Sand – How many grains of sand would there be in just one cubic foot of beach sand?  Think of all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the world. How many grains of sand would that be?   I find it difficult to wrap my mind around that. 

Overwhelmed? We’re Supposed to Be

Speed of Light – Light travels 186,282.4 feet per second, which is 670,616,620 miles per hour. So how far can light travel in just 24 hours?  That would be 670,616,620 X 24 which is a very, very big number.  Just one light year seems incomprehensible to me, and astronomers talk about hundreds, thousands and millions of light years.  And the Milky Way, our local, neighborhood galaxy, has about 200 billion stars.      

Overwhelmed? We’re Supposed to Be

Flight – Fabulous flying machines get us places at over 500 miles per hour. We can travel farther in one day than the Apostle Paul traveled in His lifetime. Amazing. 

Overwhelmed? We’re Supposed to Be

Lightning – The mesmerizing fire in the sky we call lightning can be up to 90 miles long, hit the same place repeatedly, strike in different locations at the same time, create heat three times hotter than the sun, strike the earth 24,00 times per year and release as much as one gigajoule (whatever that is) of energy per strike.  Absolutely untamable. 

Overwhelmed? We’re Supposed to Be

Need – The enormity of human need is staggering. The estimated refugee population was about 26.07 million people in 2019.  That’s 26 million people who want to eat today, sleep some place safe (without fear of being robbed), bath, stay warm, have clean drinking water, and have a positive future. Staggering. 

Overwhelmed? We’re Supposed to Be

Hardship –  An oarsman in a first century Roman ship was owned. He rowed and rowed and rowed. Chained in place, if the ship went down, so did he. A slave in Babylon – also owned – was mere meat on the hoof, a human machine with no options. Produce or be killed.  Soldiers fighting in the disastrous Crimean War in 18541 –  “t’was not theirs to reason why, t’was only theirs to do or die”  (As Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote). Hardship.
                                                                             Overwhelmed? We’re Supposed to Be

Health – Strokes happen, legs cease to support us, hearts fail, minds get cloudy and confused, cancer strikes, sight fails, strength departs. It all becomes extremely personal.  It is humbling.  It becomes discouraging.  
                                                                               Overwhelmed? We’re Supposed to Be 

Injustice – You have suffered your share.  Passed over for the promotion you earned, it was given to someone who kissed up to the boss.  Accused of a crime you did not do.  Cheated out of wages you earned, but the company went bankrupt and could not / would not pay.  Children working ten hours per day in brick factories in India.  Horrendous conditions on slave ships coming to America 200 years ago.  Injustice. 

          Overwhelmed? We’re Supposed to Be

Salvation — Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has also set eternity in the hearts of men, yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.  True, we understand a little about His atonement and resurrection, but we “cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” 

        Overwhelmed? We are Supposed to Be

The Purpose   God has to do many things to convince us we are not god and He is. His purpose seems to be to bring us to an accurate awareness of our (1) sinfulness and (2) our dependence and on Him.  Blessed overwhelmedness.


  1. Twice as many died from dysentery, disease and infection as died in battle.  Deplorable    conditions. Service among these British soldiers made Florence Nightingale famous. 

One thought on “Overwhelmed, But With a Purpose

  1. I would say the reason God shows us this is to highlight the difference between God and us and that’s what creation does shows us we are not God and he is way more powerful than we will ever be. Therefore if he can handle all those things simultaneously shouldn’t I trust him to handle my life.

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