Is anyone else feeling overwhelmed lately? Sometimes things just seem to be too much. Whether due to physical ailments, financial or relational situations, our to-do lists running off the page, or the state of our country and world, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Many things seem out of our control, and it can discourage and disillusion us.

For me, it’s a lot of those things. I have too many tasks on my to-do list, including my writing to-do list. Back problems prevent me from keeping up with things around my house, and having an autoimmune disease often throws me into fatigue. My husband has had health concerns lately. My heart continually aches missing my kids and grandkids far away. Not a day goes by when I’m not reminded of my sweet parents and miss them. Our country and world weigh heavy on me as well (hence my past posts encouraging much prayer). I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point. Now throw in the holidays. I don’t say this to complain, I just wonder who relates. Who else is overwhelmed by it all?

However, I’m reminded of Psalm 142:3 NLT:

When I am overwhelmed,
you alone know the way I should turn.

It’s a “Jesus take the wheel!” moment.

As I seek God’s help, strength, and guidance, the overwhelm dissipates into peace. None of this is too much for Him, even our world. It may not seem it, but He has everything under control. It’s me who doesn’t. It’s me who’s looking at the storm instead of at Him. It’s me who’s looking at my running-off-the-page to-do list. I need to seek Him for what He has for me, one moment, one hour, one day—one breath at a time. When we hand Him the controls, we can sit back and cruise in calm, no matter how bumpy the ride.

As for the hurting heart, He knows about that too. According to John 16:7, He is our “Helper” (NKJV), our Comforter (KJV). Second Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV) explains, He is “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles.” And Jesus told us, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV).

This is why the apostle Paul could say, “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair” (2 Corinthians 4:8 NLT). He’ll hide me in the shadow of His wings (Psalm 17:8 NLT). He is a Mighty Fortress! (as talked about in my last post)

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1-2 (NIV)

Those aren’t just pretty words. It’s something I—we—are to do each day. We must hide in His shelter, take refuge in His fortress, seek His guidance, choose to receive His comfort, “put on” His armorif we’re going to “stand,” as Paul told us in Ephesians 6:11. The preceding verse admonishes us that this is how we remain “strong in the power of His might” (Ephesians 6:10).

“I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13 NLT, emphasis added).

“Without Him I can do nothing” (John 15:5 NKJV). Without Him, I will stay overwhelmed.

As long as we’re overwhelmed by Him, we won’t be overwhelmed by the world.

In the midst of my to-do list, which includes “write blog,” though I didn’t think I’d get to it, here it is. He gave it to me as I sat with Him this morning, giving Him my overwhelm, seeking His comfort, leaning on His strength, asking for His will and plan. As a result He’s filled me with His peace—in spite of the rest of my to-dos, in spite of my ailing body, in spite of the news . . .

“My peace I give to you; not as the world gives…” John 14:27 NKJV

Isn’t God good?

No matter what, as long as I’m riding with Him, I know I’ll get there in one peace.


In spite of overwhelm, I am so excited to announce the soon release of my children’s book, The Wake-up Prayer, just in time for Christmas! If you would like to be on my launch team* and help me get this book out into the world and into children’s hands and hearts, please let me know by commenting below or hit the contact button above. I would love to have you join me!!!

*A launch team is a group of people who agree to share posts on social media (which I will provide) and purchase a copy of the book in order to leave a review on Amazon. This is how it’s done these days; publishers do not do any marketing; it’s all up to the author and friends who will help them to get the book out there. So, thank you!



Pursue more about prayer here.


  1. Karen on November 21, 2023 at 1:09 pm

    Love your statements in bold…”Without Him I will stay overwhelmed.” And arrive in one peace! 💕🤎

  2. Jeannie Waters on November 21, 2023 at 1:51 pm

    Penny, I identify with the feeling of overwhelmed. Once we experience that state, it seems to increase like the proverbial snowball rolling down the hill, gathering weight and speed. Thank you for this heartfelt and valuable, Scripture-rich post which sets our focus on God who promises to guide us.

  3. Penny Cooke on November 21, 2023 at 2:09 pm

    Thanks, Karen. I take no credit…all glory to God…He was definitely speaking to (convicting) me!

  4. Penny Cooke on November 21, 2023 at 2:12 pm

    So true about the snowball effect, Jeannie! Thank you. So thankful He caught the snowball and reminded me of His strength through this post. (Can you say “convicted!”? lol.)

  5. Del Bates on November 22, 2023 at 2:56 pm

    You hit the nail on the head! We need Him! and yep.. I will be on the launch team!!!!

  6. Bonnie Carl on November 22, 2023 at 11:53 pm

    I would love to purchase your new children’s book to share with my grandchildren! Thank you for sharing your struggles with us so honestly! We women can all relate!

  7. Penny Cooke on November 23, 2023 at 3:46 pm

    Thank you so much, Bonnie. I will keep you posted. Blessings!

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