by Carlton Yelle, Worship Director
(1) To overpower in thought or feeling.
(2) Defeat completely.
(3) Give too much of a thing to (someone); inundate.
In our lives, the word "overwhelmed" often is used to describe our circumstance or feelings for a particularly difficult experience or season of life. We're all familiar with feeling "overwhelmed." You may even feel that way right now as you're reading this.
Every day we're affected by the people around us—friends, family, co-workers, peers. They all clamor for our attention. On top of that there are deadlines to meet, bills to pay, traffic to endure, and schedules to maintain. With the fast pace of life (especially here in northern Virginia!), it's easy to find ourselves at the end of a long day feeling... simply put... overwhelmed.
Of course, there are positive influences around us as well. Every day is brimming with opportunities to see goodness. However, I'm focusing on the "overwhelming" experiences because that's where we get stuck all-too-often. We struggle to maintain our hectic lives, and when something becomes too much for us or goes on for too long we become tired, irritable, cynical, or discouraged.
What's the solution? How do we beat something that leaves us feeling beaten? The answer is simple: surrender. We must stop trying to be the janitor of our souls. Cease striving to control the steering wheel of our lives.
In John 16:33, Jesus tells us, "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world." This isn't a license to take matters into our own hands and expect that we have the power to control them or the strength to endure continuously. Instead, Jesus tells us that peace in the midst of seemingly overwhelming circumstances is found in him. He is the true overcomer. He is the one who saves us.
So let me offer this encouragement to you today. If you're tired, hurting, bitter, discouraged... whatever is weighing you down... simply set aside time to meet with God and surrender. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the areas in your life where you have been trying to do God's job and manage everything. Let God show you ways in which you may not have trusted him to be enough for you.
Allow yourself to be "overwhelmed" in a new way—to be overwhelmed by the loving presence of our Creator. He is good. He is bigger than your circumstance. He is enough for you... always.
And check out this song by Big Daddy Weave. We'll be introducing it at Hope this week. It's all about being "overwhelmed" by God. Enjoy and be blessed!