A few years ago, I was scheduled to speak for an entire weekend at a large church. The night before I was to fly out, I realized at 1:00 am, I had nothing left in my physical, mental and emotional tank. Sadly, I had to call and cancel early the next morning. The reality was that I had been feeling overwhelmed for weeks but hadn’t recognized the signs. I’ve come to realize a person can’t live feeling overwhelmed long term without it being very detrimental to their well-being. How about you? Do you ever feel overwhelmed? I’m sure you do or know someone who does. Do you know the signs? Here are just a few.
- We always feel hurried.
- We’re not engaged.
- We start feeling resentful.
- We have sleep difficulties.
- We feel irritated.
- We withdraw.
- We are more susceptible to negative thoughts.
I believe there are at least three reasons we can feel overwhelmed, especially for long periods of time.
- We’ve taken on too much. Sometimes this is because we people-please. Other times, there’s simply no one else and it has to be done.
- Too much difficulty is coming at us. These are difficulties we don’t take on by choice but we have to deal with them. This is true of several of my staff and me who’ve had one painful difficulty after another over the past few years. Mine in particular was a very sick adult daughter with a disease for 2 1/2 years that almost took her out. (Thank God, she’s much better now!)
- We are depending on our flesh to live life instead of Jesus Christ in us. Even when we know to do this, it’s easy to lose our focus at times but it’s essential above all.
What do we need to do during these times of feeling overwhelmed? First and foremost, we need to live intimately with God by talking with him as we choose to depend on and trust Christ in us. It’s a constant choice because we will not feel like it. During an overwhelming time in his own life, the Apostle Paul wrote, “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” 2 Corinthians 1:8-9 Next, pray about what to take off of your plate. Finally, find a trusted person whom you can talk with regularly. For me, it’s my precious wife. But I’ve also consulted a few people in my own ministry. If you need someone, our amazing staff of 32 are here for you, regardless of where you live. Call us at 704-522-9026 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Live at Peace in Christ,