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Overwhelmed and Overburdened

We find no peace in situations that cause overwhelming stress. We feel abused in the workplace when coworkers expect us to carry the entire load. We get frustrated with colleagues and friends who burden us with their problems. We become paralyzed from carrying around personal baggage and secrets. We panic when we don’t have the resources to meet our financial obligations.

When life’s burdens become too difficult to bear, we risk having a mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical breakdown.

Society adds to our stress and anxiety every day with a steady flow of messages promoting unhealthy behavior. We’re conditioned to keep busy, to stay connected to our friends on the Internet, to seek comfort at the mall, to go to fast-food restaurants, to spend hours driving from one event to the next, and to find satisfaction outside the home. We’re always burned out because we don’t know how to rest.

People of faith honor the Sabbath and keep the Lord’s day holy. We need sacred space and time to be with God We need time to rest with God, to reflect on God’s Word, to pray, to renew the mind, heart, soul, and body. We need Sabbath time each week to remind us that we’re made in God’s image and likeness, that we are very good.

We have nothing to fear from coming to meet a kind and loving God. We can feel free to bring all of our demons—our errors, our misdeeds, our failures, our defects of ­character—to God and know that God will treat us tenderly and kindly. God never abandons us. God loves us just as we are, with all our imperfections, talents, and gifts.

All that we are is a gift from God. Yet all too often we’re ashamed of our imperfections. We see our mistakes and feel we’re flawed beyond repair. Sometimes we’re possessed by negative thinking. When we become aware of our mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual limitations, we trust that God’s Spirit is moving to transform us and help us embrace a new way of being.


Ponder: What am I afraid to bring to God? What burdens do I carry?

Prayer: Lord, help me create space in my life to rest in your presence.

Practice: Today I will be faithful by making time to be alone with God.

Adapted from Faithful Meditations for Every Day in Ordinary Time (Weeks 11–22) by Rev. Warren J. Savage and Mary Ann McSweeny (Liguori Publications, © 2013. All rights reserved).

Published inReflections