As a pastor of a congregation and chaplain for Fishers Police and Fire Departments there are times when I get overwhelmed with the hurting people around me. Often in waves, I walk with people through one difficulty after another until it begins to take a toll on me emotionally. This past couple of weeks has been like that.
Have you ever been overwhelmed with your life? Sometimes we can be hit with circumstances that derail our sense of wholeness and prompt us to be emotionally unglued.
How do you respond when you are feeling overwhelmed?
Allow me to provide some context for what I have learned. Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, and as they camped at Mount Sinai, God gave Moses instructions for constructing the Tabernacle. In ancient times all cultures built temples to worship their gods. They believed their gods lived in the temples in that location. But instead of the Lord having the Israelites build a temple, He commanded them to build him a tent. That’s because the God of Israel was mobile. He was always with His people.
The theme of tabernacle is throughout the Bible. As the Lord’s glory led the Israelites through the wilderness, they would tear down and set up the Tabernacle to continue in the presence of God. God instituted an annual Biblical festival called the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) which reminds the Jewish people that the Lord was always with them even as they wandered through the wilderness.
What does this have to do with feeling overwhelmed?
The point is that God is always with you. He is a mobile God and is not confined to a temple made with hands. He is with His people always.
“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b).
When God determined to enter humanity in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, we read,
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:1, 14a).
The word here for “dwelt” is literally “he pitched his tent among us.”
When Isaiah prophesied that Messiah would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) he said He would be Immanuel—”God with us.”
My point is that when you are feeling overwhelmed…when circumstances seem to make you feel frazzled…when the situation turns tragic…remember God is with you. He has pitched His tent right beside you. He will not leave you. You are never alone. He is there to provide comfort and strength and wisdom and emotional protection and peace in the midst of your overwhelming circumstances. Lean on Him. Trust Him. Share your heart with Him. Take refuge in Him under the safety of His tent.
Slowly read and consider these truths…
“For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings” (Psalm 61:3–4 ).
“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
“The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27).
“For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock” (Psalm 27:5).
Onward in Him,