When your heart is overwhelmed

by Kari on July 27, 2011

Overwhelm (vr-hwlm, -wlm): To weigh upon overpoweringly.

We talked yesterday about gaining weight. That is, about letting the weight of the gospel settle heavy in our hearts and burden us with a love for people, immortal people who are on their way to one of two eternal destinations. We help people along, everyday, toward one destination or the other.

But while this weight is good, I mentioned that to me, for the first week or so that I was back from the UK, it felt overwhelming.  The burden weighed on me overpoweringly.

I sat with a friend and asked candidly, “Tell me exactly how we are to be broken, affected, burdened by the reality that a sea of people around us and among us are destined for eternal separation from God and yet somehow not be weighted down?” How?

I look at the world and want to yell, “How are you so LIGHT?”  I must have gained a million pounds because this weight overwhelms. It weighs upon overpoweringly.

And when we’re overpowered there’s just one place to go:

The One who can never be overpowered.

“When my heart is overwhelmed: Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61:2

There is no doubt about it: The reality of this fallen world and the billions of people who do not know Christ is crushing. It is one thing to talk about the goodness of God in the midst of temporal suffering such as disease and physical death (which is horrible, I’m not pretending it’s not), but what of the real tragedy of our world? The tragedy that there is eternal suffering which is horrific beyond our wildest imaginations and yet more common than the cold?

Yes, that is overwhelming. But you know what overwhelms even that? What engulfs even the crushing weight of fallen man?

The love and power and glory and goodness of God.

A frantic sense of panic over the world will not lead them to Christ. Even a horizontal love for our unsaved family members will not win them to Christ (though it’s a start!). The only thing that will truly propel us forward into reaching the world for Christ will be becoming overwhelmed by the goodness and glory of God.

When He overwhelms us nothing else will.

So we can pray and seek and plead with God for the salvation of our neighbors. We can trust that God is powerful enough to open the perfect door for us to share His love. We can pray and seek and give so that the gospel can go forward in the farthest corners of the globe, and rest in knowing that God is able to draw His people to Himself. Yes, there is an enormous weight of responsibility laid on our shoulders as believers — we have been entrusted with the glorious Great Commission of Jesus Christ.

And yet His burden, weighty as it is, proves light (Matt. 11:30).

As we gain weight we find our hearts set free: The weightier our lives the lighter we become — loosed from the shackles of man-pleasing and pleasure-seeking — set free to unashamedly carry Christ’s gospel to a world of immortal souls.

When He overwhelms us nothing else will.

Can you feel it?

{Perhaps you’d even share with us how He’s overwhelmed your soul today? And perhaps you’d even tell someone about His love for the very first time? Thanks for reading — your life is beautiful because He’s in it…}


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