After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee.There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” Matthew 28: 1-10
Violent earthquakes. Rolling stones. Empty tomb. Folded clothes. Sadness. Fear. Excitement. Bewilderment. Joy. There were a lot of feelings pulsing through the veins of Jesus’ followers on that first Easter morning. Probably more feelings than the average kid experiences upon opening his or her Easter basket and spying a year’s worth of candy compressed into a single morning! It was certainly enough to overwhelm those early disciples. I imagine that their wiring was maxed out.
Intense experiences can leave us feeling overwhelmed. Unable to speak. Unable to respond. We might take flight. Or fight. Or freeze when we are impacted like the Easter morning disciples...and that makes it difficult to process what is actually going on, let alone respond to the moment. Can you think of a time when you were feeling overwhelmed? When you think about that experience, does it still make you feel that sense of disorientation? If that’s the case, it is quite possible that when you are in a similar situation, those same feelings will flood your brain.
God’s spirit can bring us peace when we are feeling overwhelmed liked the early followers of Jesus. Because God has witnessed all of the moments of our life the Holy can bring peace to lingering feelings of being overwhelmed.
This Easter day, choose an event that still leaves you feeling overwhelmed when you think of it. Give that specific event a SUD of 0-10. If you are new to tapping prayer, you can learn the basic recipe here. After noting your SUD, please take responsibility for your prayer tapping, and let’s pray:
Alleluia! Christ the Lord is risen today! We are so grateful for the gift of new life and new opportunities and forgiveness and grace and mercy and hope...and we are a bit overwhelmed by what it all means. We are overwhelmed by a lot of things that have happened in our lives, and like the early disciples, that sense of disorientation can keep us from feeling the true peace that Jesus sought to fill us with. We ask that you would help us feel a bit of that peace today, God, as we call on you to relieve us of a particular incident of being overwhelmed. Hear me as I pray,
Karate Chop: Even though I feel overwhelmed, and that overwhelm has a SUD of …..., I am deeply loved and completely accepted by God. Even though the incident I am thinking about completely frazzles me, I am deeply loved and completely accepted by God. Even though the chemicals in my brain are keeping me from experiencing peace on this Easter Sunday, I am deeply loved and completely accepted by God.
Top of head: This overwhelming incident.
Eyebrow: I can’t believe it happened.
Outer eye: It caught me off guard.
Under eye: I lost my breath.
Under nose: I might have felt a little dizzy.
Under lip: I might have felt afraid.
Collarbone: I feel so overwhelmed.
Underarm: I can’t get my bearings around this incident.
Wrists: I am so overwhelmed.
Top of head: It’s hard to concentrate.
Eyebrow: It’s difficult to make a decision.
Outer eye: I wonder if I could think about just one aspect of this incident at a time?
Under eye: I’ll never feel peace.
Under nose: Jesus has peace for me.
Under lip: I’ve been overwhelmed for so long, I don’t know what I would do if I felt peace.
Collarbone: Maybe I could take some of the peace Jesus has for me.
Wrists: I feel so overwhelmed.
Top of head: Even though I feel overwhelmed, I am deeply loved and completely accepted by God.
I thank you for offering your peace to me today, God. It is a great way to celebrate Easter.
Take a deep breath...and then check your SUD regarding feeling overwhelmed. Are you able to think more clearly about the issue you were praying? Do you feel a shift in your spirit? Perhaps the incident has become “just something that happened” without a lot of emotional charge to it. If you are still feeling more than a 0-2 of “overwhelm” try to identify a single aspect of the “overwhelm” and pray for God’s peace on that issue until it comes down to a 0-2. Then, work your way through any other elements of the incident until you can think about the thing that was overwhelming you, and just feel peace.
Easter Peace be with you.