by Pastor Jen Shenk


“When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Psalm 61:2)

My family and I just returned from a trip out west, where we spent the week in Utah. At every turn, we saw immense, rocky cliffs, seeming to touch the very sky. As far as the eye could see, the massive walls of rock lined our view. I found myself gazing up at the rocks with wonder and awe, feeling very small and insignificant.

I don’t know about you, but I have found the events in our country and world very troubling--  the recent Jewish massacre in a house of worship, violent storms and destruction due to climate change, plane crashes, hatred, fear and negativity being spread by our leaders, the list goes on and on. It’s hard to have hope, to continue to work for justice, to even know where to begin. It’s difficult to stay connected to God’s heart of love, life and joy. It can be discouraging and feel overwhelming.

For me, in times like these, it’s more important than ever to take intentional time each day to center on God. I must remember I can choose how I begin and end my day. I may not have mountains to look at, but I have God’s word to read. I can breathe in and out, simply sitting in God’s presence,connecting my heart to God’s heart. I can pause and listen to what the Holy Spirit may be saying. I can pray and sing the Psalms. I can gather with other believers regularly to give and receive testimony to God’s work in the world. These spiritual disciplines help ground me. They help lead me to the “rock that is higher than I.” When my heart is overwhelmed, I have a choice-- I can turn to God. By reorienting my gaze to God’s ways, I can be in a better place to receive clarity, peace and hope. I can gain a better perspective on what Kingdom work needs to be done-- partnering with God and others.

As you face times of trial, anxiety or feel overwhelmed, I pray you can find ways to lean into God’s solid, loving presence. May this grounding in Eternal Love give you peace and strength to do what God is calling you to do.

“God alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress. I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 62:6)


Note: This originally appeared in the November Kernels newsletter published by Kern Road Mennonite Church.