Reflection: Aug 13

Juliane Poirier Pastor's Corner

Overwhelm. It doesn’t just happen when there’s too much to do… it can happen when there’s not enough – time, resources, energy, or hope. I’m feeling the overwhelm right now, and I wish it would go away, wondering what it wants to teach me, and hoping there are CliffsNotes for this lesson.

I’m just done with this pandemic! I’m done being separated from the community that helps knit my faith into a wearable garment. I’m done feeling lonely and inadequate and hug-starved. I’m done feeling fragmented and fearful. But apparently these feelings of overwhelm aren’t done with me.

Overwhelm isn’t a modern thing. The prophet Isaiah spoke to God’s people about overwhelm. “God says, ‘Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Do not fear, for I am with you.’”

I guess this is a lesson I need to learn over and over and over. It’s not by our own resources that we can survive passing through rivers and walking through fire and living in a pandemic, but by taking to heart that God is here, God is with us. I think I’ll sit with Isaiah’s words and let them find a home in me, that whatever comes “shall not overwhelm.”

In faith, Marylee

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