3 Truths to Remember When You're in Over Your Head

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There are moments in our lives when our circumstances feel as though they're going to drown us.

The psalmist cries out "I have come into deep waters: the floods engulf me" (Psalm 69:2b, NIV). His prayer reminds me of Ezekiel 47, where God leads Ezekiel into the river. First Ezekiel is ankle-deep (Ezek. 47:3)—when we're ankle-deep, life feels certain and calm.

Then God leads Ezekiel into knee-deep water (Ezek. 47:4a)—when we're knee-deep, life feels under our control.

Then God leads Ezekiel into water that is waist-deep (Ezek. 47:4b)—when we're waist-deep, life feels exciting.

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Finally, God leads Ezekiel in over his head, where the river was so deep no one could cross (Ezek. 47:5)—when we're in over our head, we become desperate for God.

When you feel like you're in over your head—when the pressure is so great you feel like you're drowning—where is God? He is right there with you, leading you step by step into the water. So how do you keep from going under?

3 Truths to Remember When You're in Over Your Head

When you're in over your head, self-reliance is stripped away.
It's so easy to rely on our own strength for wisdom, fruitfulness and direction, but when you feel like you're drowning you are forced to look to God for wisdom. We have not even begun to delve into the full depth of the wisdom of God. As the apostle Paul writes, "How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable are His ways!" (Rom. 11:33, MEV). The amazing thing is that God promises to give His wisdom to those who ask (James 1:5). When you're in over your head, ask God for wisdom and praise Him in advance for the wisdom He will give.

When you're in over your head, security comes from clinging to God.
The psalmist writes, "My soul clings hard to You; your right hand upholds me" (Ps. 63:8). When our kids were tiny, Steve would take them into the waves at the beach. Their tiny arms would cling around his neck as together, father and child would jump the waves. I have often gone back to that picture in my mind when I feel like I'm in over my head. I imagine myself clinging to my Abba Father. The best part is, even if I lose my grip, He doesn't lose His! He will hold me tight as we jump life's waves together.

When you're in over your head, Spirit-filled fruit replaces human effort.
After God led Ezekiel in over his head, He led him to the bank of the river, where there were a great number of fruitful trees and fish. And then the Lord told Ezekiel that "the fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing"(Ezek. 47:12c). What a beautiful promise!

God won't waste our pain. If we will rely on the Holy Spirit when we feel in over our head, out of our lives will flow fruit and healing for many.

Becky Harling, an author, certified speaker, leadership coach and trainer with the John Maxwell Team, is an energetic and motivational international speaker inspiring audiences to overcome their greatest life challenges and reach their full God-given potential. Her most recent book is How to Listen So People Will Talk. Her husband,Steve Harling, is the president of Reach Beyond, a nonprofit organization seeking to be the voice and hands of Jesus around the world. Connect with Becky at beckyharling.com, Facebook or Twitter.

This article originally appeared at beckyharling.com.

For more about what to do when you're overwhelmed, listen to the podcasts included with this article.

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