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Rest for the Overwhelmed Heart

Posted in Encouragement, Hope for the Heart Series, and Overcoming difficulties

When I feel like my life is in a good place, my worries and wants are few. But a sudden shift in events or increased demand on my schedule can quickly take me to another place. The path towards overwhelm is short.

What causes you to land on Stress Street? There’s no mistaking this high traffic area. Instead of enjoying life, we can start to feel consumed by it. I’m often helped by Psalm 61, where David shares the contents of his overwhelmed heart.

“Hear my cry, O God; Listen to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I call to You, when my heart is overwhelmed and weak;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I 
[a rock that is too high to reach without Your help.] For You have been a shelter and a refuge for me, A strong tower against the enemy.” – Psalm 61:1-3 AMP

David penned these verses because his enemy was hot on his trail. I can imagine him reviewing his options, or the lack of them. I sense his exhaustion. I’ve known exhaustion. You probably know it too. And yet, in the heat of the battle David knew God as his Shelter and Refuge.

It’s hard to stay in rhythm with the beat of an overwhelmed heart. Being spread too thin in our commitments, being told more than we can process or having to wait longer than we desire, can lead to emotional and physical fatigue.

overwhelmed heart quoteAfter my father passed last year, I was overwhelmed. When I told a friend I felt crowded, she responded,“You can get lost in a crowd.”

Wise words my friend.

An overwhelmed life is a crowded life. It happens when a talk, task or emotion takes up too much space in the soul. 

I hope you feel like your life is in a good place. I pray your worries and wants are few. But if not, there is rest for the overwhelmed heart.

Jesus offers us an abundant life; not a crowded life. It is a full and meaningful life through faith in Him, not congested with the cares of this world.

Here’s His promise in John 10:10 NLT:

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

When the enemy of our soul is hot on our heels, we can do like David and seek God. Unloading our cares is not always easy.  We may be tempted to hold onto the load.  We may have a paralyzing grip on the load.

But the Savior invites us,

 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30 NLT

At its worst, being overwhelmed can cause us to underestimate the power of God.  But by Christ’s power we can learn to overcome.

He teaches fruitfulness not busyness.

Love not manipulation.

Faith not fear.

Grace not guilt.

If you’re overwhelmed or feel like life’s unfair, here’s some good news: Even when life feels like a roller coaster ride it can become a redemptive walk. Christ promises to be with us every step of the way. The ups and downs of life are always subject to the grace and truth we have in Him. It’s the best place to get hope for the heart and joy to the soul.

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” – Romans 8:37 NLT


  1. Inspiring post today! No matter what we are going through, God is with us all the way. He gives strength and grace sufficient for whatever he has called us to do. Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at the #RaRaLinkup today!

    May 3, 2016
    • Joy

      Thanks Gayl! “God is with us all the way” — great encouragement to an overwhelmed heart!

      May 3, 2016
  2. Very encouraging post, ending with one of my favorite scriptures! Overwhelming victory is ours! Thank you Joy! Visiting you today from Intentional Tuesday.

    May 3, 2016
    • Joy

      Thanks for stopping by Ellen. I’m glad you enjoyed this post (and one of your favorite scriptures). 🙂

      May 3, 2016

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