Monthly Archives: July 2016


7:30:16 Focusby Lydia Floren

“O soul, are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see?”

These are the first lines of a great old hymn. Even though Helen Lemmel wrote these questions decades ago, they are relevant today, aren’t they?  Here’s what she says next:

“There’s a light for a look at the Savior, And life more abundant and free!

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

We all feel overwhelmed at times. Lemmel simply reminds us, when we get discouraged, to take some time to focus on something—Someone—else.  As we shift our attention to Jesus, our troubles don’t disappear. They just settle into a different perspective.

Turn your eyes away from your troubles, and look at Jesus.

Listen, as He says:

I love you in the mess of your life, and day by day I’m redeeming it and setting it right. It is beautiful now, and it is becoming more beautiful. You don’t have to fix anything. You just have to rest, and follow and let me work.

Live in the present, aware of God’s loving presence. The past is redeemed. The future is secure. The present is really all you have at any given time.

Perfect love drives out fear.”  1 John 4:18

Overwhelming GRACE

0verwhelming GRACE

overwhelming GRACE

Overwhelming GRACE

by Lydia Floren

When life seems overwhelming, it is hard to wait on God. And even when we choose to be still,  our minds can continue to race, robbing us of this precious time to re-energize and refocus.

Praying GRACE is an awesome way to break free of swirling thoughts, and drink in God’s peace and love.

Give thanks:

Thank you, God, that you are here. You love me, and those Iove. You know exactly what is going on. You meet me right where I am and are leading me in the next step. You are powerful and have everything under control. I am safe.


Father, you know all of these things swirling around in my head. I just leave them one by one at your feet. You are in control. I don’t need to be, and frankly, I can’t be.  Thank you for helping me to see that. Forgive me when I try to take control instead of trusting you.


Father, I accept the lighter load of following you, instead of trying to figure out everything on my own. I accept Your leadership and direction. Right now I choose to listen as you speak through your word, and your still small voice within me.


God, I choose to continue moving forward in the way you have already led me, trusting you to make clear any changes that need to be made.  Thank you that even if/when things don’t seem clear, you will open doors, close others, helping me to see plainly which way to go.


Father thank you that I can just enjoy the day in front of me, knowing that You’re with me–reassuring, guiding, loving. I can enjoy each moment knowing that you’re taking care of everything, and that you have the big picture in mind.

                This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

you are lovely, and loved.

God's grace is overwhelming

Don’t Rush. Just Rest.

7:15:16 Don't Rushby Lydia Floren

You know, Jesus had a pretty big “to do” list to accomplish in his 33 years of life:

  1. Grow up (and never do anything wrong).
  2. Take 12 random guys (some of whom can’t read or write), and, in 3 years, shape them into world leaders.
  3. Be tortured and killed, in spite of what you want to do, and defeat the greatest enemy the world has ever known.

Yeah, Jesus had a lot on his plate. But think about it.  Can you imagine Jesus rushing around – interrupting folks and cutting people off in traffic so he could get His “important stuff” done?  Of course not.

Jesus was never in a hurry.

He said,  “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

When we come to Him, in the middle of our busyness, he gives us rest.  We find “rest for our souls.”  And we can go about our day, packed as it may be, settled and at peace in that “zone of rest,” knowing He is with us and within us, guiding and leading us to do what is most important.

There is plenty of time to do each day what God would have us do without rushing.

Don’t rush. Just rest.


7:8:16 Waitby Lydia Floren

Sometimes, life spins out of control. We have so much to do that we don’t know what to do next. We make “to do” lists of our “to do” lists. We are busy, but we don’t seem to be going anywhere. Finally, we get so overwhelmed, we hit a wall, and turn back to God. Here is a conversation with God, based on Isaiah 40:27-31:

“Help!! I’m dying here, God. Don’t you get it?”
“Oh yeah, I get it, alright. I’ve seen this a lot.”
“Well, what should I do about it?”
“You really want to know?”
“Of course.”
“You are not going to like this.”
“Try me. I’m drowning here.”
“OK, here is what you need to do:  wait.”
“Really? That’s the best you got?”
“Yup, the very best I have. Waiting will get you where you need to go more than all that running around you are doing.”

Wait? That seems like the last thing we need to do when we are overwhelmed. But waiting is different than we think. It is not tapping our foot nervously, glancing at our watch. It is not reciting our problems expecting instant solutions. Waiting on God is the practice of stilling our minds and hearts and spirits. Giving thanks. Connecting. Savoring His word. Listening.

When we stop. And still ourselves. And just focus on God, appreciating who He is and what He is about, everything becomes clear again.

In His presence, God gives us

  • Perspective: When we are in God’s presence, He helps us see what is truly important.
  • Wisdom: When we wait, God gives us wisdom and discernment about how to move forward.
  • Power: Focusing on God, and being restored gives us new energy. It empowers us to take the next step.

The most important time to wait – to spend time in God’s presence – is when we don’t “have the time.”  When we do, we step into our day at peace, settled, confident. Pretty soon we are trotting, then running, and before we know it, our feet lift off the ground, and we soar.

“Yet, those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength;
they will mount up with wings like eagles,
they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Isaiah 40:31

God’s Answer to Overwhelm

7:1:16 God's Answer to OverwhelmGod’s Answer to Overwhelm

by Lydia Floren

Do you ever feel like you have too much to do and not enough time? What a question! Of course you do. Life in the 21st century rolls along at neck-breaking speed. We can try to manage it (and that is good to do) but even with our best efforts our lives can get out of balance. We get exhausted. Malnourished. Crabby.

We “don’t have time” to exercise regularly, or eat healthy food. We sleep poorly, because we stay up late doing stuff, or we have so much on our minds that it’s hard to get to sleep, or stay asleep.

And how can we possibly afford to spend 30-60 uninterrupted minutes in our day for time with God? Our life is one big interruption!

When I was in medical school, I regularly experienced this sense of being overwhelmed. There was too much to learn. Not enough time to grasp it all. And the constant fear lurking in the back of my head: If I didn’t learn this, would some patient die as a result? How would I ever be a good doctor? I would pray, “God, what have you gotten me into? Or what have I gotten myself into? Did I hear you wrong, when I felt you leading me toward going to medical school?”

Isaiah 40:27-31 was my answer from Him:

“Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God?””

Huh. That sure sounds a lot like me.

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.” 

Yeah, I “know” this. I’ve heard it all my life. I guess I just don’t remember it or believe it very well. So, You DO know what is going on. You know exactly what my situation is. Good. [rub hands together] What’s the plan?

“He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power.” 

Sounds good. I am ready for some of that strength and power, especially the brain power.

“Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” 

Wait? Wait. You want me to wait? What do you mean “wait”?

[More next week.]

Share with Us: What have you learned when you find yourself overwhelmed?