Jeff Lawrence

Overwhelmed

Have you ever felt overwhelmed?  Have you ever felt like just one more thing would send you over the cliff…put you in a tail-spin, drive you mad?  Have you ever been so overwhelmed the everyday journey of coming & going seemed more than you could handle?
The dictionary describes the word “overwhelmed” as: to overcome completely in mind or feeling, to overpower or overcome, especially with superior forces; destroy; crush.

If that is true for you, then you have arrived smack square in the danger zone!  The feeling of being overwhelmed is a by-product of the pursuit of too much, the over-commitment of good intentions and the power of “yes”.  Culture tells us we need to excel at excess and obtain all that we possibly can…be all things to all people and rise above the rest.  Success is measured by what we can obtain and the experiences we can possess before all is said and done.
We work hard and play even harder!  And in the end, we learn to deal with seasons of being overwhelmed.  It’s just a part of life.
And then, in our own Martha kind of ways, we give our all to Jesus by selling out on the lie that busyness in His church is an indication of our spiritual walk.  Yet in the end, nothing could be further from the truth.

Can you not picture the clanging, banging, huffing and puffing of Martha as she’s preparing dinner for Jesus & the disciples.  Here she was trying to provide a nice meal to the Messiah and she’s getting no help.  Too much to get done, too much to do!  All the while peering around the corner at Mary who’s comfortably lounging in the den…at the feet of Jesus of all places.  How dare her!  Doesn’t she know there’s work to be done, places to go, meals to prepare?  I can’t do all this by myself.  Anger, resentment…overwhelmed!  Danger Zone!
“Hey Jesus”, she calls out.  “Don’t you care that my sister is not helping me?  Tell her to get in here and help.”
And there we find the rub!  In Martha’s mix of good intentions she has now decided to tell Jesus what to do…and in her loss of perspective has dictated to God that her service in the kitchen far exceeds the ridiculous laziness of her sister.  That’s what happens in the Danger Zone of the overwhelmed.

Now, can’t you just hear the deafening pause as Martha’s words still echo in the room?  Can you just hear the silence before He speaks…
“Martha, Martha, Martha, what Mary has found is what REALLY MATTERS, and I will not take it from her”.  Luke 10:38-42

Uh…that’s gotta hurt.  You mean all this work in the kitchen, this toiling and trouble doesn’t matter? Really?
Really!  Martha was simply overwhelmed by a whole lot of good that she missed the great!  And more importantly, the condition of her heart brought a loving reprimand from her creator in the flesh…sitting in her home.  The One who spoke all things into existence was dining at her table…and she missed him.
She had chosen to serve.  Mary had chosen to worship!

When you find yourself in a season of being overwhelmed…try dropping it all for some time at Jesus’ feet.  Stop chasing the American dream and look for Jesus.  You might just find him dining at your table…looking for you!

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