Overwhelmed Within

Overwhelmed Within

 

 

Recently I was very moved as I listened to the story of the life’s journey of a lady. She recounted to me how through a series of situations on all levels – Spiritual, Physical and Emotional – she had struggled. She was Overwhelmed and felt broken.

I could clearly see that she was “overwhelmed” she was clearly in an on-going tsunami in her life and although on the surface coping in front of those around her – Inside she was – hurting, angry, feeling  un-loved, lonely and at the end of her tether.

  • In her mind there were obviously so many questions, so many unanswered questions.

What could I say? – Do I bring platitudes such as “Don’t worry it will be alright in the end” or “Time heals all wounds” or “Something good will come out of this” or “Cheer up! Things are bound to turn around!” – Sure! These are the standard responses when faced with the plight of another’s life. But, do these “cut the mustard” – I don’t think so.

One thing I can say though is that – Sometimes when we are overwhelmed and broken by a situation – When we are in the darkest of darkness – that’s when our priorities are reordered.

Whilst we are – In the world – Invariably, we live most of it in our minds and our imaginations. So, it would seem logical that our feelings of being overwhelmed are the natural by-product of trying to juggle our various life commitments and life priorities in our seemingly endless quest for the perfect life – the perfect life that lives in our minds and imagination.

The experience of being overwhelmed and broken has been likened to a “Deep Soul Weariness” and it is an experience common to all of us at some stage in our lives.

Sometimes we can point to a significant factor and that is a great help in the journey to a solution, but often we can’t. Our “weariness” and sense of being “overwhelmed” finds its roots in many things. It can be just the cumulative effect of one problem after another. It can be like a “ball of wool” all  blending and merging together of life’s complexities, bodily frailties, emotional heartbreaks, and the consequences of course of sin. It’s just not a simple and easily understood situation, it often surpasses our understanding.

On those days when (the previous day seems to just be one elongated day) all we want to do is head back under the covers, but we can’t because “the world as we know it depends on us” or at least it feels as if it does.

I guess it’s true to say today that there are times when everything comes to a head? When we feel that if one more thing is added to our to do list, then it’s going to just explode on its own and disappear – it’s so full?

Jesus calls “all who are weary and heavy laden” to “come to Him and find rest” this He clearly tells us in “Matthew 11:28–30” – ESV. When we can let go of our illusion of what perfection is and embrace the life we have in front of us, we can find relief. However, the key to it is “Surrender” all the time we cling on hoping to solve the situation ourselves we are doomed to failure.

One important thing for us to remember always is that our “Life is a Process, it’s a Journey, and it’s not just one moment of clarity.” We should really consider our lives more in the sense of a novel (even though it seems sometimes like a War & Peace) than a movie. We have page after page of decisions, ideas, reflections and compromises before we get to the end.

The Lady I met although in different words said to me the following: –

  • Will the Lord reject forever?
  • Will he never show his favour again?
  • Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
  • Has his promise failed for all time?
  • Has God forgotten to be merciful?
  • Has he in anger withheld his compassion?

It reminds me of the story found in Psalms 77:1-20″. Here was Asaph a Jew living in the time of Israel’s exile. The people were scattered and as the psalmist contemplated his situation he couldn’t see any hope of an end to the hardship that he and his people was going through.

Asaph described his agony, and he in the Psalm is pouring his heart out to God.

He was: –

  • Sad
  • Tired
  • Depressed
  • Broken

Asaph Like the Lady I sat at the Dining Table with had as I mentioned earlier “many questions… unanswered questions”. These were honest heartfelt questions of a Lady who was trying to make sense of and find meaning in order to understand what she was experiencing.

When we go through the mill. When – Hardship, Rejection, Ill Health, Mental Anxiety etc. are all we can see it can easily be overwhelming. It’s at that moment we are tempted to say – “Has God really cast us away?

Let me say to you – Do Not Believe the Lie Your Heart and Mind Is Telling You.

