Have you ever found yourself so overwhelmed with your schedule, your circumstance, or your fear that you are overcome by anxiety, helplessness, or worst yet – despair?
Maybe it’s a long list of small duties that you’d rather avoid. Maybe it’s getting everyone in the family to all the practices, games, recitals, meetings, and all the other commitments (been there, done that). Maybe it’s a large or life-altering responsibility like a major project at work, caring for an aging parent, or “doing life” after the death of a close friend or family member.
Many times we let external forces dictate our thoughts and emotions. We are distressed by the thought of all that we have to do – and in those desperate situations we either procrastinate, freeze up, or give up. What is a person to do?
We’re shown a great example tucked in the back of a group of well-known verses found in Mark 15. This chapter is jam-packed with action, drama, injustice, and despair of the Crucifixion. However, in verse 42 we find a precious story that serves as a true example of what we should do in what seems to be a defeating situation – just do the next thing.
“By this time, evening had come. And it was preparation day (that is, the day before the Sabbath), Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the Council, a man who looked forward to the kingdom of God, bravely went into Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate was surprised to hear that He was already dead, so he sent for the centurion and asked him whether it was long since he had died. When he heard the centurion’s report, he gave Joseph leave to take the dead body. So Joseph bought a linen sheet, took Him down from the cross, wrapped Him in the sheet and laid Him in the tomb cut out of rock and rolled a stone against the entrance.”
When the disciples and other followers of Jesus – including his closest of friends like Mary and Martha – were filled with grief, fear, and disbelief of Christ’s death, we see that Joseph of Arimathea did what everyone else overlooked; he did the next thing. He asked for Jesus’ body, wrapped it, and placed it in the tomb. Can you imagine the relief and encouragement that must’ve provided for Jesus’ friends and family?
No matter the size of the task – great or small, tedious or seemingly impossible…when we are overwhelmed, or consumed with struggles, fear, or distress…we must first trust in our Heavenly Father, take a deep breath, and then just Do. The. Next. Thing.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for being my Provider, my Counselor and Comforter, and my Healer. Lord, I am overwhelmed and stressed by the situation I find myself in. Only You can enable me to prevail. Please give me the wisdom, discernment, energy and focus to do what You would have me to do next. May I lead others to You by the way I handle this situation. In Jesus’ name, amen.