When we are overwhelmed by the brokenness of the world, and frustrated over our lack of power to fix it, we are humbled to remember that the weight of the world is not on our shoulders, but is in subjection under His feet. This evokes awe of our sovereign God who has the power and gives the promise to execute perfect mercy and justice.
When we are overwhelmed with questions and struggle to reconcile what God says with what we observe or feel, we are humbled to remember that our understanding is finite. This evokes awe of His infinite and unsearchable wisdom. The more deeply we know Him, the more His incomprehensible greatness is accentuated, which offers great comfort as we learn to trust His unchangeable attributes rather than rely on our limited knowledge.
I think we’re often tempted to assume that being overwhelmed indicates a need to step back from what we’re doing (and sometimes it does). But I think more often than not, being overwhelmed is meant to drive us to know God more deeply.
Sometimes we have no choice but to remain in the source of our struggle (such as my wait for my daughter), but sometimes we could avoid it. In a season of particular struggle about human suffering, I could lessen the temptation by not reading about trafficking, by not praying for orphans, by not serving refugees, etc. In a shallow sense, disengaging and numbing myself would make it easier.
But, by the grace of God, the struggle that tempted me to recoil from Christ forced me to draw closer. He convicted me of my casual pursuit to knowing Him, and how such an approach was beginning to endanger my walk as I started to question His character. In a painful but necessary way, He let me get to the point of being overwhelmed with despair to show me how thirsty I was for more of Him and how the only way to quench that thirst was to dig deeper into the well of His Word.
Whatever we feel overwhelmed by — schedule, circumstances, relationships, or more theological issues — we have reason to take heart. God is seeking to show us more of Himself.
This article originally appeared at EquippedForMercy.com.