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3 Encouragements for Women when Feeling Overwhelmed
On this Mother’s Day weekend, we celebrate the mothers, the spiritual mothers, and all the wonderful women in our lives. Every woman that I know is working hard to leave her corner of the world better than she found it. Women, we shoulder many burdens — caring well for the people in our lives (both little ones and big ones), doing our work with excellence, making financial ends meet, and juggling all the demands while still maintaining our own health. Are you ever overwhelmed?
I want to share a passage of Scripture that has pointed me to the hope and strength found in our Savior. It has relieved the weight of the burdens I carry and caused me to marvel at the abundant grace of our God.
Psalm 84 is a poem about the beauty of the Lord and the joy of being in His presence. Many verses we might recognize as lines from worship songs because modern-day songwriters are inspired by the words of this Psalm again and again.
But tucked into the center of Psalm 84 are a few verses that are little sung:
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion. (Psalm 84:5–7, NIV)
In these verses, we read about people who are making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to worship in the Lord’s temple, which in Old Testament times was the only place to be in His presence. These pilgrims seem to be traveling in a group through dry lands, finding their strength in God’s power.
So what encouragement can we find here for ourselves as women?
1️⃣ The Lord is our strength.
In Psalm 84, the writer’s favorite name for God is “Lord Almighty.” Resting in the Lord’s presence places us within his protection and gives our hearts courage. In verse 5, we read that those who draw near to God to find strength in Him are “blessed” and, from verse 7, that they “go from strength to strength.”
When you feel like your strength is gone, dear sister, draw near to the Lord Almighty. His energy never fails. His power can supply you with strength when you feel like you have spent all of yours and there is nothing left. His nearness can impart blessing — a deep sense of His favor and grace — that will give you the courage to keep moving. Set your heart toward pursuing His presence to the point where your “soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord” (verse 2).
2️⃣ Our work blesses everyone around us.
We are all on a pilgrimage, just like this psalm illustrates. Life on this earth is simply a journey to our forever home and the presence of the Lord.
Do you ever wonder if all your work is worth it? Does it really matter to anyone if you fold endless loads of laundry, sit in this staff meeting, weed the flower beds, or send that follow-up email?
Like the “valley of Baca,” this world we live in is a dry place. We all feel it. But as the pilgrims in this psalm find their strength in the Lord Almighty and set their hearts on Him, look at what they do in verse 6: they make it a place of springs.
Dear sister that is what you are doing with every seemingly insignificant act of your day — you are bringing life and nourishment to fellow pilgrims around you! Through ordinary daily tasks, you make your home beautiful, make your workplace hospitable, and make your community human. Jesus, our Living Water, sends His springs out through us to refresh those who journey with us.
3️⃣ God’s grace covers our efforts.
If you were looking for relief on a hot July day, in which would you find more refreshment: splashing your feet in a trickling spring or submerging your whole body in a cool pool? There is nothing like going underwater in a clear blue pool when the air is sweltering! It brings such deep refreshment!
Notice from Psalm 84:6 that while the pilgrims make the dry valley a place of springs on their travels, God himself sends rain to cover it with pools. They are faithful to beautify their surroundings; the Lord Almighty blesses the valley beyond measure. The pilgrims bring refreshment to others as they find strength in the Lord; God covers their efforts with even more of his goodness.
Be faithful to bring beauty and refreshment right where God has you, dear sister, but rest in the knowledge that the Lord will cover you and all those you love with His goodness and grace, adding to and fulfilling all your efforts. He does not ask you to shoulder your burdens alone. He strengthens you for the tasks at hand. He richly blesses you with his favor and goodness. “How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty!” (Psalm 84:1).