If you’re a human, you’ve felt this.
It’s that feeling that there is way more on your plate than you can handle. You know, like your brain has turned off, for even insignificant decision making like whether or not the bread belongs in the linen closet.
I got that one wrong today because my head is so full of my stuff.
It doesn’t matter if it’s big, life-altering personal growth stuff, passion-filled dreams of a lifetime stuff, or radically insignificant, everyday stuff.
It’s all stuff, and it overwhelms me, at times.
But, guess what? God’s design never intended for me to drown in the undertow of life stuff.
He never intended for me to have a To-Do list so overwhelming that I can’t see my way through it. He doesn’t want that for you, either.
He doesn’t want us stressing out about getting everything done, struggling to decide what to do first, or staring at our To-Do lists with tears flowing down our faces.
But, you bet, I’ve been there.
Some days, I recognize that my To-Do list, that feels so big, is actually full of two-minute phone calls. Those days, I can lick the stress by forcing myself out of procrastination and into an organized application of elbow grease.
More often, though, the feeling of overwhelm comes for one of two other reasons.
God’s To-Do List – Healing
The first variety of overwhelming stuff is the big brokenness and healing I have to do. Healing my broken places is definitely on God’s To-Do List. I have learned, over time, that I should give myself some grace and let God do his work.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
~ Psalm 147:3
Those times of healing are not easy, nor are they times of great output for me. And, that’s okay. It’s more than okay. It’s exactly what I need to do.
Maybe you’re in this kind of overwhelm. You’ve got big stuff scratching at your coping mechanisms and it takes all you’ve got to do life.
Give yourself some grace. God is going to stick by you and bring you through that kind of stuff.
If your today’s work is to sit and heal, then sit and heal.
Tomorrow might be filled with another kind of stuff, and your restoration is prepping you to handle it.
God’s To-Do List – Calling
Right now, I’m experiencing a reprieve from the kind of healing work that slows me down. I’m hovering on the border of overwhelm for the second reason: Big Dreams.
I almost didn’t want to put that into words because, Satan would love nothing better than to sink me in my own brokenness; keeping me from ever getting to my big dreams.
But, I’ll be brave and admit it. I have big ideas, big plans, big dreams.
And, big stuff takes time. Big stuff takes headspace. Big stuff is also a prime spot for that prowling lion to pounce on us.
(Unless you’re dreaming of mounting an evil takeover of the known world. If that’s your big dream, then he’ll probably cheer you on. But I’ll bet that your dream is for great things.)
If the deceiver can’t keep us stuck in our own brokenness, he will, undoubtedly, try to use our biggest dreams – our calling – to sink us.
3 Prayers for Your Big Dreams
If you’re here, with me, in the so-many-good-things-to-accomplish- so-little-time zone, I’ll share my game plan. Tell me if it works for you.
I’m rarely good at doing this before I get a little crazy. But, so far, my overwhelm is still on the horizon. Hopefully, by writing this out, I can keep it there, and help you do the same.
- Prayer for clarity about which of my big dreams are truly what God wants me doing.
- Prayer for clarity about which of those dreams is it time for now.
- Prayer for the abilities, strength, and self-discipline to work long and effectively at the things God truly calls me to, remembering that he will put big projects and small daily tasks on that list, and value them according to his will (not mine).
If you find yourself faced with a healing that’s scratching at your door, like I mentioned earlier, this list can work, too. Just like God isn’t going to ask me – or even allow me – to tackle every big idea I have at one time, I’ve never experienced him overloading me with healing different things all at once.
I’ve learned that, no matter what my To-Do list is full of, I’m not in charge of the timing of it. So, basically, I’m saying to learn patience, if you haven’t already. (Sorry, but you can’t get by without it.) Because the truth of the To-Do list is this:
If it’s empty, you’re dead.
Not dead? Then there’s something on your to do list. Rejoice and get to it, whatever it is, in God’s timing.
Have a way that you deal with the overwhelming To-Do list, on a spiritual level? How about on a practical level?
I know there are some super organized birds out there that we could all learn from, so please feel free to share your master plan. 😎