How do we then react? Some will become disappointed with God, they will lose faith; questioning God’s goodness and His power. Others, however, will draw near to God (even though apparently, He is not there) and will discover that they can draw strength and comfort from Him.

In “2 Corinthians 4:8-9” it states, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

What dis Asaph the Psalmist do? – It say’s “Verse 10”“Then I thought…” – What did he think about – He considered afresh God’s and His deeds in the past. This was the Key for him, it was his turning point.

If we think only upon our situation we are prone to be self-reliant and we are prone to independence and this is the worst thing we can do. We must think again on what God has done – in other words, we must focus on Him and Him alone… not on circumstances, not on ourselves, not on our sick body, not on our sense of brokeness. Why? Simply because only He can give us true peace and joy, only He has the solution.

There is an old chorus that used to be sung: “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.” This is exactly what Asaph the Psalmist did amid his plight. He looked to God and he made a conscious decision and he declared 3 times – I will….

  • v11 – I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
  • v12 – I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.
  • v13 – Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God?

The psalmist did not have all the answers to his problems. He did not know how long the hardship would last. Yet this he knew – God had delivered His people before, and He will do it again. Because what He had done in the past revealed God’s heart for the people – His love… that had not changed.

Then the psalmist went on to praise God… Praising God for the specific things He has done for Israel. Contrast this part with the first part of the psalm. The first part described his struggle – he was amid his pain, self-centred… Now, not once did he refer to himself or his circumstances. His focus was entirely on God – he talks about God’s holiness, His power, His salvation, His faithfulness, and His mercy.

When we meditate on God and His works, it delivers us from the bondage of depression and self-pity, and will lead us into praise.  Depression the Siamese Twin of being Overwhelmed is a thief. It/They progressively chip away at us trying to steal our souls. They are cruel whilst at the same time being convincing.

Depression is like a “giant of hopelessness” it distorts our normal thinking and begins to overwhelm us until it is like a “death shroud. The devil knows that if he can steal from both Christian and Non-Christian alike (he has no favourites) – Hope – then he is able to cripple, thwart and destroy all the plans that God has for us.

Conclusion

In all probability the psalmist did not write this psalm at one sitting. I think the word “Selah” that is mentioned is a clue to that conclusion. Selah is understood to mean a “silence or a pause”.

As we approach our “on-going situation” or a “situation that reveals itself in the days to come” let’s remember: –

  1. Be honest with God and ourselves about our feelings.
    • Pour out your heart to God. We don’t need to hide our feelings.
      • God wants us to seek Him as we are, with our burdens and grief.
        • In “1 Peter 5: 7” it says, “cast your anxieties on me for I care for you” in “Proverbs 3:5” we are encouraged to “Trust in me with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding”“and you will find rest for your souls.”
  1. Don’t dwell upon our problems. That’s easy to say not easy to do – God however wants us to trust Him… Look to God, remind yourself of God’s goodness and faithfulness of the past, and praise Him today.
    • Focus on God’s power to work on your behalf, instead of your own strength in trying to solve life’s problems.

It is a reality that we may not have all the answers – I certainly don’t. It true to say that “this side of eternity” we may never know the answer. But one thing remains constant amid the – Confusion, Unknowing and Un-Certainty and it is we know who holds tomorrow… and He is holding our hands, walking us through.

If you are feeling exhaustion, overwhelmed, stressed out, broken and its affecting how your energy levels and ability to enjoy your life and your loved ones. If your dark experience of this moment is clouding out your awareness of God’s presence.

Then seek to see things through the Holy Spirit’s eyes. When we make judgements based upon what we observe in our natural world, then we end up with “tunnel vision” seeing only the things that are right in front of us.

God, I can tell you has a much more expansive view, and He has an enhanced perspective.

Take a look at the following short video, I trust you will be blessed by it. After you have watched it do take a moment to contact me.

If you are in the midst of your difficult and darkest of moments then click here to contact me and be assured that I will seek God on your behalf for a miracle and a breakthrough in you life. Again click here to contact me.

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