If you looked up the word “overwhelmed” in the dictionary you will find this definition, “to bury or drown beneath a huge mass.”
Have you ever felt like that?
Have you ever had the “huge mass” called life just totally overwhelm you to the point that you felt like you could no longer go on?
If so, you are not alone. Life has a way of making people of all ages and all different levels of social status, feel overwhelmed.
Many try to hide it and act like they have life all together, but internally and eventually externally, if not handled properly, even those that seem the strongest begin to drown by this huge mass called–LIFE.
Being overwhelmed doesn’t have to be your permanent state. Over the next few blog posts I want to try to give some encouragement that I have found has helped me in my most difficult times.
Before we get to the points of encouragement, let’s first identify why we are overwhelmed. (I know what you just thought…”it’s my spouse and kids!”) Well, let’s take a little deeper look.
Busyness of Life
Let’s just face it––life is busy.
One time I asked a boy in our church around 10 years old how his week was and without hesitation he said, “Busy.” I thought, “How can a 10 year old’s life possibly be that busy!”
The prophet Elijah understood busyness. A day long battle with the prophets of Baal followed by a run of 17-30 miles to Jezreel, only to have it declared that Jezebel, the most wicked woman on the planet at that time, was going to cut his head off the next day!
Elijah was busy doing the Lord’s work, but he found himself overwhelmed and sitting by a tree asking God to just kill him.
Battle with Sin
While trying to survive the busyness of life we also have an internal battle going on with sin everyday.
The temptation of this world along with our natural desires wanting to go outside of the will of God can get overwhelming.
Fear and worry always love to remind us of what might happen along with anger and impatience building up inside of us over situations we don’t like.
Galatians 5 tells us that there is a war going on daily within us as children of God. The Spirit reminding us to claim our position in Christ and victory over sin, while sin reminds us of just how pleasurable it can be.
When we yield to sin Satan loves to hit us with guilt. Soon we find ourselves overwhelmed and discouraged and ready to throw in the towel.
Bitterness with People
No matter how much you try to avoid it, people will hurt you. From forgetting a special day to an unfaithful spouse there is no limit to how people can hurt us.
If you work a job you will come across a tough person to get along with or a boss that just doesn’t make what you think to be a right decision.
Conflict with people is draining and without a doubt leaves us feeling overwhelmed.
Burdens of Life
Just being alive qualifies and guarantees that you will have burdens.
Work is long, but bills must be paid. Children are amazing, but training them tests our patience. Family and friends are everything, but death sometimes takes them by surprise.
The burdens of just being human are more than I can type. Some of you reading this now know this all too well.
Just typing this and thinking of all that life throws at us, I feel myself getting that sick feeling in my stomach that you get when you hear bad news.
So where is the hope?
Over the next few blog posts I will give ten actions to help us overcome the emotions of being overwhelmed. In the meantime, remember this. God loves you and he hasn’t forgotten about you.
God delights in your prayers and wants you to look to Him and cry out to him in your struggle.
Several years ago I was in Honduras on a mission’s trip a few months after my 5 month old son had suddenly died. I was feeling overwhelmed and got up late one night and opened my bible and it happened to open to Psalm 143.
I read in there about David, a man after God’s own heart, and how he was overwhelmed with life.
Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate. I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands. I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul thirsteth after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah. Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. ~ Psalm 143:4-7
David didn’t quit when overwhelmed–he chose to remember and meditate on all God had done for him and around him. Instead of running from God, he longed to know God in a greater and deeper way. Instead of avoiding God he cried out to God for help.
How about you? Are you overwhelmed?
Do you find yourself turning from God when your are overwhelmed or do you cling to him in dependence upon His grace?
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