Jesus was surrounded by a sea of people once His ministry began. A whole town showed up at His door and He had to sneak away in the middle of the night to pray (Mk 1:28-37). A crush of people once surrounded Jesus to such a degree that the disciples kept a boat ready to take Jesus away from
everyone trying to touch Him (Mk 3:7-10). At a home where He was staying there were so many people after Jesus that He and the disciples couldn’t even find a way to eat food. His own family tried to rescue Him with “an intervention” because they thought He had lost His mind (Mk 3:20-21, 31). Is it any wonder that Jesus at the end of a long day of people and teaching fell asleep in a boat even during a storm? (Mk 4:35-38)
Life can get hectic. Every day we perform a difficult balancing act applying our available time, energy
and resources to the demands of life. Sometimes the demands come in too fast to be handled at that
very moment and things have to wait. That’s a dangerous time because other things, important things, will almost certainly continue to pop-up that demand our immediate attention. Like overloaded streets in rush-hour traffic our lives may grind to a horn-blowing, tire-screeching, overwhelmed halt under the load of demands being made on our person, our time, our energy or our finances and we may just want to throw up our hands and quit everything!
Ask any mother with small children trying to balance meals, clothes, marriage, cleaning, ball-games,
doctor visits, and especially if she has a working job besides home, if she has ever felt overwhelmed.
You can get overwhelmed even on a family camping trip. Planning, packing, driving, eating, children’s
needs, fatigue, dealing with unexpected problems like the weather, or vehicle malfunctions, or sickness, or traffic, or arriving too late at a campsite can all come together in such a way that you wish you had just stayed home!
The answer may be down: slow down (rushing creates new problems), calm down (frantic responses rob you and everyone you deal with of joy), put that down (triage the things in your life and drop what can wait).
The answer may be up: look up (Phil 3:14, “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of
God in Christ Jesus.”), give up (Phil 3:7-8 “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ... and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ)
Finally, when life seems like it’s tearing you apart - - pray! Luke 18:1, “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.”