The Missing Link Series: From Overwhelm to Peace

Day 1 of 3 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Long gone are the days when all we  only had to worry about was traffic and what bills needed to be paid by the end of the month. Add to that a pandemic, social unrest, varying and conflicting Christian views, and now we really are in a battle with anxiety and feeling overwhelmed.  It’s getting harder to hold on to peace.


Feeling overwhelmed is consuming our emotions and decisions. We are questioning if we are hearing from God at all anymore and is He still leading us beside those “still” waters? 


The bible teaches us that we are in a war, and the fight is not flesh and blood, but spiritual wickedness in high places. There is a greater fight going on that. But, if we don’t remember we have the victory , we will indeed stay overwhelmed.  


When COVID-19 hit our nation, there were so many emotions and pressures coming at us all at once. For some of us, it was a sudden change in our work. or others, it was the isolation of being separated from friends, family, and activities that we grew accustomed to. We adjusted and pressed on in the best way we knew how...at least on the surface.


Now, we were home, watching the news, transitioning to zoom calls, and eventually experiencing “quarantine fatigue.” What I did not know was I was overwhelmed. I was stressed out and it had happened subtly. I was not aware of how much pressure I had taken on until I took a vacation during the Pandemic. I took a whole week off from work and life, as best I could. Though the goal was for me to rest my mind during this time, I ultimately was aiming for peace. However, to go from overwhelm to peace is a path. It may seem like it is a short path, but there is a missing link that bridges the two that we often overlook.


That path from overwhelm to peace has a missing link and it is releasing. If we are overwhelmed with life, love, and everything in between, and we want peace, we have to let some things go. Science teaches us that two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time. It is hard to pick up something else when our arms are already full.


Remember that trip to the grocery store, where you said, “I’m just going to grab one thing.” and in “not” grabbing that one thing, you don’t grab a cart. After a while, your arms are full of items and it is awkward and uncomfortable. Allowing life to overwhelm us and burden us down, without releasing some things becomes awkward and uncomfortable too. 


I find comfort in Matthew 11:28, Jesus says, “ Come to Him, everyone who is weary and carrying heavy burdens and He will give us rest,”- emphasis added. Yes! This is so encouraging. Jesus, our Savior, says, “Come to Him.” We have a place to release. Then He is speaking specifically to anyone who is tired and has too much going on in their life, too many things getting out of control. Jesus calls us out. You, tired soul, let me carry that for you. Finally, in exchange for our heavy burdens, for our weariness, Jesus offers rest. 


I don’t know how you shout during a devotional, but this good news is encouraging to my soul. The path from overwhelm to peace is over the bridge called release.


In the next devotional, let’s look a little closer at release.