Here’s a topic we are all-too familiar with: being overwhelmed! Whether it is the added stresses to a normal day or being hit with an unexpected emergency or falling behind on a project, the feeling is the same: this sense of dread, confusion and loss of hope.
Our human coping mechanisms to “being overwhelmed” are not too helpful:
– Some try the “grin and bear it” strategy. This sometimes works, but if the source of our “overwhelmed-ness” is more of the chronic or permanent variety, it often leads to bitterness and despair.
– Others try the “ignore it” strategy, thinking “maybe if I ignore it, it will go away on its own.” This often just delays even a greater sense of overwhelming later on.
– Some try the “escape it” strategy. It copes with overwhelming feelings by substituting it with some “feel good” activities. Then when I feel better, I can deal with the issues that overwhelm me. While there is some good to this (and some bad, particularly if the “escape” involves dangerous, sinful or addictive behaviors), it often becomes just a variation of the “ignore it” strategy.
But lest we become overwhelmed over our human efforts to overcome our overwhelmed-ness, let me share some great news for you:
JESUS IS GREATER THAN THE THINGS THAT OVERWHELM US.
JESUS WANTS TO HELP US OVERCOME “OVERWHELMED-NESS”.
This is one of the great “perks” that come with following Jesus as Lord! It’s too bad that many Christians don’t take advantage of this amazing truth. In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says:
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
The teaching shows us that overcoming our overwhelmed-ness is to follow three simple steps:
- COME TO JESUS – FIRST. It’s funny that a lot of times when we are overwhelmed, we look at coming to Jesus as a “last resort” measure. But it should be our first move. When we come to Him, we find rest for our souls. However, this requires us to call on Him and still our hearts to hear His voice.
- LEARN FROM HIM. Some of us do well in calling upon the Lord’s name in time of trouble, but to learn from Him is a different matter. This requires humility and stillness: to “call time out” and listen for His voice. Jesus usually wants to show us something in our “overwhelmed-ness.” It is usually that one thing that is the key: where we find renewal of mind that leads to transformation. But we must turn off the urgency of our overwhelming situation and do the “needful” thing – listen to Jesus.
- TAKE ON HIS YOKE. When we listen to Jesus, we then must do as He says. Remember, He is Lord, meaning: He is in charge of the situation. He can take care of things outside of us. If we do as He says, we will find our path and situation corrected, that things will become “easy and light”, and that our overwhelmed-ness will be overcome.
So when we get overwhelmed by our situations, let’s bring it to Jesus. As we surrender it to Him and yield to his directions, we find true peace and rest for our souls. This results in greater praise to Him as He transforms us and our situations. And that’s what Whole Life Worship is about!
What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! Oh, what peace we often forfeit! Oh, what needless pain we bear! All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
What are some ways that help you to turn to Jesus when you are overwhelmed?