Overwhelmed means to be heaped upon as flood waters submerge, to drown beneath a huge mass. Have you ever felt that these words described you; that you have been heaped upon or that you are drowning under a huge weight? There are probably times that we each feel this way. There are definitely chapters in our lives that are overwhelming. The question is; how do we move through them? As great as the trouble or trial may be we often add to the problem by the ways that we respond to it. Some of these ways may be: we take on what is not ours to take on, or we think we are the one in control and all depends on us. Maybe we spend too much time and energy worrying about tomorrow or we may have tunnel vision and can not begin to see the big picture. No wonder we become worn out and at our “wit’s end”. So what can be done? What or WHO can rescue us from this over whelming place we may find ourselves in?
God instructs us in His Word that we can have peace, a peace that is not understood because it is His peace, even in overwhelming times. How can this be true for us? May I make a few suggestions for you to consider? First of all, “just do the next thing”. As we look at all the details and possibilities, we can be paralyzed by it. Our thoughts circle continuously round our minds but do not move us to action. Psalms 119:105 gives us wonderful advice in this area. “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Ask God what is the next thing for you to do, not what will you do next week or next year. I share this because in the days these words were written there were not any flashlights or spotlights that shone far down the road ahead. As one would walk along a path they would carry a lamp. This lamp would only give light for the next step. As each step was taken there would be light for the next one. Definitely a trusting way to walk. So do the next thing He shows you and you will have light for the next step.
Next remember that God has a plan even though you can not see it. Jeremiah 29:11 promises that He does. Proverbs 16:9 tells us that man plans His ways but God directs his steps. It is as we depend on His direction of our steps one at a time that it becomes His plan. So do the next thing, one step at a time, as He directs. A large component of being overwhelmed is worry. Worry runs away from trust and jumps on a horse that runs in all directions at once. Or it overtakes a heart and paralyzes us. What good is that? Matthew 6:34 tells us, “Therefore do not worry for tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about it self.” It is important to see what the “therefore ” is there for. Verse 33 tells us to” Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you.” Worry drains us and confuses us and we know where that comes from!
Elisabeth Elliot said it well. “Today is mine. Tomorrow is none of my business. If I peer anxiously into the fog of the future, I will strain my spiritual eyes so that I will not see clearly what is required of me now.” So let us all apply these truths to our overwhelmed lives and hopefully we will move to a new kind of overwhelmed. Big Daddy Weave sings a song titled “Overwhelmed”. May we join him in his words, “to be overwhelmed by the works of God’s hands, His great love.” To sing with him…” All that You are is so overwhelming… I’m overwhelmed by YOU, I run into Your arms.” (check it out on utube.com)