Christian Living · Prayer

When You’re On Sensory Overload


The sink is overflowing with dishes and more have migrated to the countertops. Piles of laundry wait expectantly to be washed, folded or put away. Your kids seem to think that their outdoor behavior works indoors. Suddenly, you hear glass shatter nearby as the dog’s tail makes contact with a vase.

The phone is pinging. The dinner is boiling. Your head is throbbing.

As you’re standing in the midst of the chaos, wondering which fire to put out first, the mailman hands you a stack of mail. The envelope on top reads, “Overdue notice.” You plaster on a fake smile until he turns around and then you let out a groan of despair as you shut the door.

“How did I miss that bill? Ugh! And this company charges twenty percent late fees!!!”

At some point, we all find ourselves in a sensory overload situation. It happens to young people and old people alike. It happens to the organized and the disorganized. There are moments when mountains are too big to climb or hurdles too high to jump.

It’s not always life-threatening or earth-shattering—just downright overwhelming.

What’s a person to do?

Take five… and roll out the scroll.

Let me explain what I mean.

King Hezekiah of Ancient Judah faced an insurmountable problem. He had received a letter from the representative of the Assyrian king and they were preparing to destroy Judah and everyone in it. Hezekiah goes up to the house of the Lord, spreads the letter before God, and cries out to Him in prayer. (2 Kings 19.14-19)

I like to think of him rolling out this scroll and kneeling for a moment before God, not even sure what to say. He inhales deeply and the words come slowly as He expresses His need to Almighty God.

If you find yourself in the midst of sensory overload, take five (or fifteen if you can get it), make a list of whatever must be tackled, and roll out the scroll. Lay your list before God in prayer and ask for strength and wisdom to overcome it.

It could be that you have a stack of bills to be paid and an over-drafted bank account. Roll out the scrolls (bills and statements) and pray.

Maybe you have more homework than hours to complete it. Roll out the scroll and pray.

Maybe you don’t have time to make a list because you’ve got figurative five-alarm fires right in front of you. Roll out the scroll of your heart and make a quick plea for help.

Once you’ve done that, it’s time to prioritize. If you have a list, figure out which fire needs addressing first, number off by importance, then set to work on number one. Don’t worry about everything else, just tackle what’s in front of you. Leave the mountain in God’s care and just working on climbing the first rock.

God is bigger and more powerful than any of our circumstances. Sometimes in the madness we forget that He is there, just waiting for us to ask for help. Take five and roll out the scroll before Him. He can handle it. You will be amazed what He can accomplish with His mighty hand.

Do it immediately;
Do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence,
Tracing His Hand,
Who placed it before thee with
Earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence,
Safe ‘neath His wing,
Leave all resultings,

~ Author Unknown


17 thoughts on “When You’re On Sensory Overload

  1. Really good stuff there! I sometimes get very overwhelmed by the things I have in front of me, and if I’m not careful I will end up doing nothing lol. But there is something awesome about taking time out, making a list and coming before God before we continue. You cant go wrong with that. Thanks for posting

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I sometimes find myself in a sort of haze as well. Even though I’ve spent a good deal of my life under pressure, it is only now that I’m figuring out how to deal with it effectively. Thanks for your comment! God be with you.


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