Have you ever felt overwhelmed? The kind of overwhelmness when several things happen to you that are beyond your control and think to yourself, “this is definitely too much for me to handle.” It’s in these moments when our thoughts or feelings burden our minds and as much as we think we’re strong enough to will ourselves through it, we slowly realize how vulnerable and fragile we truly are.
What does it mean to be overwhelmed?
Overwhelm is defined as “feeling completely overcome in mind or emotion”. When we think a stressor is too great for us to manage, we feel overwhelmed. This can be caused by several things but most common is due to anxiety.
Some are great at hiding it and for others including myself, it’s clear and obvious. I tend to hold my forehead a lot, I sometimes forget to breathe, and occasionally, I cry (Like ugly cry). Why share these things with you? To show you it’s okay to feel overwhelmed at times but what’s important, is handling it accordingly and not just continue to let overwhelmness burden you as you’ll begin to notice it’ll eventually affect other areas of your life.
How do we overcome overwhelmness according to the Bible? The Bible reveals several ways and one thing most would say is this: In every situation, lean on God.
To better understand this, let’s read Philippians 4:6–7. Paul writes “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Let’s Break It Down!
“Do not be anxious about anything,” in other words, lighten up!
Instead of complaining, be grateful. Too many commitments? Stop committing to more meaningless stuff. Feeling things are getting a bit out of control? Stop, relax and learn that as much as we think we’re in control, we’re not and ultimately God is! Knowing that and that He cares, be reassured, find comfort, let go of your anxiety because God knows what’s best for you.
“But in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God,” in other words, lift It up!
This can be hard for some people and often times it’s at the back of heads in doing so. At times, It becomes our last resort but I encourage you all to practice making it the first thing you do in every overwhelming situation. Lift up and present your worries, thoughts – everything to God. 1 Peter 5:7 reads “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
So do that, throw your prayer and petitions to God. Things you’re afraid to present, bring it up. Do it happily and with thanksgiving. God delights when we bring our mess to Him because in doing so we’re admitting to ourselves and more importantly to Him that we need Him and alone, we can only handle so much with what the world we live in throws at us.
And why should we do all this? Because by doing so, “You allow the peace of God (that he gracefully allows us to have), which transcends all understanding (all our worries, feelings, and thoughts we can’t explain), guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (this includes guarding against the feeling of being overwhelmed).
So lighten up your burdens, worries, thoughts, etc. and lift all these things up to Him. God gives us peace in our minds and hearts, more specifically, through the ability to react differently, focusing on what’s good, what’s true and lovely. There’s always something to complain about but as a follower of Jesus, we’re able to understand all of life is a gift and we’re able to see the grace and beauty in any life circumstance when we lean to God no matter what situation we’re in, overwhelming or not.
– Mar Jay Rigor