A couple of weeks ago, I awakened with a slight pain in my jaw that grew stronger as the day progressed. It became quite severe and necessitated a trip to our local walk-in clinic because my dentist was closed for the weekend. My face had swollen so badly that I looked like I had half an orange nestled in my cheek. Then, the next day I broke out in a rash. My doctor confirmed what I’d suspected—shingles. Pain in my jaw and intense pain in my side. Oh, and I had a book due to my editor that day. Thankfully, I met my deadline, my tooth healed, and I’m recovering well from shingles.
However, the days leading up to that important deadline had not gone as planned. In fact, I felt completely overwhelmed. I’d gone to bed exhausted and in pain. I hadn’t slept well because of the throbbing in my jaw. I wanted to cry, but I tried to maintain a positive attitude.
After sending my husband off to work, a heavy sigh escaped as I downed more pain relievers and eyed my revision notes that needed to be finished.
Then God whispered into my heart:
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I…
After settling in my favorite chair with a fresh cup of coffee and both dogs napping on my lap, I opened my Bible to Psalm 61.
Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. For you have heard my vows, O God; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
I love the beauty of David’s prayer and the pictures his words paint. In his weariness, he needed the strength of the Lord, who offers stability and security. He also needed the Lord’s wisdom to help him through those feelings when his heart grew faint. David also knew he couldn’t do it on his own. He needed to follow the Lord’s leading.
As I read through those verses again, a peace I hadn’t felt in days flowed through me. I wanted to face my day with joy instead of feeling overwhelmed. My pain and the stress of my revisions had overshadowed my focus.
Instead of being like David and crying out to the Lord, I simply wanted to cry. In order to restore my joy, I needed to make some changes. And I did. Beginning with opening my Bible, reading His Word, and sharing my burdens with Him.Instead of being like David and crying out to the Lord, I simply wanted to cry. In order to restore my joy, I needed to make some changes. #tellhisstory #restoringjoy #feelingoverwhelmed Click To Tweet
Perhaps you’ve experienced a similar situation, so let’s be like David and use these three tips to find our joy when we feel overwhelmed:
God longs to have relationships with His children. One of the best ways to establish that intimacy is to converse with Him through prayer. The gift of the cross gave us the privilege to lay our burdens at His feet. He hears the cries of your heart and listens to your prayers. Ask God for wisdom and clarity to focus on the priorities for the day.
God is our rock. Our refuge. When the storms of life crash over us, He is the steady force that calms our fears as we lean into Him. It’s a behavior that takes practice and disciple to lean into His strength rather than being tossed into our sea of fears. When we allow God to help us through our feelings of being overwhelmed, we are open to receiving His wisdom that restores our joy.
David requested the Lord to lead him to the rock, but that request required action. If we request God to lead us, then we need to actively follow Him. And that means doing it even if we are unsure of the destination. By trusting in Him and obeying His commands, we are stepping out in faith and following the path He’s laid before us—a path that restores our joy.
We’re all going through different seasons in our lives. Maybe you’re parenting your children, or working to repair broken relationships, Maybe you’re making your health a priority or perhaps caring for aging parents. Each of those blessings requires a lot of time and attention. But you don’t need to do them alone. Lean into God, allow Him to lead you to the ‘rock that is higher than I’, and He will restore your joy.3 Ways to Restore Your Joy When Feeling Overwhelmed #TellHisStory #restoringjoy #psalm61 Click To Tweet
When your circumstances overwhelm you, how do you restore your joy?