Sep 20, 2021 • Written by Elizabeth Nejedlo
Jesus knew we would have moments, weeks, and even seasons when we would be overwhelmed. That's why He doesn't leave us to muddle through those overwhelming emotions and seasons alone. He gives us an example- His example.
1. He often went away. By himself. A quiet place. No disciples. No followers. Not even those who needed help and were hurting. He found moments and a place to still His heart for just Him and the Father.
2. He retreated from the busyness of His ministry with His disciples. Mark 6:31 tells us they "retreated" because they hadn't even had a chance to eat. Jesus stopped the disciples and said, "'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.'"
Sometimes it may feel selfish to take time for ourselves when those around us need our help. When feeling overwhelmed, stopping to take a break seems like the last thing we want to do. Or even should do. Or could do. But it is often what we NEED to do.
Jesus shows us by example that it is not selfish to get away and commune with the Father. It is actually good. Wise. Beneficial. It makes us a better mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, or co-worker. The inner peace it gifts us blesses those around us. We need to take a moment to eat. To nourish our soul as much as our bodies, and give ourselves the grace to do so.
Jesus doesn't just stop at showing us how to prevent overwhelmation (is that even a word?). He shows us what to do right in the middle of that emotion.
In Mark 14:33-35, the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus states that He feels overwhelmed. It always pulls at my heart when Jesus experiences a human emotion that I, too, feel. It reminds me that He understands my sadness, my pain, and my difficulties in a very real and tangible way.
So how does the Great Healer deal with this emotion? He moves away from His disciples to a place by Himself. Then He falls to His knees in prayer.
Go back and read Mark 14:33-35 again. There are three things He displays during this time that we should take note of. I encourage you to even circle them if you are the type to write in your Bible. When Jesus was overwhelmed, He was honest about how He was feeling, He asked his friends for help, and He prayed on His knees.
Which of those three things do you struggle to do when you are overwhelmed? Maybe all three?
I would encourage you to ponder why for a moment. What stops you from being honest about your feelings? Why is it hard to ask for help? Why does it take so much before you fall to your knees in prayer? Why is going to the Father in prayer not the first thing you do (if it usually isn't)?
Too often we keep our burdens to ourselves. We say we are fine when we know we are not.
Too often we try to help ourselves when we know we can't do it all alone. We extend help to others but don't reach out ourselves.
Too often we try to fix it on our own instead of bringing the burden to God right away.
Is it possible to trust in God and still feel overwhelmed? Yes, but that is when we need Him most. That is when we need to step away to a quiet place and commune with Him to still our hearts.
God doesn't want us to be overwhelmed. It is not His desire for us. He is the God of peace (Romans 15:33, 1 Cor 14:33). His will is to give us good things (Matthew 7:11), and peace is a good thing! Today, if you are feeling a little overwhelmed like I am, be honest. Ask a friend for help. Get down on your knees in prayer.
God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.