Before my eyes were even open this morning, they hurt. Two days ago a little something lodged its way into my left eye, and before I woke up this morning I knew it was still there. I rubbed and rubbed, trying to get whatever it is to move, but it wouldn’t.
An irritation that just won’t go away.
An itch I can’t scratch. A scratch I can’t soothe.
Like so much of me right now. I’m feeling prickly and fussy and not quite right in my skin.
The phone rings; I jump.
A pebble works its way into my sandal; I complain just a little too loudly.
My head hurts. My feet hurt. My heart hurts.
I try to explain it to my friend while we walk, but the just-right words won’t come. Her words, however, fit perfectly: “It’s like when everyone in your life is trying to push you in a direction you don’t want to go.”
Some days you want to throw up your hands in surrender. “OK, Life. You win. You want to get the best of me? You did. You are.”
Maybe it’s change that does this to me. (Too much of that lately.) Maybe it’s a lack of white space in my life. (Not enough of that.) Maybe it’s concern for the people around me. (Tons of that going on.)
Maybe it’s selfishness or pride or just who I am.
Maybe it’s all of those things combined.
A million little problems escalate into mountains that should be molehills.
A thousand worries worm their way into my consciousness throughout the day.
A hundred stories about this gone wrong or that gone wrong, all left untold.
It's only a few days, and I'm already looking for an escape.
I pick up my Bible and start reading where I left off. Joseph is in pretty bad straits. He’s been forgotten, alone, abandoned in prison. People have disappointed him. Lied, even. And yet, there is no sense that he has lost hope.
Finally, the day comes when Joseph is remembered, when things start looking up for him. Does he say, “Finally! I’ve been waiting for you to get here! Just look at how horrible my life has been. I so deserve to get out of here”?
No. Joseph just gets busy doing the work God has for him.
Pharaoh has had a dream, and he asks Joseph to interpret it for him. And I stumble across this verse: “’It is beyond my power to do this,’ Joseph replied, ‘But God can tell you what it means and set you at ease.’” (Genesis 41:16)
“It is beyond my power to do this.” I can so relate.
It is beyond my power to protect my children when they are away from home. It is beyond my power to solve issues at work. It is beyond my power to help my husband deal with the stress of his job. It is beyond my power to make everyone happy.
So much is beyond my power.
“But God,” says Joseph. “But God can tell you what it means and set you at ease.”
That’s what I’m looking for—a mind, a heart set at ease. Peace.
Obviously, I’m looking in the wrong places. I’m trying to worry my problems away rather than resting in God. I’m trying to will things to go the way I want rather than trusting that God will make things right. All of this fussing, getting me nowhere.
Beyond my power. . . .
. . . But God.
Time to get to work.
Can you relate? (Tell me you can.) How will you trust God today?