Ever have one of those days (or weeks, or months) where you are just overwhelmed?  Life has turned upside down and you don’t think you can handle it all?  Struggling to stay afloat yourself, you don’t feel like serving others. You struggle to see God’s goodness in the “hiccups” of your day. Life is too much and you just want to sleep for days.

To one degree, that’s where I’ve been tempted the past few weeks.  I recently got married and have found my life completely thrown upside down.  Clothes and cans of food are still in boxes, I have never done this “wife” thing before and want to do it well but am not completely sure what that looks like, and no matter how well I plan, hiccups seem to take over my day.   I’ve cried a lot.  I’ve been angry a lot.  I’ve struggled with the fact that God knows I just want to start this season of my life well, and yet I find myself struggling with bitterness, anger and exhaustion.   I want to hide from the world.

I’ve spent a lot of time asking God what my response should be.  I’m called to love my enemies.  What about folks who cause extra work in my already busy schedule? Do I have to love them too?  yes.  What about the times when I’m just tired and want to sleep? Do I have to care and serve then?  yes.  What about when my plans are continually interrupted?  Can I trust God’s control over my life then?  yes.

But how do I do this?  I am one person and honestly don’t have the strength to do it all.  There are just too many plates to spin.  That’s where I’m grateful for God’s promises…  it’s what I need to cling to at times like this when I am tempted to feel overwhelmed…

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.  (Psalm 46:1-3)

But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”  “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed…  (Luke 10: 40-42)

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. (Psalm 62:1-2)

Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.  The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.  I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.  I have set the LORD always before me.  Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.  (Psalm 16:5-8)

No matter the season, no matter the events of the day, I can trust my God.  He is the foundation upon which everything else is built.  So, with confidence I can both rest and walk forward knowing that my foundation is sure and my God is always faithful.

[copyright, 2010, Emily Riley; A Sacrifice of Praise]

8 thoughts on “overwhelmed?”


  2. I have found so many of these devotions helpful and timely. Having got back into bed because I feel so overwhelmed I just want to pull the covers over and switch off the world for a bit. I sense Gods love enveloping me through this reading.
    Thank you so much

  3. Robert,
    I’m so glad that God encouraged you. Keep looking to Him, He is faithful to lead you through every trial.

    I understand wanting to hide from the world for a while… I often find myself there. Isn’t it comforting to know that we can find comfort and refuge in Christ?

  4. Overwhelming doesn’t even describe it- how about drowning in a see of darkness- but I know GOD is holding me, He knows our situation better than I do. I feel guilty at times that I wanted to take a step of faith and it seems to have failed but I know it hasn’t – just delayed……HE will will release me and help us through this dark time!

  5. A year ago on Palm Sunday my husband’s congregation enjoyed an uplifitng Palm Sunday. Less than a week later he was removed from the pulpit. Less than 2 months later he was forced out of the church. Nothing he had done. He was just preaching God’s word. A small group of individuals came together and made it impossible for him to remain as pastor. Exhausted, he retired following 33 years of active ministry. It has been an incredibly difficult time for us, financially and physically. But through all the trials and challenges, one thing has remained constant, God’s faithfulness. Thank you for your wonderful devotional. As Sara said in her comments, HE will release us and help us through this very dark time.

  6. I just found this site while surfing the net for reassurance. I’m going through several situations right now, all of which, by themselves, are overwhelming. Combined as they are I’m feeling like Sara. I am truly drowning. I really don’t know how I’ll even face this next week. I have two events coming up that will drastically change my life, one way or another. I keep trying to tell myself that God cares; that he’s in control of the sea that’s enveloping me but all i feel is darkness. I’m going to try to meditate on the verses given previously. My hope is that they will provide a bit of light in the darkness.

  7. Emily,
    I want to say how thoughtful and passionate and HONEST this entry was. I myself have recently gone through some events in my life that led me to feel (and still feel) incredibly overwhelmed. I found out I was pregnant in June, started to develop symptoms of antepartum depression and anxiety and then found out I had had a “missed miscarriage”. The events of the last 3 months have caused my physical, mental and emotional state to go into a state of absolute shock. Howevever, I held on to my spiritual Rock as hard as I could – and still do. I’m trying so hard right now to NOT have to go back on medication and I’ve used these sort of devotional blogs (yours, others and my own!) to help me heal. God is so good and His mercy is so great. I don’t think. “oh, why me? why did this happen to me?” I think instead, “Thank God for giving me the strength to get through every single day..every single minute of my life.” Bless you for this post.

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