When you hear the word overwhelmed what do you think? Is it a positive or negative word? Overwhelmed is defined as buried or drowned beneath a huge mass.
When I think about it I typically think of overwhelmed in the negative sense. I think I’m overwhelmed by tasks like piles of laundry. Or I’m overwhelmed by the weight of the concern I carry for a loved one. I can be overwhelmed by other people’s problems and life situations too.
I would like to change my tendency to think of “OVERWHELMED” in the negative sense and instead train myself to see it in the positive light. I love the current worship song, “Reckless Love of God.”* A few of the lyrics read “Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.”
Lately, I have been overwhelmed by God’s love even when I have been tempted to be “overwhelmed” by my circumstances instead. Just so you know God’s love trumped the other junk and my concerns every time, hands down NO contest!
A mentor and precious friend of mine, Jill Briscoe, says, “When you are overwhelmed remember you’re overshadowed!” I love that. I refer to it often and have passed it on many times to multiple people for a myriad of reasons. Lately, in the midst of hard circumstances I have looked for the ways I’ve seen God’s hand or timing and chosen to be overwhelmed by the goodness of God instead.
I’ve been overwhelmed by His goodness to me expressed in these ways:
- Our recent tour to the Holy Land of Israel.
- The beauty of spring time flowers and the lush green everywhere.
- A friend who walks with me three miles a day and prays.
- God’s orchestration of caring people at the “perfect time.”
- My husband’s hand interlaced with mine.
- My parent’s constant love for me and my family
- Texts “I’m here for you. Do you want to talk?”
- A phone call “Hey, we’re headed to your house with carry-out tonight.”
- My sisters’ love and support and prayers.
- A phone call I received from a nephew expressing his deep love for me.
- A long lingering hug from my son.
- Many phone calls from my long distance son.
- Warfare prayers from wonderful prayer warriors.
I am simply OVERWHELMED by God’s goodness in the midst of circumstances that want to negatively overwhelm me.
God is lavishing us with love and pouring out his goodness always. So let’s grab a bucket or barrel to try to contain it all. Let’s stay attentive, turned in and aware of the positive side of the word overwhelmed.
So today, if you feel negatively overwhelmed. Remember that God promises these things:
- He is for you, He’s not against you
- Through Christ you can do all things
- Nothing is impossible with God
- All things work together for good for those who are called according to his purpose.
- We can consider it joy when we encounter trials because the testing of our faith produces endurance.
- Hope will not disappoint.
- God is the God of all hope. If your thought doesn’t have hope then it’s not from God.
- God does not withhold any good gifts from his children.
- God gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
- If you stumble you will not fall.
- God holds you by his righteous right hand.
- God has a banner over you and it is LOVE.
- In your weakness He is strong.
God is our healer, provider, way-maker, comforter, friend, defender, deliverer, strong tower, sustainer, keeper and the lover of our souls. He delights to overwhelm us with his love and abiding presence. He is good. It is truly overwhelming!
We ARE OVERWHELMED. We are buried and drowned beneath a huge mass – it’s God’s love and goodness.
Father God, I pray for the one who has felt overwhelmed lately, under a pile of negativity manifested in the forms of anxiety, worry, strife, dread or gloom and doom. I pray, in the name of Jesus, you would set them free. I speak out and release peace and hope and joy and laughter and praise over each one now.
You promise to give us a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. You alone can make beauty out of ashes. That is my personal prayer right now and I pray this too for each reader. May we be overwhelmed by your love, forgiveness, goodness and glory. May our only response to being overwhelmed be thanksgiving and praise to you. In Jesus name, Amen.