Life is hard. Problems are many. The to-do list is long. Curve balls keep coming. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by your circumstances and the load you’re carrying.
OVERWHELM verb (used with object)
to overcome completely in mind or feeling.
to overpower or overcome, especially with superior forces; destroy; crush.
Before you know it, you find yourself overwhelmed, your mind and heart can’t seem to do anything other than obsess on the hard and stressful things going on around you. I often find myself in this place. BUT, you and I don’t have to live this way. Instead of being overwhelmed in a bad way, you can be overwhelmed in a good way.
What if instead of being overwhelmed by your problems you were overwhelmed by God: his presence, his bigness, his goodness, his grace and gifts to you?
What if instead of obsessing on your difficulties you obsessed on your graces, all the good things in your life that you don’t deserve?
What if instead of obsessing on what’s going wrong you obsessed on what’s going right?
What if instead of fixating on what makes you frown, you fixate on what makes you and others smile?
Each day is a choice to be overwhelmed in a bad way, or a good way. Each day is a choice to obsess on your problems or obsess on your great God and his great grace. The decisions we make at this daily crossroads will deeply shape our day, will negatively or positively impact those around us, and will determine the type of people we become over time. I want to be a man known for my obsession with God and my joy and hope in him, not my obsession with my problems and pain.
God knows that life in our broken world can be difficult, overwhelming, and full of tough surprises. And God has taught us how to navigate this: To fixate our eyes on him, not the stormy waves around us. May the old words of a man beaten up by life, but rescued by a God/grace-centered perspective on life, guide us:
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” -Paul, Thessalonians 5:16-18
As we overwhelm ourselves with rest, and faith, and joy, and gratitude in God, we’ll find our problems shrinking in size and in their sway over us diminished. This is the journey of the Christian life: a continual fresh discovering of how God is so much bigger than all of our fears, so much better than all of our worries. You know God’s will for you today: Rejoice, pray, give thanks in all circumstances. Keep your focus here today, and you’ll find yourself overwhelmed in a good way.