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How to Weed Out What Overwhelms

September 26, 2015

How do we weed out what overwhelms us?

Our own coping mechanisms may satisfy for a time, but most wind up causing more stress than good.

Like eating an entire pizza (ok, maybe six pieces out of eight).

Perhaps for you, it’s eating nothing at all, or snapping like a turtle, or turning back to old habits.

You’d think we’d go right to prayer, right to the source of true help.

You’d think we’d be more prepared; because we know life doesn’t happen one thing at a time, and even if we’re good at multi-tasking, it becomes a multi-blast of all at once.

If we look closer at what overwhelms, there’s always a root.

Deep under layers and deep under feelings of upside down and inside out,

lies a root, well-hidden beneath overcommitted, overworked, overemotional,

threatening to overtake, like weeds in a garden.

If we dig deep, and if we are real about what’s real, we face this root.

True, it may simply be a season of juggling schedules, of changing and growth, of decisions to stay or go;

or it may be that deeper kind –

Regret, resentment, unforgiveness, bitterness, fear…

According to Merriam Webster

The origin of overwhelm is this:

Middle English, from over + whelmen-to turn over, cover up
And the meaning?

to cover over completely :  submerge

to overcome by superior force or numbers

to overpower in thought or feeling

So that root cause of anxious overwhelming? It builds like a tsunami to submerge, overcome, and overpower us-
But only if we allow it, because God has promised this:
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.  Isaiah 43:2
And once we pull the weeds, and face the root of it,
Jesus can cause that overwhelm to whither from the root up. Just like the fig tree.
So what can we do?
  • Pray it out: God already knows, and praying it out brings the root to the light.
  • Talk it out: with a sibling, a parent, a trusted friend, a Christian counselor…
  • Write it out: journal it, write notes, write your experiences down on paper.
  • Walk it out: exercise has physical benefits, and also stimulates brain chemicals that help to relax and uplift.
  • Rest when we need to-the Energizer Bunny is a fictional character.
If it’s hard to uncover the root, we can pray for God to reveal it, so we can deal with it, and work through it with His love and guidance.
And His plans for us override hopelessness, because He brings Hope. And when we know this truth, others need to know too. What better person to tell them, than one who’s been there?
We were made for more than just existing.  We’re not an afterthought to God.
How about we put a spin on overwhelm, and let this truth sink in:
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
Romans 8:37
So instead of allowing overwhelming to drag us down, let’s overwhelmingly conquer it through Christ.
Even when we’re feeling uncertain about the future, we can smile at it, because God is certain, and He holds the future in His hands. Trust the Lord, He is faithful.
Have you felt overwhelmed recently?