“Yes, God is more than ready to overwhelm you with every form of grace, so that you will have more than enough of everything—every moment and in every way. He will make you overflow with abundance in every good thing you do.”
2 Corinthians 9:8 TPT
“I just feel so overwhelmed by it all.” This, has been one of my favourite expressions. In fact, it could almost have been my personal motto.
The pile of ironing in the utility room. My children’s homework that we are constantly trying to catch up on. The demands from projects I have signed up for. The rapid rate of my bank account depleting. The un-ticked hundred and twelve other chores listed on my to-do list since last month, and not to mention the number on the bathroom scale!
In the bigger scheme of things, these are all insignificant issues. There are people fighting much bigger battles out there, and they’re doing it with a skip in their step and joy in their hearts.
I remember as a young teen, going on a school residential trip in the South African bushland. It was an obligatory trip for all grade ten students. The aim was to teach them survival and leadership skills; in the middle of nowhere! The thought of a carrying a heavy backpack and sleeping in a bag alone, overwhelmed me. Not to mention the pressure of standing out from the crowd, stepping up and taking responsibility to lead in a team building activity.
Asserting myself has never been a strength of mine. People would often talk over me, because I was so soft spoken. I couldn’t stand the pressure. I also had no love for the outdoors. Fearful of the physical challenges that awaited us, I started convincing myself that it was going to be a week of living hell. I expected to fail miserably.
As we scaled the mountain towards our camping site, I started to cry. My backpack was heavy and the journey too long. I was overwhelmed. One of my fellow inmates offered to carry my backpack to lighten the load. She was about half my size! She carried two heavy backpacks and skipped up the mountain whilst whistling a joyful tune.
One of the teachers noticed my abdication of responsibility and had a right, loud scream at me. Overwhelmed again! This time, by shame. I was praying for an earthquake at that moment. It wouldn’t have been a complete disaster at that point if I got swallowed up by the muddy ground beneath my feet.
Finally, we arrived at the camping site and as the sun set in the spectacular African sky, we settled in to our temporary habitat. We built fires and prepared our ash cakes, barbecued our sausages and had some coffee from our tin cups. As darkness fell, the heavens filled up with a million stars. I had never seen anything so breathtaking in my entire life. Overwhelmed.
Suddenly, the journey up the mountain was not such a big deal anymore. I can still feel the comfort I felt in that moment as I close my eyes and remember how the trees danced in the wind, that evening, sitting around the warm, cosy campfire. Captivated by the indescribable beauty surrounding me.
My attention shifted from the pain on inside of me, to the glory around me. It awakened a new sense of adventure in me. I felt fully alive in that moment. A feeling I had not been familiar with, having mostly been focused on my internal struggle. Not just up the mountain, but all the struggles I was working through at that time in my young, impressionable heart.
What does it look like, or feel like to be overwhelmed by God? In 2 Corinthians 9, Paul is teaching about the discipline of giving and how God is so generous to us. This generosity in turn, should make us want to give to others too. But how many times do we convince ourselves that we have nothing to give, because we’re just so overwhelmed by the demands of life!
I wish that my moment under the stars that night, was enough to remind my teenage heart that all that was needed was a shift in my perspective. If only I turned my eyes to the Father who was waiting in eager anticipation. Waiting to overwhelm me with every form of grace.
Every form of grace!
But, thank God it is not too late to make the shift from being overwhelmed by the challenges of life, to being overwhelmed by the unlimited goodness and grace of the Father.
Today, I am choosing to shift my perspective. Whenever I hear myself complaining about being overwhelmed, I will look to the heavens. I will remember that my Father is waiting for me to come into his throne room, so that he can overwhelm me with his grace. His indescribable beauty. His extravagant goodness. His unlimited kindness. His boundless love.
Declare this today: God is ready to overwhelm me with every form of grace!
Right now, put down your mop. Put away your to-do list. Make yourself a cup of tea. And listen to this. Have an overwhelming day!
Today, I see the Father laughing joyfully: “Wonderful Child, I know you have been toughing it out, climbing this mountain of life with scraped knees and a sore back. Lift up your eyes and see that I am here to carry the load. As you lean into my strength, the journey will become joyful. Open your eyes to my glory surrounding you. Breathe. Rest. Take in the beauty of my grace. It is all yours. Every form of grace. Because, my beautiful child, you are mine!” ❤