“You're overwhelmed. Freeze was underwhelmed. Why isn't anyone just whelmed”? – Robin from the Young Justice TV show
If my ramble is confusing, I apologize, the whelming of my heart is in full effect and it is searching desperately for the Head Shepherd’s way.
Life as pastor/shepherd/fellow follower of Christ is an emotional/relational mix of rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep (Romans 12:15). It stretches the contents of your heart daily and often “whelms” you to the tired tears of weariness as you move in as much compassion as that frail heart can muster. In your heart and spirit you wonder…
Did I say the right thing? Did I give what was needed? Did I listen to their heart? Did they hear God in my words?
Many times there are no simple answers to those questions and my sleep suffers because of it. I am so mindful of my words, careful of the weight my position carries and the effect that beautiful mystery has on the folks I journey with. My position as under shepherd encourages this intense collision of hearts and urges a seal of unity in place of otherwise separate lives. To move in such unity requires a surrender unlike any other, one that consistently “whelms” me with its passion.
Thankfully, there is green grass ahead…
He makes me lie down in green pastures…Psalm 23:2
Green pastures don't just happen—they're made by a heart of love, by a God who knows His sons and daughters. When our hearts are weary and whelmed out… ready to quit, bail, surrender and give in to something less… there is a green pasture ahead. The Good Shepherd is leading us to this place of nourishment and freedom. In this green, lush place, my whelmed self… my failing strength is replaced by His.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. Psalm 73:26
So, when I pray with my brothers and sisters, when our stories overlap and blend together, and when the shared humanness of laughter and tears swallows us up as one, my understanding of community breathes with new life. Together we can cry out to the shepherd who knows where to lead us.
From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety. Psalm 61:2
Is your heart “whelmed” today? How can I help you see the green grass just ahead…How can I pray for you?