Where to Go When You're Overwhelmed
“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” -- 2 Corinthians 12:9a (NASB)
I don’t know about you, but there have been many times in my life that I have felt overwhelmed, under pressure, and incapable of handling my circumstances. As a matter of fact, I have been a bit overwhelmed these past few weeks with finals for this semester’s classes, preparing for numerous presentations, and last minute changes to my schedule that were completely unexpected. In times like these, I have learned the first place I must turn to is my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on my knees in a position of complete surrender.
I remember vividly another time where I was so overwhelmed with a personal crisis that I was unable to properly prepare for a lesson I was teaching on a particular Sunday morning. It just so happened I was scheduled to teach Daniel chapter 10 that day. Having no other choice but to surrender my lesson to God and allow Him to prepare me to lead the class, I did just that, went to bed Saturday night and trusted Him fully to give me the strength, wisdom, and content to teach the next day.
Little did I know, God had chosen this specific lesson for this specific time in my life and prepared it in such a way that it would lift me up (literally) and ultimately encourage me in my circumstances.
In chapter 10 of the book of Daniel, Daniel is in mourning, exhausted, and unable to stand:
“In those days, I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks.” (10:2 - NASB)
“So I was left alone and saw this great vision; yet no strength was left in me, for my natural color turned to a deathly pallor, and I retained no strength.” (10:8 - NASB)
Further, into this chapter, Daniel expresses the depth of his weakness to a point that there is no breath left in him:
“For how can such a servant of my lord talk with such as my lord? As for me, there remains just now no strength in me, nor has any breath been left in me.” (10:17- NASB)
Have you ever felt like Daniel? I sure have. And as God would have it, I felt that way that very day, lacking the strength to stand — much less the strength to teach.
On days like these, we must trust God to strengthen us. In doing so, we will experience first hand the overwhelming presence of God in the midst of our circumstances. We need to remember that it’s our job to “let go” and “let God” take charge of our outcomes once we have done our very best to prepare and handle our circumstances in a God-honoring way.
In the remaining verses of Daniel chapter 10, God strengthens Daniel so he might fulfill God’s will.
“Then this one with human appearance touched me again and strengthened me. He said, ‘O man of high esteem, do not be afraid. Peace be with you; take courage and be courageous!’ Now as soon as he spoke to me, I received strength and said, ‘May my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.’” (10:18-19 - NASB)
Just as I’ve experienced God’s overwhelming presence during my weakest of times, you too can draw strength from God when you are overwhelmed.
“From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.” -- Psalm 61:2-3 (NLT)
Where do you turn when you are overwhelmed? Do you cry out to God and rely on Him for your strength, so you too might be lifted up and able to stand when your strength fails you?
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