Be Overwhelmed

Be overwhelmed.

When my husband and I attended the 2018 Senior Pastor and Wives retreat hosted by the Great Commission Collective Doug Long, one of the speakers, opened with those words. “Be overwhelmed.”

He instantly got my attention. Sometimes parenting through a problematic moment overwhelms me. Sometimes it’s the unchecked items on my to-do list at the end of the day. Sometimes it’s looking ahead to the packed calendar and wondering where I will muster up the energy to not merely survive the upcoming month, but enjoy each moment as a God-given gift. Why should I embrace this feeling of being overwhelmed?

I asked on social media what overwhelms other people, and I received a variety of answers. They ranged from emotional struggles (loneliness) to physical hardships (finances, household chores, illness) to the general response: life. All of life overwhelms. And Long says we should embrace this?

No, he doesn’t. Stick with me.

Underwhelmed by God

The deeper issue is not that I’m overwhelmed by life, but I am underwhelmed by God. When was the last time the goodness of God, the fact that He intervened in my life and saved me, the way He sets my feet on solid ground, and makes me lie down in green pastures, and leads me beside quiet waters has overwhelmed me? Maybe, just maybe, when we kick the One meant to overwhelm us from His proper place every other circumstance rushes in to fill the void.

How can we cultivate a heart that is overwhelmed by God more than circumstance? How do we train our mind to go to God first in a crisis moment and common mundane moments? Long addresses this in his message. My paraphrase will never be as powerful as his exact words, but I’ll share what I learned:

We don’t want to be overwhelmed. We long for things to be comfortable and we pursue anything that makes life less complicated. We need to “get over” wanting to feel less overwhelmed and instead embrace it: be overwhelmed, BUT be overwhelmed by the right thing.

Be Overwhelmed

When was the last time the magnitude of your responsibilities overwhelmed you? Last week? Last month? Yesterday? We all likely have an answer, but can you answer this:

When was the last time you were overwhelmed by the love of your God?

When God goes into the background, circumstances take the forefront, but the opposite is true as well. When God stays in the forefront, where He belongs, circumstances remain behind Him.

“When we are overwhelmed by God’s love our theology dictates how we feel and perceive a situation, not our feelings.” ~ Doug Long

I asked those same people I polled on social media how they could train their hearts to go to God first. Although they didn’t use the words “train themselves” in their responses, there was a consistent theme: run to God. Practice going to God first to create the habit. Surround yourself with encouraging people. Ensure my heart is right before the Lord. Surrender to his plans.

They all seem to capture the idea of teaching our stubborn hearts through the discipline of seeking God through our trials to be overwhelmed by His love for us.

Be overwhelmed.

11 thoughts on “Be Overwhelmed

  1. Barry and Willi Pow says:

    Oh Stace, I needed to have this one come across my screen this morning:) Our God knows our every need on every day and He provides!
    Love you much❤️
    Willi

    Like

  2. marilyn leach says:

    The heart craves moments of quiet reflection on God’s goodness. We need to do just that as often as possible. Thanks, Stacey. Cheers

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.