Feeling Overwhelmed? : Know that God cares about you.
At times, the reason for our worry is that we forget, or never have fully understood the depth of God’s care and love for us. Listen to Jesus words concerning the Father’s care for his children.
“Therefore, I tell you, don't be anxious for your life: what you will eat, or what you will drink; nor yet for your body, what you will wear. Isn't life more than food, and the body more than clothing? See the birds of the sky, that they don't sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns. Your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren't you of much more value than they?” Matthew 6:25-26
God truly does care for you, more than the birds, the trees or anything else in all of His creation. Contrary to the world’s opinion, God is not aloof, uninvolved or disinterested in our daily lives. In fact, God was so interested in us that He sent his only Son to live on the earth with us and die for us. (John 3:16) He promises to answer us as we call upon Him. (Psalm 145:18, Jeremiah 33:3) And He even has every hair on our body numbered! (Luke 12:7) God cares about you and wants to practically help you.
Feeling Overwhelmed? : Turn Your Care into a Prayer
Once we acknowledge God’s care for us, we must respond by turning our cares into a prayer. Repeatedly throughout the Scriptures, God instructs us to bring Him all of our heavy burdens and cares. Cast your burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain you: he shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” (Psalms 55:22)
We can bring our cares to God because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:6-7) and can also give us the rest and peace of mind that we need from Him. (Matthew 11:28, Philippians 4:6, 7) From a practical standpoint, I like to make lists of the things that are concerning me and one by one release them over to the Lord. “Lord, I commit to you this situation concerning my neighbor…”
Feeling Overwhelmed? : Evaluate Your Current Workload
At times the feelings of being overwhelmed are justified. We have taken on too much work. Listen to these words from a Corporate Executive.
I was a workaholic, working 18 hours a day. I frequently skipped meals because, as I thought at the time, being on time for appointments was more important than my health. Two years into that routine and mindset, I found myself in a hospital diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. While the cause of that disease is complex and unknown, the leading hypothesis for my case was that excessive stress had put my body’s immune system on overdrive, and triggered an antibody response against the islet cells in my pancreas.
When we try to take on the world, we do it at the expense of our own health and livelihood. Take some time and write down all the things you are involved in and one by one, asking the Lord, “Is this something you want me to be doing?”
Sometimes the sense of being overwhelmed is no more than a feeling and false perception. I remember the story of a teacher I had who told of being stressed before his wedding. He went to his Father and said, “Dad, I have a million things to do before this wedding.” “A million?” The Father inquired, tell me all you have to do. After listing five things, this nervous young man couldn’t think of anything else on his “to-do” list. He then realized that his feelings of being overwhelmed weren’t rational and his workload was manageable.
Feeling Overwhelmed? : Delegate Responsibility
At times the feelings of being overwhelmed are justified and we really are responsible for multiple tasks. At that point, we need to consider delegating to other responsible people. Consider the Trinity for a moment and how the Father, Son and Holy Spirit all work together taking on different roles and responsibilities. It’s a marvelous example of team work!
Or take Moses for an example. He was trying to play the role of judge over all the people’s disputes. When his wise father-in-law Jethro caught wind of what he was doing, he counseled him to teach the statutes and laws to other trustworthy men and then delegate his responsibilities giving each person the authority to rule over a designated number of people. (Exodus 18:17-21) Jethro taught his son-in-law a great lesson in delegation and literally saved Moses from a near pending burnout.
Feeling Overwhelmed? : Consider the Positive Results of Stress
Finally, if you are feeling overwhelmed, you need to consider the positive results of stress on your life. A healthy level of stress allows us to grow as individuals. When we feel the challenge of meeting a pending goal or taking on an enormous task, it allows us to learn how to depend on God more, to trust Him, to pray to Him and to grow as a mature individual taking on greater responsibility.
“Count it all joy, my brothers , when you fall into various temptations, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. Let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2) Realize that with every test you face, God wants to build your faith and character.