Ever feel overwhelmed by life? When all you have to do is more than the amount of time you have to do it in? When things you thought were wrapped up become unraveled and need attention again? When you go to bed tired from the day, only to wake up tired in advance from the day you face? When you know for certain if the phone rings again you’ll scream and pull somebody’s hair out? Feeling overwhelmed is overwhelming.
Emma didn’t want her Granna to leave yesterday. She began saying no and then escalated to a full-blown emotional breakdown. There are times I wish it were that easy. Just let the emotions flow. Just let it out, let the world know that I’ve reached my limit. I’m not sure how that would help my schedule or weave back the unraveled ends or fill me with strength for the day, but it might reduce “overwhelmed” down to just “whelmed” for a few minutes.
I can live with whelmed. Whelmed says, “I’ve got much to do and the capabilities by which I can do it.” It means, if I place one foot in front of the other, I’ll get to where I need to go, if I turn this wrench a few more times I’ll have this nut tightened, if I strain a little more I’ll have this load lifted. Whelmed is the realm of being equal to the task.
So, how did I go from whelmed to overwhelmed? By not taking care of business as I go, letting stuff pile up. It comes when I take on more than I should, saying "yes" when the more appropriate word would have been "no". Making too many promises and then carrying the fear of letting everyone down. For me, it starts when I begin a new project before I’ve completed the old.
Great, now how do I go from overwhelmed back down to whelmed? Staying faithful to what’s important. In medical emergency treatment an assessment is taken to determine the level of injury and the urgency of treatment required. The higher the need, the faster the help. I can begin by prioritizing what I’ve committed to. Somebody may have to wait. In time, I’ll get it all done. That’s what time is for. I can get nothing done all at once.
The provision of God is to wait upon Him for strength. “God help me!” is a legitimate prayer for the overwhelmed. I don’t know how I need help, just that I need help. Once I’ve given Him my burden, He provides the extra “lift” I need to go on. I will mount up with wings like eagles, I will run and not become weary.
Let me lead us in prayer: “God help us! Amen.”