This is How to Overcome Your Overwhelm

Your problems can seem smaller when you see a new perspective.

Close one eye and look closely at a marble. It seems massive. In fact, the marble is all you see. It dwarfs everything else. But its size is an illusion.

A basketball is bigger. The planet earth is even bigger. Come to think of it, God is infinitely bigger than your marble. Your problems are like that.

This is How to Overcome Your Overwhelm

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

Life is filled with marbles. When you fixate on your marbles, you can’t see the reality that they are small in comparison to God’s power.

Sure, they’re real. Of course they hurt. But your life is more than your problems, just as the world is more than your marbles. Or it can be. You can stop staring at your marbles. You only need to sit up, blink a few times, and look around.

God is much bigger than your marbles.

Playing Marbles with Jesus

Jesus gave a bag of marbles to His disciples one day. More than 5000 marbles, in fact. They described it this way:

His disciples came up to Him and began saying, “The place is desolate and it is already quite late; send them away so that they may go into the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But He answered and said to them, “You give them something to eat!” And they said to Him, “Shall we go and spend two hundred denarii on bread and give them something to eat?” —Mark 6:35-37

The disciples did what we do. We ask God to get rid of the problem. Jesus’ command was as astonishing as it was emphatic: “YOU give them something to eat.”

The men leaned in to look closely at the marbles, they did the math, and they saw the impossibility of Jesus’ command.

And that is exactly what we need to learn as well.

It's just a marble.

(Photo by wjlonien, Own work, CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Lord will lead you to do what you cannot do on your own.

God has called us to some impossible tasks. The odds will always be 5000 to 12.

Your education, your money, your planning, your energy, your influence, your personality—everything you have at your disposal will fail to solve the problem.

The disciples focused on their marbles and saw the inadequacy of their resources. Even though they were willing, they were unable to do what Jesus had said.

The Lord can enable you to do what you cannot do on your own.

If Christ called them to feed more than 5000 people, and what they had was inadequate, the Lord must have had a source of supply they had overlooked.

Jesus took the few loaves and fish and multiplied them for the more than 5000 people that day (Mark 6:44). The number of people mentioned reveal that the size of the marble is absolutely irrelevant. God is bigger—much, much bigger.

After the disciples saw the true size of this marble—small to God—Jesus immediately tossed them another marble in the form of a storm on the Sea of Galilee. Their response? Yep. They focused on the marble.

life is a bag of marbles

(Photo by The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

They had to learn what we have to learn. Our marbles come in all colors and shapes, but none of them are bigger than God. Apart from Christ, we can do nothing (John 15:5), but we can do all things through Him who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).

Get Some Perspective on Your Marbles

I don’t mean to minimize your problems. They’re real. They hurt. They even seem cruel at times. Instead, I’m suggesting you keep them in perspective.

God asks rhetorical questions of Himself that we should ponder:

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? . . . Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; He weighs the islands as though they were fine dust. —Isaiah 40:12, 15

Yes, the marble is there. But keep it in perspective.

God is bigger.

Question: What’s your marble right now? To leave a comment, just click here.

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This post is adapted from Wayne’s book, Waiting on God: What to Do When God Does Nothing.

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If you find yourself waiting on God—or if you don’t know what God wants you to do next—this book offers a wise and practical guide to finding hope and peace in life’s difficult pauses.

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  • Stacy

    My marble is my divorce, which was final this week. I tried very hard to fix it with God (for 2 years) but God finally brought me to my knees and made me realize/wanted me to realize that He did not need my help – it only makes Him less powerful in ones eyes. So, I had/have given Him complete control over the situation and this was hard but once I did, and I mean every last bit of control, I have had amazing peace. I have peace knowing his plan for me and my boys is better than I can imagine. So, I have been holding His hand as we turn the corner. I wanted my marriage to be saved…it did not happen….I wait…His timing, His plan…. I still love God. I must trust Him. I now have new troubles…financial…I will trust He will provide. He has taken care of me my whole life… Please keep writing Wayne. You have a beautiful gift…the things you write, how clearly you can relate things, and the way you put God’s word in perspective in daily life…You helped me more than I can say and have been working on myself daily. I am grateful and thankful for you and ask God to bless you richly. I pray I find what it is God created me to be as He did for you.

    • Thank you, Stacy, and I’m so sorry for the valley you’re walking through. You’re seeing God’s power in your weakness, something we all need to grasp.
      As far as what God created you to be, mostly that comes in season, I’ve found. Your sons are that right now. Later, it will be something else. I’ve learned that God’s “plan” is really “plans,” and He reveals them like stepping stones. Thanks for your comment, but especially for clinging to Christ.

      • Stacy

        Thank you for your response, Wayne. This meant so much, to me. My boys are a treasured gift… so, I wanted to add that I print off many off your devotions emailed to me and hang them in my boys bathroom next to the mirror. They are all teenagers…so, old enough to understand and are all suffering the same emotions and have the same questions as I have and can look at these and read one all week – as I replace weekly. It does not and will not replace our conversation or prayer together and going to church… but I thought was a good idea and wanted to share the idea. We have busy schedules and are together infrequently these days and found this a nice solution. I buy used devotional books and tear out the pages to hang up, as well (hope I don’t get backlash for saying this)…they are teenagers and just know they wouldn’t just pick up the book :/
        …greater chance they are reading and better than seeing unopened unused books. Typing and printing off a bible verse to hang – I do that, too.

        • That is a creative way to love your boys, Stacy. I’m sure in years to come those devotions will bear surprising fruit in their lives.

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  • Michelle thick

    Finding a Godly husband. He is in charge

    • Yes, that’s definitely an area to trust God for– and Him alone. May He strengthen you while you wait.