Overwhelmed

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“Overwhelmed” is such an overwhelming word, isn’t it? 

I often feel the tentacles of that which is urgent threaten to strangle the very life out of me.  Do you?

There are so many things in life that have the capacity to overwhelm us …to conquer us …to  bury us … at any given moment in life. 

For me, it seems that I am traveling along just fine through the life I have been given.  I enjoy the view even though it seems that it is all flying by way too quickly. I have the pedal to the medal with my hands firmly placed on the steering wheel … when suddenly … out of nowhere … an unexpected circumstance abruptly appears in front of me and I lose all control!

Can you relate?

I might be spinning plates but I love every one of those plates!  I am focused on keeping every plate at optimum speed and I am actually doing a pretty good job at the perpetual spinning … when suddenly – something unpredictable is thrown at me and everything else comes crashing down!

Does anyone else know what I am talking about?!

For everyone … there are financial challenges … political issues that we don’t begin to understand and refuse to have an opinion on … stresses at work and stresses in the home.

For some of you … there are the challenges of being married … or of being single.

For moms there are the children … the pets … grocery shopping … cleaning … soccer practice … piano lessons … homework that lasts late into the night … and the never ending “To-Do” list.

For dads there are the challenges of career … of paying the bills … of never having enough time to go around … of exercise … of yard work … of the home repairs … of politics in the workplace.

Do you see yourself in any of the lists above?

My friend, if you and I are not careful, we will rush through life looking at all of the temporary pleasures rather than enjoying the rich, eternal view that has been given to us by God the Father. We will speed down roadways and highways that were never meant to lead us to His intended purposes for our lives. We will crash and burn rather than live and flourish!

My friend, if you and I are not careful, we will be spinning all of the wrong plates rather than dining on that which is eternal and that which He has provided. We will be obsessed with busyness rather than with fruitfulness. We will frantically spin rather than joyfully rest.

So … what do we do when life overwhelms us? 

“From the end of the earth I will cry to You! When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.” – Psalm 61:2

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The Psalmist knew that there would inevitably be times in life when the word “overwhelmed” would describe our very existence; his advice is as rich and as wise today as it was thousands of years ago.

When you are overwhelmed … don’t be overwhelmed!

When you are overwhelmed … change your focus!

When you are overwhelmed … change your direction!

When you are overwhelmed … let someone else do the leading!

When you are overwhelmed … go to Jesus!

If you are overwhelmed today, something has to change in your life! Something has to go in your life!  Only you can make the change … I can’t make it for you.

Your kids can’t make the change for you … your spouse can’t change your choices … your boss won’t ease up … the bills will always be the bills … politics will always be messy.

When you are at the end of yourself … or at the end of the earth … cry out to the Lord for wisdom and for direction!

Cry out to Jesus for help!

And then listen to Him … He wants to speak to you about your daily life more than you want to take the time to listen. Often, when we are overwhelmed, we mistakenly believe that we are simply too busy to listen to the voice of the Father.

If you are overwhelmed … you must listen for the Father’s voice!  You simply must!

Put away your phone and listen.

Turn off the TV and listen.

Take a morning off work and listen.

Get up 30 minutes early … open your Bible … and listen!

Put on worship music and listen.

In these chosen and quiet moments, ask Jesus to lead you.  Ask Him to reveal His plan for your life.  Ask Him to help you with your schedule.  Ask Him to call the shots of your life.

Ask Him.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:9

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Don’t expect Him to agree with all of your previous choices in life but allow Him to lead you to the higher way … to the higher thoughts … to the higher place.

The best part of every day of your life is the time that is spent resting in His presence. 

In the midst of your busyness and craziness … in the midst of that which threatens to overwhelm you … carve out a beautiful place of joy and just rest in Him and all that He is.

Stop spinning plates and rest!

Stop careening through life and listen!

When your heart is overwhelmed … join the Psalmist … and join me … in following Jesus toward that which is the best part of life.

And would you like to know what the best part of life is? 

Would you like to know what most meaningful moments of life actually are?

It’s Him!  The things of earth really do go strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace!

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus!

Look full in His wonderful face.

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim –

In the light of His glory and grace!”

Thanks for listening to my heart this week.  As you know by now, my heart is truly not a perfect heart but it is a heart that is filled to overflowing with gratitude for the life I have been given and for the people who walk with me.  And, it continues to be a heart that is relentlessly chasing after God and all that He is!