When is the last time you felt overwhelmed? Quite often the reasons for these feelings are negative. Perhaps you may have looked a list of tasks that you needed to finish and were overcome with the impossibility of accomplishing all of them in the time that you had available. Maybe the amount of sickness or tragedy that has come into your life is overwhelming to you emotionally and the care and concern you carry for other people is more than you feel you can handle physically and mentally. The circumstances of life can be overpowering at times. There is another equally viable use of this word, however. Have you ever had so much kindness and care extended to you that you felt overwhelmed with gratitude? Have you ever stood at the ocean’s edge, watching an amazing and colorful sunset, and been overpowered by the beauty and grandeur of what you are seeing? Have you experienced the love or forgiveness from a friend that was undeserved and unexpected? Has God ever surprised you with an answer to prayer that you hardly had the courage to pray?
Those early followers of Jesus were constantly being overwhelmed by this man whose name was Jesus. From day to day, the disciples would walk with Him and talk with Him and then they would be totally startled by some miracle that He would perform. Some of His conversations with those Pharisees and sinners would catch them unaware and they would be overcome with His ability to communicate and to serve. As the early church grew and spread throughout the region, Luke tells us in Acts 9: 31 that the believers lived “in the fear of the Lord” because of the peace that they were experiencing and the numbers of people who were coming to faith. No doubt when Jesus sent those early disciples out to teach and to heal the sick, they were not only overwhelmed by the challenge, but they were equally deeply aware of the confidence that Jesus had in them as they followed His directions. What a great way to take a risk, to grow, and to experience God’s blessings.
Keep your eyes open today. Keep your ears tuned in today. Keep your mind alert today. You just might see God at work in surprising places and you will be overcome by what He can do when you are looking and listening. In fact, you just might be overwhelmed!