If so, I have an encouraging word for you today!
I've been feeling very overwhelmed right now. I've spent plenty of time stressing about it, worrying about it (sin, I know), and even crying about it. Things have been tough.
But you know what? Papa God is teaching me big-time during this season. I have a lot to learn about pretty much everything right now, and He's showing me how to get through some things that feel impossible–with His grace making them possible.
Basically, He's teaching me how to live. Again.
I wanted to encourage you today with the things I'm learning myself.
I'm sure I'm not the only person who is feeling overwhelmed. So, I believe the practical things the Lord is showing me will be helpful to you too. More importantly, however, is the fact that God moves seasonally across His Body. So whatever He is doing in my life, He's likely doing in your life too.
If we really get the fact that we're all in this together, it will encourage us all because it shows us that the struggle isn't for naught. Papa has a plan, and He has a purpose, and He's moving us ALL into that plan and purpose.
So if you're ready to move on with Papa's plan like I am, here are the 5 keys He showed me for all of us who are feeling overwhelmed and/or can't handle life right now:
Key #1: If you're overwhelmed, you're usually at a crossroads.
You can move up or down at this crossroads. The road up takes you to a higher place in life; a place where you can experience more success. Or, you can move down. Moving down will take you into discouragement, depression, and despair.
But, you CANNOT stay still. When you're overwhelmed, staying still will make you depressed–which takes you backwards. So, staying still equals going backwards. That means the only good solution is to move forward.
Key #2: If you're overwhelmed and can't handle life, it's usually because a big change is needed.
- If you're depressed at your job, you need to change jobs.
- If you're depressed because your house is always dirty, you may need to hire a cleaning service to come clean once a week or once a month.
- If you're depressed in your business, you may need to hire a new person to help you.
Feeling overwhelmed is an indicator that change is needed. It doesn't mean you did anything wrong. In reality, you probably did something very, very right in order to get to this place where your life is bigger than you. People who do nothing don't have nearly as much to get overwhelmed about. If you're feeling overwhelmed, it's because of genuine life circumstances that simply need to be fixed.
Key #3: Making the changes you need to make will accomplish two key victories in your life:
- Those changes will relieve your stress level so you won't be overwhelmed anymore; and
- Those changes will bring you breakthrough so you can operate at the next level God has for you.
Breakthrough always requires refinement. And often, when you feel overwhelmed, God will allow you the pressure to stay on you in some measure because He's squeezing you out into the next level.
If you stayed comfortable where you are, there would be no incentive for you to move forward. Things would be perfectly fine. But God doesn't do that, because He's moving you RIGHT NOW from glory to glory, strength to strength, and favor to favor.
It's like squeezing toothpaste out of a toothpaste tube.
In order to get the toothpaste out, it has to be squeezed out. You can't put your toothbrush in that tube and rub it around. It doesn't work. The toothpaste is down the snout of that tube, and only squeezing it out will do.
Well, your life works the same way. You're like the toothpaste, and your life circumstances are like that tube. The tube is holding you in. In order to get you out of those circumstances, you have to be squeezed.
That “squeezing” happens when God removes His holy flow off your circumstances and puts destiny grace on you. When He does that, the ease and flow you used to have in your current place disappears. It becomes more and more difficult by the day to sustain your current circumstances.
Why does God do that? Because He's creating pressure. He's squeezing you out of that toothpaste tube. He's pushing you out into the next level. If He didn't do that, you'd have stayed where you are. But now, you can't stay where you are. It hurts too bad. The pressure is uncomfortable.
There is an old adage that says, “You will remain the same until the pain of staying the same exceeds the pain of change.” When God wants to take you to a new level, He allows your “same” to become painful if He has to, so that He can bring you into the change He has for you. That change may be the next level in Him; the next level of favor and blessing; the next level of your calling; etc. Whatever it is, God is ALWAYS moving you.
Glory to glory, faith to faith, grace to grace, and strength to strength. That's what God's little boys and girls are made of.
Key #4: You were only made to do certain things.
When you expend yourself doing things that you aren't called to do, the result is overwhelm. So, ask yourself: What are you called to do? And what are you doing that could be done by other people?
Someone else may need to carpool your kids' soccer team. Someone else may need to clean your house. Someone else may need to complete that volunteer assignment that any old person could do. I don't know what you're doing that you're not called to, but you do.
The things that are causing you the most stress are often the things that other people could do. To fix this, outsource like crazy.
Key #5: Pray for grace.
God is in the habit of parting the waters when we feel like we're drowning. As a matter of fact, His Word says:
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you” (Isaiah 43:2).
Papa knows that we will “pass through the waters.” He knows we will occasionally feel like we're drowning. However, His Word explicitly promises that we WILL NOT drown. Instead, He will part the waters for us.
All morning today, I've been hearing Holy Spirit singing the song “Part the Waters” by Selah. The first line to this song says, “When I think I'm going under, part the waters, Lord.” Take a listen:
That song is so meaningful and poignant to me because I have OFTEN felt like I am going under. But you know what? Our Father's grace is sufficient for me, for His strength is made perfect in weakness. Second Corinthians 12:9 says:
And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
So I pray for grace. I pray something like this:
“Father God, I come to You in Jesus' name. Papa, You said that Your grace is sufficient for me. You said that Your strength is made perfect in weakness.
Well, Lord, I've got a lot of weakness. I feel so weak today. Lord, I can't handle life. I feel like I'm drowning. But You said that You resist the proud and give grace to the humble.
Lord, I'm humbling myself before You right now.
I need You, Papa. I can't do this. I can't do anything without You. And I've got so many things I need to get done today–but I can't do them all. I can't do any of them without You.
So help me, Father. Fill me with Your Spirit. Help me. Order my steps in Your Word. Instruct me and teach me in the way I should go. Guide me with Your eye upon me. Help me to hear You and obey You every moment. Show me what to do and when to do it.
Father, fill me with grace, grace, and more grace. Help me. I'm depending on You, Lord. Strengthen me and help me. Uphold me with Your righteous right hand.
Thank You, Father. In Jesus' name, amen.”
I call it “nursing on God's grace.”
The same way that a baby draws milk from his mother, we are supposed to nurse on El Shaddai (“The Many-Breasted One” in Hebrew). We are supposed to come to Him in utter need AND utter trust, knowing that He will provide as soon as we ask–and insisting that He does.
When I pray like that, I can feel myself placing that demand on my Abba for everything I need. I can feel His bigness and my smallness; His willingness and my need.
And when I pray like that, I can feel His grace flowing into my life, straight from the bosom of the Father. When it does, God's grace gives me the strength I need to go another day. In fact, much to my surprise, His grace usually helps me to have a GREAT day. But when I forget to pray for grace–when I forget to draw on God's strength–I usually end up triply overwhelmed and in tears not too many hours later.
God's grace is sufficient for you, for His strength is made perfect in weakness. If you have a lot of weakness to offer, then His strength has its perfect playground in you. Draw on it. Draw on Him. He will never fail you.
Do you feel overwhelmed? Are you unable to handle life as it is right now?
If so, know that you are NOT alone. Papa is right there with you–and He's squeezing you out of your current circumstances. The pressure you feel is too much for you, but that's not a bad thing if you are willing to follow Papa's lead.
So follow Him. Drink deeply from God's grace. Draw on the love, strength, and courage that are found in the bosom of the Father. Make the changes you need to make. Even though you pass through the waters, He will be with you. The waves will not sweep over you, and the flames will not set you ablaze.
Do these keys help you? Does this word encourage your heart? If so, please leave a comment below. I'd love to hear what the Lord is saying to you!