Tuesday, October 05, 2010

I've Had Enough!

Skimming the headlines lately isn’t just depressing, it’s disturbing. Denver Broncos receiver Kenny McKinley. Restaurateur Joseph Cerniglia. Rutgers student Tyler Clementi. 13 year-old Seth Walsh. They say celebrity deaths happen in threes. But front-page suicides don’t seem to follow that rule. 34,000 Americans commit suicide every year. I wonder if our 24-hour news cycle, instant online access to information, and social media run amok has caused that number to increase recently. Each of the examples above suffered from over-exposure, desired or not.

Then there are those cases that don’t get the headlines. How many others don’t we hear about? How many crack under the pressures of the present economy? How many succumb to their addictions? How many crumble under the weight of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after serving our country? How many others just can’t take it anymore?

Elijah had enough. He just saw a great victory as God answered his prayers and rained fire down in spite of the prophets of Baal. That upset the status quo however, and he was now a wanted man. “'I have had enough LORD,' he said. 'Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.'" (1 Kings 19:4-5)

God was still present, even in his time of despair. But he had to go out to see Him. (v 7-13)

Jonah was depressed because God forgave Ninevah, a hated enemy of Israel. “Now, O LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.” (Jonah 4:3) and later "I am angry enough to die." (v 9)

God reminded Jonah to not be upset over things he had no control; that God was in control and He knows what is best. (v 10-11)

Would these examples have helped those above? I don’t know. In some cases, I highly doubt it. But they help me.

Chuck Salser recently posted on "going boom". I commented that he described me perfectly. Thursday night I blew up. I’ve been continually irritable at work recently and even more irritable at home. I’m sure I’m not pleasant to be around right now. I’ve had enough! Enough of what, I don’t know.

Maybe it’s the change of seasons. Maybe it’s the start of the school year, turning my routine upside down. Or maybe I’m just missing what’s most important.

I need to take the lesson from Elijah and go out to seek God personally. I need to take the lesson from Jonah and not get upset over things I cannot control. I need to listen to Chuck and not let my anger boil over. Bottom line, I need to keep in mind the things of God and not the things of this world.

Just as importantly, I need to share this with others. Sadly we often do not know who is suffering in this way until it is too late. An encouraging word. A hug. Sharing from the Word of God. Who knows what effect this would have on a stranger, a friend, unless we stop and do it. That requires us to stop focusing on our own problems and seek to serve others.

My question this week:

Have you had enough? And if so, what are you doing about it?

This post is participating in Bridget Chumbley's Blog Carnival. This week's topic: Healing. Be sure to visit for additional insight and inspiration.


katdish said...

" stop focusing on our own problems and seek to serve others"

Yep. When I focus on my own misery, I stay miserable and don't do a bit of good for anyone else. Furthermore, my prayers become a list of whiny demands rather than a conversation about gratitude for all that He provides.

JC Dude said...

I've had enough...for sure. What am I going to do about it? Well, listen to your advice for one.

"I need to take the lesson from Elijah and go out to seek God personally."

Thanks Dude!

Glynn said...

And he says, "Be still and know."

I think we've all had enough. And we're all given enough to go on. Sometimes what we're given is the opportunity to serve someone else.

Good post, Fatha Frank.

Lisa notes... said...

Wow. I love your post. Sometimes I find myself saying, “I’ve had enough” but I have to remind myself that only God knows when enough is too much, and I need to trust his levels more than my own. I appreciate you bringing up the Bible stories as ways of helping, and also your suggestions on how we can help others. Sometimes the smallest little thing can really help me over a hump, so I should be doing those same small things to help others. Thanks for sharing.

Fatha Frank said...

Thanks all for your comments!

@Katdish: That sounds like too many of my prayers, I'm sorry to say. You're absolutely right.

@Jay: You're welcome! But it's not my advice. An angel of the Lord had to shake Elijah out of it before he could even go.

@Glynn: We've had enough and God has given us enough. Enough is enough!

@Lisa: Welcome! Little things can definately be enough. Funny how the simplest things can change our attitudes.

Duane Scott said...

I read this on my phone and have to stop by now that I'm on a computer.

I'm with you... All the way.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I've had enough! There are many reasons as to why... but I need to follow your wise words. Thanks for this post.

caryjo said...

I often think some of what you described... our hearts were never expected to deal with the everyday piles of news about the sorrows around the world. We hear about deaths in Asia in a bus accident w/in minutes. In the past, people didn't hear details such as that for weeks, months, or forever. We live in tough times with all of our wondrous communication. Suicide is sometimes an easy way out -- if people don't know the Lord. If I didn't have and couldn't trust Him, I would've been "gone" a long time ago. ONLY HE is the answer, and that's what I have to rely on day by day, minute by minute, as I face/see family, local, national, and international "challenges." Our present generation has piles on its plate.


Fatha Frank said...

Thank you Bridget and Caryjo for stopping by and commenting!

@Caryjo, I'm a news junkie, but sometimes I have to step away from it all. There's just too much information out there. Grateful for the God who gives me peace.