You skip breakfast. You’re late for work. You forgot to pack little Joey’s lunch. Your laundry basket is a Mt. Everest of dirty clothes. Your Dad is in the hospital. You can’t seem to get the groceries bought. You still haven’t returned that growing list of phone calls and text messages. Your mother needs you. Your friend needs you. Your husband needs you. Your kids need you. Your boss needs you… you need to be cloned or counseled or consoled or caught up in the air to meet the Lord!
“Rapture me Lord!”
You feel stressed. You feel guilty. You feel… overwhelmed!
Overwhelmed. All women feel it for all sorts of reasons. And there are lots of suggestions for what to do when you feel overwhelmed.
But today, I want to tell you what NOT to do!
I want to give you three things not to do when you feel overwhelmed because if you’re feeling overwhelmed, then telling you even one more thing to do may send you over the edge!
Here is what not to do when you feel overwhelmed:
1. Don’t try to fix your problem, focus your prayer instead.
When you try to fix something, you fixate on it. In other words, if you spend all your emotions and time trying to find a solution and fix your situation, then all you can think about is your situation. It becomes the biggest thing on your mind. The subject of all your conversations. The main thought that runs through your mind. No wonder you can feel overwhelmed when your problem gets all your attention! So, instead of trying to fix your problem, focus your prayer.
Pray scripture if you can’t come up with your own words. When you pray, you get a better perspective of your God and your problems. You see that all that is overwhelming you is small compared to your Father’s great ability to clean up your mess or comfort you in your pain.
Here’s a great scripture to pray: “When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2
2. Don’t rely on your own strength, receive God’s instead.
For years, I managed my life, my blindness, my busy schedule — I managed all of it through my own strength. And then, my strength ran out. I had a depression crash, my brain got older and just couldn’t remember all I needed it to and along with that, blindness became harder and harder and made me slower and slower. I had no strength left to power through. That’s when God’s grace showed up and I found out that God’s power in me is so much stronger than my own strength. My strength is like gravel compared to the rock that is God’s strength.
Here’s one of the ways I do it — I misquote scripture! Don’t panic, here’s what I mean: Instead of quoting Philippians 4:13 correctly, I paraphrase it to remind me that I need God’s power. I can’t do anything without Christ who strengthens me. See what I mean? Saying it that way reminds me to let go of my puny power and receive God’s power instead.
3. Don’t run from your situation, run to God’s Word instead.
We run in all sorts of ways. We over-eat, over-shop and even over-control everybody and everything around us. Put simply, we deny our situations, in whatever way works for us, instead of dealing with our situations. But, if we deny pain or stress or disappointment or whatever it is, it doesn’t go away. It just gets more creative in the way it tries to get our attention. Repressed stuff can show up in sleeplessness, skin irritations, perfectionism, outbursts of tears or anger — well, at least that is my personal testimony! You get the idea. Ignoring something does not make it disappear. It is important to meet your situation face on, but don’t face it without your weapons.
So sister, if you feel overwhelmed today, just think… you now have 3 less things you need to do!
As you focus your prayer, receive God’s strength and run to His Word, you will be overwhelmed — just not in the same way… you will be overwhelmed by His grace that really is enough for you!