Lately, that’s the only word that has come to my mind as I take a deep breath and try to just get through another day. Overwhelmed by life and the responsibilities of it all. Overwhelmed by endless piles of laundry and stacks of dishes (not to mention the thought of actually cleaning my house), by three year old tantrums and picking up the same toys over and over again. Overwhelmed at constantly needing to prepare meals for my family, at not consistently meeting my own expectations for myself; personally, spiritually, emotionally, and in marriage, in taking care of my son and simply being a mom. Overwhelmed at my husband working overtime because we need the money, and feeling so alone and so completely responsible, and yet so incompetent, to take care of things at home all by myself. Overwhelmed by constantly having to monitor what I’m eating and what my blood sugars are, which is SO important for being pregnant AND diabetic. And here I am, about to become a mom for a second time, and I’m thinking, “WHAT in the world am I thinking?!?” If I’m already this overwhelmed, how can I possibly fit a newborn baby into the mix??? And then I crumple into a hopeless mess of tears and complete apathetic helplessness, and I find myself self-medicating with over-indulgence in chocolate and donuts. It just seems that if I can’t do it all perfectly, I just can’t bring myself to do any of it!
Whew! Okay, to some of you, these things may not seem overwhelming at all (you must be the type A, productive, motivated and organized personality I have always been jealous of!), but others of you may know exactly what I’m saying; how I’m feeling. You can completely identify. Oh, the life of a frustrated perfectionist! It’s the one thing I really and truly wish I could change about myself. And yet, I know God created me perfectly, so He can still bring good out of what appears to be something so weak and so frustrating. So, last night as I sat down, exhausted, for the first time in a couple of hours after picking up toys and doing laundry and dishes and making supper, silently crying out over and over, “Oh God, I am SO overwhelmed!”, almost instantly I heard Him whisper, “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.” (Psalm 61:2)
I had known and read this verse many times, but it seems that often you don’t really need a Scripture until you just NEED it. I immediately looked it up in my Bible and found that the rest of the psalm really ministered to me as well and I was amazed at how timeless these words that David penned so long ago are! That he lived in such different times and in such different circumstances, yet he felt the same way as I have often felt lately… overwhelmed. Despairing, utterly trapped by his situation, desperate for hope and help and change. Truthfully, his circumstances I know were more dire than my own, yet his first response was to cry out to God, to the only One he knew could help. “Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer; from the end of the earth I will cry to You. When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.” He chose to look upward in his time of desperation, and encouraged himself in the Lord, reminded himself of the TRUTH: “For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your Wings.” He knew that his only hope would come from the One higher and stronger, who was holding him in the very palm of His hand. The God who had been, was, and always would be faithful to bring Him through every season of his life.
Even as I write this, I fondly remember a time when I spent hours in God’s presence, just soaking in His amazing peace, often listening to Darlene Zschech sing a song called “Overwhelmed.” The lyrics to the chorus are so beautiful: “I exalt You, I will come with shouts of joy into Your presence! Faithful God, my heart is overwhelmed by You. In Spirit and in Truth I’ll stand, to worship You with all I am. I’m Yours, Lord, I am Yours, Lord…Jesus, my heart is overwhelmed.” Oh, to be THAT kind of overwhelmed again! To know that there is a place to go, a Rock that is higher when we are overwhelmed within ourselves. We can find a place where we are overwhelmed with not our own problems, but with His presence. With His complete goodness. With His super-abounding joy! With His love and His peace, that surpasses ALL understanding and ALL situations. I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to be overwhelmed, I want it to be not by my circumstances, but by who Jesus is to me in the midst of them.
So I encourage you today…whatever things in this life have you overwhelmed, remember that there is hope. There is help. There is a Rock that is higher and His name is Jesus, the Name above ALL names! There is nothing better, nothing greater, nothing more able to lift you out of your hopelessness than His presence. So go now. Don’t wait. Don’t hesitate! Find that place where it is just Jesus and you, and enter in. Quiet your soul in His presence. Look away from the things that overwhelm you and weigh you down, and instead behold Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God, our Savior and Burden-bearer. Run to Him, who has become everything we need, our Healer, Provider, and the Lifter of our Heads. Turn your eyes upon Jesus and watch the things of this earth grow strangely dim, watch them melt away, in the marvelous light of His glory and grace.
Sharilyn is the mother to an adorable little man, Isaac, and met her husband, Enoch, through eHarmony in. She grew up and graduated high school in Montana. Together they make their home in Michigan. Sharilyn’s passion rests in sharing the love of Jesus with others through evangelism, music and writing. She has recently been asked to lead worship for a local church and started writing for the Titus II Woman blog team. Sharilyn is a graduate of Trinity Bible College with an Associates of Arts degree in Music Performance. Jeremiah 29:11-14, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord.”