We’ve all been there…a situation evokes an overwhelming feeling. How we respond varies from the deer-in-the-headlights paralysis to frantic grasping for something to do to improve our current condition. Feeling overwhelmed easily progresses to fear, panic or giving up. God provides a better way.
In times of uncertainty, our best response is turning to God. He already knows what is coming and has an answer prepared for every situation we encounter in life. Often, these moments remind us of our dependence on Him and the Holy Spirit’s role to guide us through unchartered territory. But when the storm rages around us and we don’t know where to even land, I have found the following steps help get my anchor set to withstand the waves crashing around me.
First, pray and get quiet before our Heavenly Father. Psalm 46:10 helps create focus during times of stress. “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” God is that safe place of refuge in the chaos of life. “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe” (Proverbs 18:10). But to hear what He has to say, we must become still and listen.
As we get still and listen, we allow God to speak to us. James 1:5-6 promises wisdom if we are uncertain, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” Knowing that God wants to generously provide the answers to our problems produces the impetus to get quiet before Him so we can hear what He desires to tell us.
Once we have direction from God, pray for peace and protection. Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Also, offer thanksgiving to God, knowing He has heard our prayers and provides the answers we need.
Finally, we act on what God speaks to our heart. Once we have direction from Him and peace to move forward, we can take the first step. Promises from scripture direct our steps along with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” As mentioned in a previous blog, the lamp unto our feet illuminates our next step, while the light to our path exposes the traps the enemy has laid for us. The Word and the Holy Spirit expose the snares so we can avoid them completely.
Whatever storm is leaving you feeling overwhelmed, get still before God and allow Him to speak direction into your life. Then take that first step in faith, knowing He will never lead you astray. He will envelope you in His peace which eradicates that overwhelming feeling of fear and uncertainty. I’ll take that peace any day!