How many times have we reached the point of exasperation and just admitted we were overwhelmed? When that happened last, what was it that overwhelmed you? Have you ever thought of being overwhelmed as being a good thing?
Overwhelmed – Inevitable
What overwhelms us also tells us a great deal about ourselves. It ought to lead us to self-examination and that is really the point of this post. We can be overwhelmed by many life-circumstances:
- Empty Nest
- Death of your spouse
And this list could go on and on. But you get the idea. Now, just think about this little overwhelmed list for just a minute. Which of these things overwhelms you? Which of them has so overtaken your life that you feel “washed over” like the flood waters that push everything in their path? Ponder that before you continue reading.
The purpose of this post is not to say these things won’t happen or shouldn’t happen. We live in a fallen world and we must contend with that fact. It is part of living. However, it ought to be a matter of perspective. Just like those who have gone before us, we must see overwhelming things from the proper point of view. And what is that? Let me suggest we ought to be overwhelmed every day. But that sense of being overwhelmed should not come from our circumstances, whatever they may be.
Would you be surprised to learn Habakkuk gave us an incredible lesson on perspective? You may think Habakkuk is a ‘backwater’ part of Scripture. It isn’t. All Scripture is inspired and fit for teaching, etc. Habakkuk recorded an essential attitude if we are to love God supremely and not be overwhelmed by a fallen world. We see in Habakkuk 3:17-18. And it is a truth we need to see and learn:
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Is it easier to worship and rejoice if all is well with us? If so, our focus is off because it is too much about us. The Lord is worthy even if all about me is failing. And yes, it does challenge us to worship in those circumstances. But, we must reach that level of maturity. We can never say,
He is worthy if….
We must never allow ourselves to be tempted to think along that line. Our renewed thinking (Romans 12:1-2) is to be short and to the point:
He is worthy. (Did you notice the period?)
Overwhelmed – The Right Reason
The way we are intended to enjoy abundant life is to be overwhelmed by the beauty, the majesty, the greatness, and holiness of our Father! If I am overwhelmed by lesser things, my gaze is too low! If I am overwhelmed by Who and What He is and that He loves me more than I can possibly know, then I will have the proper perspective on those lesser things. May we be overwhelmed with Him everyday! Something Solomon wrote (Song of Solomon 8:6-7) can help anyone get started:
Love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.
Soli Deo Gloria!
A related post is insightful, although it was written from a completely secular point of view. Just note the instructions and use them as points for Biblical application. The post title is 5 Ways to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed. And BTW, you’ll notice it is a Reader’s Digest piece.