When You Just “Can’t Even”

Okay, I know the title of this sounds like something a teenage girl would text to a friend after finding out that there is homework due the next day, but hang with me for a moment.

From all that I have been able to deduce the phrase “can’t even” can be equated to saying, “I’m emotionally dumbfounded.” In fact, according to the internet, the phrase is used when a person has so many emotional responses to a situation that they just can’t even comprehend what is going on.

I don’t know about you, but I can think of many different situations where I have been left emotionally dumbfounded. Life is full of circumstances that are hard and confusing and, if we allow them to, they weigh on us so much until we can’t even stand it anymore. Often times we allow our anxieties and stresses to rule over us.

So, what do we do when we just simply can’t even?

We need to trust that when we can’t God can.

Jesus literally gives us the answer here in Matthew 11:28-29, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Additionally, 1 Peter 5:7, reminds us that we ought to be, “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”

Why should we go to Him when we are burdened? Because He can give us rest. Why should we cast our cares and anxieties on Him? Because He cares for us. Why should we lay our burdens down? Because He can carry them with ease.

Another thing that we need to realize and remember is that emotions can be tricky things. Emotions are good things that help us connect to events and to one another. I feel as though I can’t overstate this, emotions are not bad, it is ok for you to feel how you feel. However, with that being said, we need to understand that emotions can be very misleading. So, when we are in the midst of a highly emotionally charged situation it is good to take a step back and refocus on the truth that we know. Emotions can change from day to day or even hour to hour, but the truth always remains.

God is true, and His Word is truth. Next time you feel like you just can’t even take a moment to step back and run to the Bible for help, support, and direction. I use the word “run” because I want to convey the urgency in which we should be going to read our Bibles. 1 Peter tells us that God has given us everything we need for life and godliness. All the answers and wisdom we need can be found in His love letter to us. His Word is literally a lamp unto our feet and a light to our path. (Psalm 119:105)

In addition to running to God’s Word, we should remember that we can talk to God faster than we can text a friend or update our status. Prayer is so much more than a list of rote phrases that you repeat for different occasions. Neither is prayer a performance where you try to wow others by your “talking to God skills.” No, prayer is much deeper and much simpler than that. Prayer is communication with God. That statement is so very simple and yet incredibly complex. The God of the universe who holds galaxies in His hands and breathes life into being- is the same God who cares enough about you to listen to your smallest and silliest requests. To Him, your request and burdens matter because you matter.

I thank God for Philippians 4:6-7 for summing everything up so perfectly. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

We are promised that when we take our burdens to God, the peace of God (which by the way, surpasses any and all of our understanding) will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. That is incredible! When we are emotionally dumbfounded, when we are at the end of our rope, when we just can’t even, God can and will give us peace.

So, next time that you feel overwhelmed just remember; when you can’t even move forward, find the answer, deal, cope, reason, feel, or understand…God can.

Find your rest in Him.

Even on the Cloudy Days

Many people like sunshine, I prefer cloudy days. Most people enjoy warm weather, I don’t. For me, this time of year produces the best kind of weather, cold.

However, I know that while the cloudy skies bring smiles to my face they usually have the opposite effect on people around me. For many, C.S. Lewis painted a perfect picture in his book The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe. In Narnia, winter accompanied the oppression and evil of the White Witch. It wasn’t until Aslan’s victory that spring finally came. Many people are already looking forward to spring, and winter doesn’t even officially start for a few days. I understand you, but instead of bemoaning the next few months lets allow truth, not just the weather, to impact our attitudes.

Some people struggle with what is known officially as “Seasonal Affective Disorder,” otherwise known as seasonal depression. This, unfortunately, according to Mental Health America, impacts about 5% of the population. Additionally, 4 out of every 5 people impacted are women. While I don’t think that we should be quick to diagnose ourselves, we should understand that this can be, and is, a difficult time of year for many people for a myriad of reasons. We haven’t even mentioned the stress and pressure that sadly surrounds the “happy holiday season.”

For many, the cloudy days seem to reflect their current views. With that being said, no matter what our current outlook or mood, we still need to focus our minds on truth.

Today, like all other days is the day that the Lord has made, and we ought to rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24) That needs to be true in our lives every single day whether our emotions agree or not. We need to rejoice and be glad in each day that God gives us no matter what is going on around us.

Each day that God gives us is a gift. Let me repeat that, each day that God gives us is a gift, no matter what circumstances surround us. So with the clouds of winter quickly approaching us let’s focus for a few minutes on some timely truths.

God is right there with us in the midst of our feelings.

 Psalm 38:9- “O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you.”

Psalm 18:28- “the Lord my God lightens my darkness.”

Romans 8:35-39- “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?…No…For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God comforts us in the midst of our feelings.

Psalm 46:1- “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

John 14:27- “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”

2 Corinth. 1:3-4- “…God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our afflictions…

God helps us see past our feelings.

Romans 8:18- “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

2 Corinth. 1:3-4- “…God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our afflictions, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

Take time this winter to rejoice in the God who made you and who gave you this season.

Take time this winter to reflect on God’s Word and to lean on Him in the midst of hard times.

Take time this winter to encourage one another and provide comfort.

Most of all, let’s allow the brightness of the Son to shine through our lives so that all may see…even on the cloudy days.