On an ordinary day last week, my husband came home from work and shared with me, “So a guy at work was talking about the new buzz word these days. He says it’s overwhelmed; everyone is overwhelmed. His wife is always telling him so.”
As I lay on the couch with a heating pad on my back and a blanket wrapped like a cocoon around me, I absorbed the news from my husband. Knowing exactly why he shared this little piece of news with me, I let out an audible half sarcastic chuckle and blankly stared at my husband. I recall the several days gone past and the exasperated exclamations I made to my husband. Just guess what I have been saying….“I am so overwhelmed!”
Yesterday, I was struck down but not destroyed.
Heaviness pressed, my throat was tight — just like a throat gets just before a good cry comes along. I was as motivated as a sloth. My mind raced and thoughts badgered me; a war was battling in my head. Expectations. Obligations. Needs. Desires. Frustrations. Futility stood its ground and the tears leaked out. Yup. I was overwhelmed. How was I going to get through this day, I groaned.
Plodding on. I was lethargically going through the motions doing enough of the daily tasks in attempt to hide my fragile state from my young kids. Yet, they knew I was not right and one daughter even wrote me a note: “God’s in control and remember, you have me and Jesus.” Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear….I sighed.
Jesus. Now did He ever feel this way: overwhelmed?
Yes of course, I recall He took off to get away from the crowds occasionally; overwhelmed, He retreated. And I imagine the night before He was arrested in the garden of Gesthemene He was also feeling overwhelmed. In both cases Jesus took time to get away to be alone and He prayed to His Father in heaven. He laid His burdens before the Lord and left them there.
My husband came home from work yesterday and we retreated to our room. He boldly yet tenderly said, “Are you ready to pray?”
Kneeling. Holding hands. He prayed over me – interceding. I wept. Praying, I gave it all up; I unleashed the overwhelmed-ness and cried through the words pushing every syllable up and out of my throat. The Holy Spirit interceded right along with my own feeble utterances; “…the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express….the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” (Romans 8: 26b & 27b) My daughter’s scrawl danced across my mind, … you have Jesus. “Christ Jesus, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” (Romans 8:34)
My burdens were laid down. And the Holy Spirit and Jesus prayed on my behalf, totally understanding each feeble utterance and streaming tear and they lifted up my requests and needs to God along with my husband and me.
Hope lies here. It exists and it remains.
Friends, as we enter the dark months of the year, the overly busy season of holidays, and the continued bustle of everyday life and troubles, we must remind ourselves that we have God on our side. And although we will certainly be overwhelmed in our days, there is nothing – no expectation, no obligation, no need, desire, or frustration that can separate us from the love of God. The Bible tells us so: “Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39).
when we ask by staying true to His Word.
Overwhelmed might be the new buzz word — but God is bigger than an eleven letter word, even in its most ominous declarative expression! So, my advice: give it up, pray, and lay down all that overwhelms you at the foot of the throne. God will take care of it all and He will take care of you because He loves you.