“From the ends of the earth,
I cry to you for help
when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,” Psalm 61:2 NLT
We’ve mentioned being overwhelmed by problems, horror, and things that annoy us. Perhaps now is a good time to talk about emotional overwhelm. Those times when we feel so much that it is like we are just gasping for a breath when another wave of sorrow or shock rolls over us. Grief is a lot like that, and if you are a highly sensitive person, watching the news can have a similar effect. As I write, the western world is still reeling from the Orlando killings, and a Member of Parliament, Jo Cox, has been murdered here in the UK yesterday.
We can feel, in the aftermath of such events, completely adrift in a sea of unfamiliar or difficult emotions. We can’t imagine how horrendous it is for the families involved, but even at a distance we feel swept out of control by our feelings of sadness and disbelief that these things can happen. When these are the stories in the media, even the small disturbances in our own lives can send us into heights of anxiety and depths of despair, because we were already hurting so badly. Writing (and reading) about the dark things of life as we have been doing, can also be too much. This blog has even been rather intense the last few days. I will try to space out the really tough stuff so that we can stay on an even keel.
Sometimes, even good things happening can feel utterly overwhelming. I have a book coming out soon and that is great, but still a strain on a person with delicate health. There are days when we feel that the mixture, or juxtaposition of good and bad, joy and sorrow, can itself feel like a seesaw we are incapable of coping with, a rollercoaster we just do not feel capable of riding.
What does the scripture advise us to do at such times? To cry out to God. To know that in him we can find (as most translations put it) “the rock that is higher than I.” Our God is higher ground, a safe place, a tower or a plateau where we can get our breath back and get our emotional spirit levels balanced. Let us then, make the time to rest in him when everything around us is too much and our racing hearts are struggling to beat with his.
Photo from Pixabay