When You Feel Overwhelmed, Look UP
Sometimes things in life can overwhelm us: busy schedules, not enough sleep, losing stuff, sickness, brokenness, irritating people, flies in the house, mosquito bites, etc. and the list goes on and on. Take me for example, today, as I was going to put my alumni parking sticker on my car, I realized it was gone. I Couldn't find it anywhere. Of all the things, today, when I'm tired, not feeling that great (getting over a bad cough and cold), no parking sticker. How frustrating! To add insult to injury, I used about an hour of my rest time looking for something I couldn't find. Hopefully, I can get another one (I hope). Then, as I was writing this very post you're reading, I deleted it by mistake and had to rewrite it. Wow!
My situation may not be as bad as it could be. I'm sure a lot of people are dealing with worse things. I know people who are experiencing loss, sickness, and other transitions in life. It can be hard to deal with it all. Often you feel worn out. Trouble overwhelms us and it doesn't feel good. It's miserable. How can we get relief? Listen, your feeling of overwhelm don't have to overtake you. There are some things that we can do for relief and we will learn about a few of those things by looking at Psalm 61. This Psalm gives us a look at what David did when he felt overwhelmed and how he found relief. If we put these techniques into practice, we will also be able to find relief for ourselves.
David was a person who experienced many moments of feeling overwhelmed. One of the first things that he would do was cry out to God.
Psalm 61 (KJV)
"Hear my cry, O God;
attend unto my prayer.
From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee,
when my heart is overwhelmed:
lead me to the rock that is higher than I."
When David cries out to God, he calls out to Elohim. In the Hebrew language this name is not singular but plural. David cries out to the God of creation, the God of plural power, the God of majesty. He pleads with him to hear his prayer. David said that he would cry out "From the end of the earth." This was a reference to how a person can feel far away from God when they are overwhelmed. Now, the house I currently live in is two stories. Sometimes my kids are upstairs (far away) but when they need something, the first thing they do is scream.
Kids: "I'm hungry!"
Sometimes when we need God to be there for us, he seems far away. David felt far away but he didn't let that feeling keep him from God. When David felt far away, he cried out, "God!"
David: "I'm Hungry!"
(Ok so maybe David wasn't hungry but he did need God)
The first thing we need to do when we feel overwhelmed is cry out. "God, I need you!"
David cries out and pleads with God that when his heart is overwhelmed, God would lead him to the Rock that was greater than himself. This Rock represented protection. Not only that, but this Rock was high in majesty. David recognized that God is supreme. Though David was a king and a man of authority, he realized that his power was limited. He couldn't fix his problem. There will be times when we go through things that we cannot fix on our own. David knew where to look whenever he had struggles. He looked to the Rock. When we are worn out, frustrated, hurting, sick, sad, disgusted, hopeless, angry, stuck, etc. look to the Rock. Cry out for God to help you. Dig deep and pray. Pray until you have peace. Cry out, "God, I need you!"
The second thing that David does as he is feeling overwhelmed is remember. He remembers who God has been to him in the past which in turn strengthens his faith.
For thou hast been a shelter for me,
and a strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever:
I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.
David remembers how God sheltered him in the past, He protected him and gave him what he needed. If God helped David before, he could do it again. Sometimes what we are going through makes us feel as though we are in a real life war, under attack, bullets flying, treacherous times. David says that God was a "strong tower." He was a fortified structure that offered protection during military attack. David chooses to remain with God and trust Him because he knows that God has protected him in the past. Maybe David's enemies were after his life. Maybe they wanted him off the throne, but he was protected by God. God protected him as a friend (David abided in God's tabernacle or tent as a guest) and God protected him as a parent (David was covered by God's Wings). Have you ever seen an angry momma bird? It's not a pretty site for the predator. So, whenever you begin to feel overwhelmed remember what God has done for you in the past, stay with God (in the Word, in prayer, in church, etc.), and trust that he will bring you through whatever situation is overwhelming you.
The last thing that David does is trust in God's promises. He trusts that God hears him and that God has a greater plan for his life. Because of this, David can successfully continue to live out his vows, actively dedicating himself to God, and praising Him daily. David is looking to the eternal reward. David's lineage, his bloodline, leads to a generation of blessings. Today, we know that this blessing ultimately comes to fruition through the work of Jesus Christ.
For thou, O God, hast heard my vows:
thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.
Thou wilt prolong the king's life:
and his years as many generations.
He shall abide before God for ever:
O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him.
So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever,
that I may daily perform my vows.
Whenever you feel overwhelmed cry out to God. Remember what he has done for you in the past and trust in his promises. God has a greater plan for you than what your situation currently tells you. He will be there for you and cover you with his wings. Whenever your heart is overwhelmed, ask God to lead you to the Rock. Ask Him to draw you near to Him. In the Rock you will find the peace you need. In the Rock you will have the protection you need. In the Rock you will have everything you need. In the Rock you will not be overwhelmed. Look up, look to God, look to the Rock of your salvation and give God praise even during the time when you feel overwhelm. Trust that He will bring you through it.
A Prayer for the worn out
Dear God, we thank you for being our Rock even when we are overwhelmed. Help us to cry out to you when we feel worn out or when the pressure is too much. Thank you for all have done for us. Help us to focus on you. Help us to trust that you have a greater plan. We praise you for who you are and we trust that you hear us and will bring us through it all. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
May God Bless You and Keep You,