We all have times when we’re feeling overwhelmed by the complexities of life.
Whether we’re in a new season, experiencing a financial downturn or are confronted with a disturbing situation, the effects of the stress we can experience from the hard things in life can have a negative impact on our mind, soul and spirit.
Although we can’t always avoid the stress, we can learn to manage it.
Over the past few months, I’ve had to practice managing the stress from lots of changes.
Several months ago, both of my boys moved out of the house. As a tight-knit family of 7, I have to admit it wasn’t easy on this momma!
And just as I began getting used to my “new” season, my oldest son left for Russia, my youngest son got sick, worked kicked into overdrive and school began for my girls.
Overwhelm quickly began to settle in.
I was left trying to figure out how I could learn to “handle” the changes in the midst of a busy season.
Maybe you’re feeling the same way!
3 Things You Can Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed in Life
Keep things in Perspective when You’re Stressed
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV
When we are feeling overwhelmed in life, we can lose perspective. Our minds are so focused on the immediate needs, that we can lose sight of the bigger picture.
But the truth is….nothing lasts forever.
Our hard seasons don’t last forever, and neither do our problems.
When we get overwhelmed, it usually means we need to take a step back and look to God rather than our circumstances.
He is so faithful to show up in the middle of our overwhelm and give us a new perspective.
A few weeks ago I decided to sit down in the midst of all the anxiety and really dig into God’s Word.
In that moment, a simple scripture leapt off the page with so much power that I just knew He was trying to give me that perspective change.
Sing a new song to the Lord! Psalm 96:1 NLT
Just minutes before (and weeks before that!) I had been lamenting.
I was crying, telling God my frustrations, pouring out my sadness to Him.
But as I read this verse, I sensed Him telling me to change my song.
To sing a song of thanksgiving for seasons past, but also begin thanking Him for what was to come.
You see, in the midst of overwhelm, we have a difficult time seeing the future.
Our perspective can be clouded by the overwhelm.
When we begin feeling overwhelmed in life, we can choose to take our eyes off of our circumstances and place them on Jesus, placing our hope in Him.
Rely on God’s Strength in the Midst of Overwhelm
But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in time of trouble. The LORD helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, Because they take refuge in Him. Psalm 37:39-40 NIV
Many times when I get overwhelmed, it’s because I’m relying on my own strength to get through the hard.
Yet, just a few weeks ago I found myself in a position where I literally could do nothing with the situations that lay before me.
My son had just left for Russia on a missions trip to Siberia, when his plane showed diverting to an alternate airport. My mind raced with thoughts of why they would possibly be diverted. I could feel the anxiety rising.
In the same week, my second son caught a virus, which ended with strep. After 5 days of antibiotics it still wouldn’t go away. I felt my mind trying to convince me that there was more going on, that maybe it wasn’t just strep.
And if all of that didn’t cause enough stress, my computer crashed a few days later. All of my files from work, my blog, everything were trapped inside of a dead computer.
To say I was overwhelmed was an understatement.
I wanted to fix each of these situations, yet there was nothing I could do in my own strength.
Yet once again, God in all of His goodness, lead me to this verse:
Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet. James 4:10 MSG
I knew all of these things were giving me an opportunity to walk out surrender.
(Of course Surrender just happened to be our FREE Bible Reading Plan for the month! Don’t you just love how God gives us opportunities to apply what He’s teaching us!)
When we’re feeling overwhelmed in life, we have an opportunity to surrender all of the things that are plaguing us at the feet of Jesus. It’s only then can we truly get through them.
Be Intentional with Resting in the Lord
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NLT
Resting is not the easiest thing to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
When we have so much going on, the last thing we feel like we should be doing is resting.
Yet, Jesus tells us that when we’re weary, carrying heavy loads, we should go to Him and He will give us rest. He’s the only One who can quiet our cluttered minds and calm our emotions.
What does it look like to rest in the Lord?
- Prayer. Telling Him what’s bothering us & being real with Him. We don’t have to pretend with Him. He knows how we’re feeling anyway!
- Worship. When I begin to worship God, praising Him and thanking Him, my worries begin to melt like wax. Nothing is too mighty to stand against our God. Whatever we bring before Him pales in comparison to His Sovereignty.
- Reading & Confessing the Word. There are times when I know I just need to make my thoughts line up with God’s Word. That my heart and mind need to be repositioned to align with His truth. As I read His Word and confess His truths, my faith begins to increase and my mind becomes focused less on my problems and rests in Him.
Friend, if you’re feeling overwhelmed in life and are ready to give up, remember to rely on God for perspective, strength and rest. He is faithful to catch you when you feel like you’re falling.
This week’s feature for our Salt & Light Blogger Community is from Elizabeth at A Well Purposed Woman.
She begins her post Encouragement for When Life is Overwhelming by asking us,
Do you ever feel you are in over your head? As if life is unmanageable and it is unclear where and when help will come? It can be very scary and it seems like there is no end in sight. The past few months of my life have been like this. It is hard to fully describe everything we have been encountering, but it has felt we have been assaulted from many different angles at the same time.
I think we can all relate at some level with the overwhelm that life can bring. Elizabeth goes on to share her story and brings some encouragement with practical examples from the Bible.
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