking to your heart.
Have you ever tried to fly a kite when there was no wind? You run and run trying to get that thing in the air wanting it to stay up. As soon as you stop running, it crashes to the ground. That’s what happens when we try to resolve negative feelings and circumstances ourselves. We are trying to fly a kite with no wind. When we let negative thoughts be positively distracted by the power of God’s Word and let it breathe life and promise back into our lives, then the Holy Spirit can blow and keep that kite of hope in the air.
Suddenly Isaiah 55:11 NIV speaks to you saying, “…My word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” These are words of promise. God is near. He is bigger than you. He is smarter than you. He knows your past and your future. And He has your solutions! And He promises to heal you and help you move forward in forgiveness or through your hard circumstances. That’s what I call a Holy Ghost distraction designed to get your mind off what is bad and back on what is good. And… He promises that His Word will work in you if you give yourself over to it!
We do have things happen that try to overwhelm us and those feelings can be suffocating. But, God’s Word can pull us out. Let its power initially distract you from those feelings and then complete its work calming you, giving your direction, building your faith, and helping you to move forward in peace. It will work in you! It won’t return void. Let God’s Word do what it was meant to do in your life. Pray first asking Him to speak to you and then be helped and refreshed as He ministers to your heart! Amen!
Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV) “For the word of God is living and powerful…”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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