Overwhelmed - Hope for a Woman’s Heart


DID YOU WAKE UP OVERWHELMED? Your list awaits. So do people with expectations. The sun is barely visible, yet already your in-box is full, your phone is ringing, and your paperwork is stacked up. If only you could block out all of the above and much more. But you know you can’t. You’re too responsible, or at least you try to give that impression. You don’t want to burden your friends because you suspect they are overwhelmed too.

So what next? Do I allow circumstances and responsibilities to overwhelm me? Sometimes I do, but not today. Too much is at stake, because my heart to encourage you requires that I first encourage me. The Bible is full of encouraging verses, but I regularly return to “my” verses. And I suggest you find yours—ahead of time—before you give in to “overwhelmed” and trade hope for hopelessness, joy for despair, and peace for anxiety.

Talking to ourselves can be a good thing when we speak truth to our overworked brains and discouraged hearts—transformative, powerful, life-impacting biblical truth from God’s heart to ours. These verses from Psalm 62 are some of my favorites:

My soul, wait in silence for God only,

For my hope is from Him.

He only is my rock and my salvation,

My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.

On God my salvation and my glory rest;

The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.

Trust in Him at all times, O people;

Pour out your heart before Him;

God is a refuge for us.

Psalm 62:5-8

Today I poured out my heart to my God, my refuge, my hope. Even though we can talk to others when we’re overwhelmed, God is our true source of hope. He is a safe place to pour out our hearts. He already knows everything we’re facing, but He waits for us to come to Him and tell Him about our heavy load. I came to Him this morning and gave Him my “stuff.” Although my list is still long, and there are more emails, calls, texts, and problems now than when I started to write this devotion, I now have hope. Hope I can’t explain in words. Hope that enables me to keep going. Hope that prevents whatever I wake up to (and all the “add-ons” throughout the day) from shaking me. Hope that stands like a high, protective wall between me and “overwhelmed.”

The psalmist shows us that when we’re overwhelmed, the solution is for us to name all the specific challenges that have the potential to shake us and to give each one to the Lord. Pouring out our hearts to Him is not the power of positive thinking; it’s supernatural therapy. God is never overwhelmed by our issues. He is our stronghold, our rock, our salvation, and our refuge. Whisper a prayer, write a detailed list, or just cry out for help. You can do this while you shower, sit at your desk, or drive the car pool. Don’t wait until you’ve tried everything else. Before you’re shaken, trust the Lord with everything that overwhelms you. It’s a difference maker and a life-changing spiritual habit. I haven’t quite mastered it yet, but I’m working on it.

So when we’re tempted to revert to “overwhelmed,” let’s remind ourselves that our best option is not to pour out our hearts to anyone who will listen. Instead, we’re to wait in silence for God only, the One we can trust at all times. And nothing can keep us apart from His love. Romans 8:35, 37 says, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? . . . In all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us” (emphasis added).


On my most recent trip to the Philippines, I witnessed Filipino women carrying heavy loads on their backs or strapped to their heads. They stumbled from the weight and shook as they walked. What an applicable visual for those of us who are overwhelmed by the stuff we lug around through our days and our lives! How can surrendering your heavy load to God bring you hope? Read Psalm 62:5-8 and write down each point the psalmist makes about our responsibility to God and then what God does in return. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, pull out this list as a reminder of the unending hope we can find in the Lord.

From the Book: