Too Stressed To Be Blessed

Jumping up, I ran to a little room and closed the door, prostrating myself before my Father in heaven.

Jill Morikone

I shook my head, struggling to clear the cobwebs from my tired brain. C’mon, Jill, you’ve got work to do. Focus! My eyes burned as the words blurred in front of me. You’re too young to feel like this! Taking a deep breath, I began to tackle the next project.

So many deadlines. So much to do. So little time. Well-meaning friends and family had cautioned me, “Be careful, Jill. You’ve got to rest too, you know.” I always smiled and thanked them for their care, but the truth was that I didn’t know how to stop. How do you say you can’t do it all? Wasn’t that admitting failure?

The pressure never came from anyone but me. My boss told me to relax, to take some time off. But all I saw were the deadlines, the unanswered letters, the e-mails, and the programs to record. When would they get done? If I took time off, there would be more when I returned. Better get at it now. So I kept going, hoping that tomorrow would be better, that I’d somehow be able to accomplish more. The nights grew shorter and began to be filled with dreams of work, of projects, and of deadlines—things I had somehow forgotten. Would it ever stop?

In the mornings I kept my time with Jesus, but it was different after a while. Thoughts of work intruded into that sacred space, and I couldn’t seem to find Him anymore. Little things irritated me. Another phone call, an interruption at work, something that took my time when I could be working. I didn’t have time for this!

Jumping up, I ran to a little room and closed the door, prostrating myself before my Father in heaven.

One particularly long week we were in the middle of recording some programming. I dragged myself into work after spending most of the night in study for the program, as well as dealing with some pressing deadlines. Sitting on the set before we started, I quietly read my Bible. God, will You speak to me? Please?

Suddenly an older gentleman turned to me and began to talk. About overwork and burnout. About his own experience and the lessons he learned in life about balance and letting go. Every word seared itself upon my mind. Jumping up, I ran to a little room and closed the door, prostrating myself before my Father in heaven. God, I need You. I can’t make it on my own. I can’t do it anymore. I’m through. Finished.

Whatever You want for me, whatever You want from me, I’m Yours. I’ll do anything, go anywhere, be whatever You want.

I waited, my heart trembling. Suddenly I felt Him. His peace. His presence. His power.

What had I been lacking before? Jesus. From that day to this, there is still busyness, still obligations. But I now have Someone on whom to depend. Someone to trust. Someone to carry the load.

And He makes all the difference!

Jill Morikone is general manager for 3 Angels Broadcasting Network, a supporting Adventist television network. She and her husband, Greg, live in southern Illinois and enjoy ministering together for Jesus.