Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Four Steps to a Peaceful Day

If you’ve been following my blog this little distance, you already know I’m subject to feeling totally overwhelmed. Actually, it’s like this:

Hi. My name is Lisa and I’m a stress case.

If you still like my blog, maybe you can relate. Like me, you also may have experienced the relief of connecting with God, so that you’ve seen your situation become managable, and you’ve faced the day with confidence. Did you know God has established a simple procedure for finding this confidence? Rather than floundering around until we stumble upon it, we can apply it right away! Sunday's wonderful sermon on handling worry helped me grasp this. Now I’m going to share this new, breakthrough formula with my comrades in stress!

OK, it’s not new and it’s hardly a breakthrough, but it was for me. I’m not the brightest kid on the block! Here it is:

1. Stop looking at the situation. Instead, think over a couple of Scriptures. This refocuses us from our problems to God.

2. Pray. Tell the Lord Jesus what’s bothering you and let Him know you can’t handle it without His help. The Hebrew verb is “galal.” Because I like horses, I’ll call it gallaloping. It’s translated “commit” in Psalm 37, and it means “to roll.” Not as in a fit of despair, but as in off-loading a burden onto someone else’s shoulders. Just knowing God has heard us is a huge relief.

3. Next, give up control. Now, this part is a little tricky. Even though our way is less efficient; even though only God knows what’s going to mess up the schedule at 2:28 p.m.; even though being in charge distracts us from what we’re doing – we still cling to control. Before we can receive God’s wisdom, we must release it.

4. Finally, wait quietly. God will give us insights that we desperately need. For example, we’ll be less distracted from the biology lesson if we write that letter we’ve been putting off. We can write it while the kids are playing tennis. We’ll be free to fix the budget while the kids are at their dad’s. It’s OK to defend our “me” time. The dust will still be there when we find the energy to clean house. And so on.

As in much of my walk with God, finding peace boils down to trust and obedience. God has unlimited grace and wisdom, and His word is full of promises that His way is trustworthy. “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened,” implores Jesus, “and I will give you rest…. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28, 30) That sweet rest is dramatically different from the unyielded, rigid tension that results from playing God. Instead of keeping an anxious eye on everything I can’t control, I am free to focus on the tasks God has set before me right now. I’m a much happier mom, too – my kids appreciate that!

And now it’s time to focus on making breakfast. Have a grace-filled day!

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:9


2 comments:

  1. These are great insights, and four practical steps! I like the "give up control" part. So good, and so important, but SO HARD to do. I've been meditating on the verse in Romans 8: "The mind set on the sinful nature is death and the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace." That's my paraphrase at least!

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