It’s been on my heart for quite some time to write about becoming overwhelmed by life. It’s so easy to become overwhelmed, isn’t it? Work doesn’t go how we expect it to, relationships become hard and push our limits, problems seem to grow larger and more complex and the solutions are nowhere to be found.
There was message circling social media that said, “If your life just got harder, congratulations! You just leveled up!” When I first saw this quote, I laughed and thought, “Yeah, if life is getting harder, I must be doing something right.” For someone who sucks at video games and never levels-up, I felt a sense of accomplishment for a brief period. While I think there is a lot of truth to this statement, I do believe we are missing out on a critical element if we call God our Father.
Life IS hard. There is no doubt about that. We can wake up one day with a plan, and go to sleep that same night with no semblance of one. So, in some circumstances, leveling-up and overcoming the hard realities of life is a very positive thing, but what happens when what is “hard” is overwhelming, life-sucking, and leaves us on our knees?
There is a quote from Leonardo DiCaprio that says, “Every next level of life will demand a different you.” With all due respect to Mr. DiCaprio (I have tons), stages of life will not require a different you. It will require you, partnering with God and your community, to grow and overwhelm the situation with God’s goodness, instead of becoming overwhelmed ourselves. I believe that maybe instead of saying, “You just leveled up!” we should instead replace it with, “We now have the opportunity to grow!”
When Christine Cormier spoke at The Collective, she talked about the heart of God. During her message, she mentioned that everywhere she went, she saw the numbers, 11:11. She decided to turn to her Bible to see if 11:11 held any significance, and then she came across Luke 11:11-13.
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[a] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”– NIV
Almost every day, I see the numbers 11:11. To be honest, it has negative connotations for me due to a past experience (maybe I will share that one day), so I was hopeful to see how God was speaking to Christine through this. How amazing is it that it reminds us of the great goodness of God?
When we become overwhelmed, we have the opportunity to either allow ourselves to become even more so or to stop our racing thoughts and remember who is standing by our side every single day and in every situation. Many individuals came to God, completely overwhelmed. They were facing famine, wars, lust, adultery, heartbreak, illness, identity crises, and yet when they went to God and asked for His provision; He didn’t give them a snake. God worked in the most unexpected ways that overwhelmed these people in the most wonderful of ways! They were overwhelmed by God’s goodness!
I tend to think that God is only working with what I can see. It is a strange concept to me that God is working behind the scenes to orchestrate something bigger and better than I could imagine. I look at my tiny little world and think that God is only working within my little world for my benefit. I don’t consider that maybe He’s working in ways that would overwhelm me if I knew every single thing He was doing for me… for every one of us! I know that I personally need to open up my mind to allow myself to be overwhelmed by the elaborate plan that God has for me, and the great love that is flowing around me every single day. By stewarding an attitude of thankfulness, praying for discernment to see how God is moving, and coming together in fellowship with Him, I believe that we can begin to teach ourselves to see God as being more significant than whatever we may be facing, rather than making the problem bigger than Him.
I want to live by allowing myself to be overwhelmed by God, rather than being overwhelmed by life. I think that if we saw God as truly great and wonderful as He is, our lives would instantly be changed, and we wouldn’t be leveling-up in life. We would be levelling-up in our relationship with Him, and that would transform our lives.