“The waters closed over my head, and I thought I was about to perish. I called on your name, Lord, from the depths of the pit. You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.” You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.” Lamentations 3:54-57
If you are feeling overwhelmed by life right now, I want to make you a promise… it’s going to be okay. This is something I have to remind myself of daily. Last night at worship practice, we were praying for one another and I began to notice a theme in our prayer requests- everyone was feeling overwhelmed! Jobs, relationships, finances, responsibilities, changes… even the good things that we are experiencing can cause us to feel flooded with worry and fear. So we prayed and worshiped for over an hour and then something shifted… the feelings of defeat and exhaustion were transformed into a deluge of the power of God. I still felt overwhelmed, but my focus had changed… my focus is what determines what is ‘allowed’ to influence me.
- Bury or drown beneath a huge mass… swamp, submerge, engulf, inundate
- Defeat completely… conquer, vanquish, be victorious over, triumph over, overthrow
- Be too strong for; overpower… overcome, affect, move, stir, shake
I realized something this morning as I was processing my feelings of exhaustion and fear from yesterday… “overwhelmed” has various meanings. As we were worshipping last night, the word ‘overcome’ kept showing up.
All our troubles and all our tears, God our hope, He has overcome
All our failures and all our fear, God our love, He has overcome
All our heartache and all our pain, God our healer, He has overcome
All our burdens and all our shame, God our freedom, He has overcome
(“Take Heart”; Hillsong)
Here is what I discovered:
When I feel defeated (overwhelmed) by worry, God reminds me that He conquered (overwhelmed) it!
When I feel inundated (overwhelmed) by frustration, God reminds me that He has drowned (overwhelmed) it!
When I feel engulfed (overwhelmed) by fear of the future, God reminds me that He has already triumphed over (overwhelmed) it!
Sometimes we feel that we are in over our heads with commitments, responsibilities, and shifting life seasons. But Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33).”
1. Grab your journal, notebook, iPad, a piece of paper… and make a list of the things that are causing you to feel overwhelmed.
2. Write out this sentence for each issue listed and fill in the blanks to allow your focus to shift to the ways that God is invading that issue.
“I feel overwhelmed by __________________… Thank you, God, for reminding me that you have already overcome, conquered, covered, defeated, and promised me victory in this area. I choose to be overwhelmed by you.”
3. Pray the prayer below
Thank you for being the God who never sleeps. Thank you for always being here for me, even when I’m not always here for you. Thank you that you are Love and that you want the very best for me. Thank you for your promises and that you never change. I am feeling totally overwhelmed. Please help me. Help me to rest in the fact that you know what is best for me. Forgive me for turning away from you and trying to control the outcome in situations in my life. The Bible says that you are not the God of confusion but of peace. Help me to rest in your love and to feel the peace which surpasses all understanding. Help me to feel your love and comfort. Help me to be still and know that you are God and that you will take care of me, just like any loving parent takes care of their children. Your Word says to cast all of our anxiety on you because you care for us. I turn all of my burdens and concerns over to you. Please guide my every step and help me to be attentive to your loving direction. Amen.
(Written by: Jackie Trottman)
Here is a fantastic worship song by Bethel Worship in Redding, CA about the overwhelming power of God! Enjoy and allow yourself to focus on the reality of these lyrics.
IN OVER MY HEAD (CRASH OVER ME)
Written by Jenn Johnson, John-Paul Gentile
©2014 Bethel Music Publishing (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
I have come to this place in my life
I’m full but I’ve not satisfied
This longing to have more of You
I can feel it my heart is convinced
I’m thirsty my soul can’t be quenched
You already know this but still
Come and do whatever You want to
I’m standing knee deep but I’m out where never been
I feel You coming and I hear Your voice on the wind
Would you come and tear down the boxes that I have tried to put You in
Let love come teach me who You are again
Take me back to the place where my heart was only about You
And all I wanted was just to be with You
Come and do whatever You want to
Further and further my heart moves away from the shore
Whatever it looks like, whatever may come I am Yours
Then You crash over me and I’ve lost control but I’m free
I’m going under, I’m in over my head
Whether I sink, whether I swim
It makes no difference when I’m beautifully in over my head