Psalm 61:1-4 (NLT) O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer! 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, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings!

Doing some things for church, the calendar opened before me – I am overwhelmed with filled pages. All the activities of the holiday season for church and work like tiny weights creating a huge burden. The holidays are coming as the time change approaches. I don’t want to run like crazy. Fall out from exhaustion. Be overcome with busyness. I cry out to the Lord only a week into the new month. Lord, help me. Listen to my cry! Hear my prayer. My heart is overwhelmed. The snare of the enemy which entangles the heart of people during the holiday is that of overwhelming expectation. It is of our own social and material design but in order to stop the nonsense – one must identify the source.

Though most might say that they love the holiday season, the same might indicate it is a love-hate relationship. To create the perfect memories. Give all the perfect gifts. Plan perfect meals and gatherings. Perfect parties. Perfect decorations. I could go on and on with this but I believe that filling in the blanks is easy by those who feel the same way. I believe what I am after this year is presence. Two forms to be exact. The Presence of God indicated in Psalm 61 that draws us from our busyness into the stillness of His Sanctuary and safety of His Peace. The second is to be present. There are many activities that I would like to do with my family. Outings. Concerts. Gatherings. The presence in my life cannot happen unless my heart and mind agree to seek the Lord first and choose to step into His Presence now.

Balance. It is so important that our life is properly balanced. However, the scale must rest upon the rock called the Lord God. There will be tasks and responsibilities in life. There will be unforeseen situations and unfortunate circumstances that may arise. Life is carefully planned and orchestrated by God so to live in His Plan and Purpose is simply breathing. We work with His Plan or try to escape it but inevitably He is always pursuing us and pressing us for the prize that faith in us produces because He truly a good father. When my life is out of control and I become overwhelmed, it is usually being driven by something or someone other than the Lord and His Spirit. It is unbalanced. The Lord invites us to come back to the rock. The immovable and unshakeable place of His Presence where priorities are righted, problems solved and busyness subdued. He promises to handle it all. No detail left out in the masterpiece of creation called a new life.

Isaiah 61:10-11 (NLT) I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation     and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels. The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere.

We choose that which overwhelms us. We pick our master. We decide who to give our heart, mind, body and soul to. Those who choose to be overwhelmed by God will experience inexpressible joy and perfect peace in every season and situation. It is a constant battle for dominion over our flesh to surrender our whole life to the Lord. We cannot let our guard down or the lie of the enemy entraps us along with his snares of busyness and human expectation. God has promised good things to us, for us and in us when we put our faith in trust in Him through His Son – Jesus. God gave us power, authority and dominion over the earth when He created us and again after the flood when He presented Noah and his family with the rainbow. When Jesus died and rose again, He gave us the keys to the Kingdom and came to live in us with every intention of leading us from victory to victory and glory to glory. We must simply step into His Presence and live there to have it all. To be present in this life is to experience the joy of Kingdom Living at its best in this life and the everlasting. Lord, overwhelm me with your Presence today and keep me aware so I am always there.

Psalm 27:4 (NLT) The one thing I ask of the Lord—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.

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