Friday, April 6, 2018

Devotion: 7 Ways to Overcome Feeling Overwhelmed

by Sherma Webbe Clarke | @sdwc8181 

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psalm 61:2) 

Do you have a red cape in your closet? Is there a power ring in your jewelry box? Can you tap into the Speed Force to become like The Flash, gaining the ability to move faster than light and cut through time and matter? If your answer is ‘no’, you’re not alone. But we give it a good try, don’t we? No wonder we are in jeopardy of burning out when we can’t accomplish everything on our to-do lists.

The Top Three 

The truth is, we can’t take care of others or do our best if we’re exhausted. Here are the top three lifelines that I cling to when I’m feeling overwhelmed: 


I believe prayer should be our first step in any situation, not the last resort. Let God give you a fresh perspective. After all, He sees the entire situation and is already in the future and has worked things out for us. When we cry out, He answers with an invitation: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) 


When I worship in the midst of chaotic 21st-century life, it’s a matter of allowing my mind to get distracted by the wonder and majesty of God. Sometimes my hands pop into the air in praise. At other times, I press my eyes closed and imagine the splendor of heaven. 

Read the Bible

Turn to Bible truths to combat stress and worry. It's like finding treasure. Biblical accounts of others help us see God’s faithfulness. His promises can be found throughout His Word. The Psalms are a good place to start. 

When You’re Prayed Up But Still Need a Break 

We’re fearfully and wonderfully made, fashioned in the image of God. We have interests, abilities, and curiosity about the world around us. These are gifts we can use to shift our perspectives when we expect to pack 35 hours of continuous action into a single day. There are better options than pushing ourselves into exhaustion. 

Here are four: 

Engage in a hobby

Even when free time is a luxury, favorite pastimes can be squeezed into our schedules. Snap a picture of a sunset, a rare flower, or your kids' big smiles. Cycle to an appointment. A few compromises can allow us to infuse some fun into our routines.

Help someone else 

Is there a way to use your talents or gifts to ease someone’s burden? A friend of mine has a heart for writing poetry for those going through difficult times. She has blessed many people with her comforting words. 

Record a song 

I hope you don’t mind this bit of whimsy. You don’t have to upload the recording to YouTube—or even keep it. Not feeling so dramatic? Hum your favorite song while doing chores. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it helps to make a joyful noise. 

Talk it out 

Find a trusted friend, family member, your pastor, or if necessary, mental health professional. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to seek help. We are social beings, and we weren’t meant to struggle alone. As it turns out, God has many ways to show me how to guard against becoming too busy. I’ll share more in another post. In the meantime, what strategies do you suggest? Let’s see how many we have in common. 

About Sherma... 

SHERMA WEBBE CLARKE is a contemporary fiction writer and a 2017 ACFW First Impressions Finalist. Her inspirational writing has been included in Christian devotional books: Grace Notes and Blessed. She loves to take her husband by the hand to explore nearby and far-flung areas of the globe. This wanderlust has its perks. She credits many of her story ideas to these adventures. Quiet, early-morning walks along the railroad trails on her home island of Bermuda provide inspiration when she is homebound.

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  1. I needed to read this today.

    1. Sometimes we need little reminders, don't we? Thanks for stopping by.