Feeling Overwhelmed?




Maybe you're a fellow entrepreneur like me, or maybe you work a typical 9-5 job. Regardless of your work situation, the feeling of overwhelm is one that is common in the work place. It's rare to feel like we are fully caught up; usually our to do lists seem to have grown by the end of the day, rather than shrinking as we expected them to.


I found an encouragement for the feeling of overwhelm in my Bible reading this morning. I was reading the account of Jesus feeding the 5,000 in Luke 9. What struck me was how it all unfolded. The disciples suggest that they should send the people to go find provisions. The day was wearing on, and the people needed to eat something. This is a perfectly normal, human kind of suggestion. What surprised me was Jesus' answer. "You give them something to eat." (Luke 9:13)


Imagine how the disciples must have felt. Maybe that's not hard for you to imagine, because you feel like Jesus says the same thing to you. We see all the needs around us, and Jesus says "you take care of it". You see that person struggling, and we know they need help, but it feels like Jesus just added stuff to my already full to do list.


The disciples answer, "We have no more than 5 loaves and 2 fish. Unless we are to go and buy food for all these people." They are pointing out to Jesus that this is an impossible request. I doubt they had the money laying around to go buy food for 500 men plus their families.


I think we live most of our lives in this part of the story. Feeling like Jesus asks more of us than we can do, and maybe even feeling a little resentful. Doesn't He know that I don't have this in me? Jesus responds by telling them to organize the people in groups of 50. And Jesus took the 5 loaves and the 2 fish, and He blessed them. Jesus prayed.


This is the part of the story Jesus wants us to live in. This is how we can respond when we see an impossible need. Pray. Too often, I box God into my own limitations. I think that if it's not something that I can do, than it's not something I need to concern myself with. But I forget that I serve a God who has unlimited power, unlimited resources, and unlimited love for hurting and broken people, including me.


This story is actually so freeing, because when Jesus told His disciples, "you feed them", He knew they couldn't. He wasn't being unreasonable. He was giving them an impossible task so they would turn to HIM. And then through His example, He showed them how to address the problem. Just pray. I think this is such a beautiful reality to live in light of today. When I feel overwhelm creeping in my heart, I can turn to my Savior in prayer, knowing He isn't expecting more of me than I can do. He just wants me to come to Him with my impossible tasks and let Him carry that heavy load. Truly, His burden is light.

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