Observation and Obedience:
Who doesn’t want God’s peace, which transcends all understanding? But how do you find it, especially if you struggle with anxiety like I do.
My current battle with anxiety began with a health problem in the fall of 2013, and it quickly spread to other areas of my life. One of my anxieties is the result of anticipating my sons’ passage from adolescence into adulthood. My oldest son is fifteen, and his brother is twelve. You’re probably thinking, “Relax! You’ve still got time. Enjoy them while you can.” I’m trying, but it is easier said than done.
In the spring of 2014 The Lord began instructing me to “Be still”.
He says, “Be still and know that I am God…. Psalm 46:10
I wrote the verse on a notecard, memorized it, and spent time thinking about it (meditating on it). Making time for God every day has been critical to battling my anxiety. It is so important that I literally practice being still, reading and meditating on scripture, and thinking about who God is. If I don’t spend time with God each day anxiety creeps in and threatens to get a foothold.
Be still… Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
Clinging to the desire to be in control, even mild anxiety can overflow with fits of anger at the slightest hint of disobedience or disrespect. Logically I recognize my sons are struggling to become independent young men. They are cutting the apron strings if you will, and I am fighting back. Often my responses are not fair and gentle. It is crucial to remember that the Lord is near, and rely on the Holy Spirit’s ability to give me the control necessary to respond in gentleness that helps guide my sons along this inevitable path to adulthood.
Be still… Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
When I’m spending time with God, and remembering that the Holy Spirit is available to help me; anxiety about my sons’ futures becomes a signal that I NEED to pray. If I don’t pray the anxiety begins to well up in me, and I will chase the anxiety rabbit down its hole. There is no light down that hole, but there are many fears. Taking these fears to God, asking for His help, and trusting Him with the outcome keeps me in the light. Thanking God for all He has created my sons to be, the wonderful things He has planned for them, and for how close we are as a family keeps me calm.
Be still… And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.
A month or so after God began teaching me how to “Be Still” I attended a day retreat. Seven hours of intentional stillness. A few hours into the retreat I asked God, “What is your will for me?”
God’s still, small voice said, “Do not worry!”
Then I remembered my sons new Lacrosse jersey numbers: 46 and 10. These were not the numbers they had requested, and to say they were disappointed is an understatement.
What about their jersey numbers, I wondered. Immediately I recalled the scripture card I was still carrying around, “He says, ‘Be still and know that I am God…’”
I pulled out the card to double check the bible citation- Psalm 46:10, 46 and 10, my sons’ jersey numbers.
God is sovereign! God loves my sons’ so much, and is so intimately involved in their lives that He chose their jersey numbers. That gives me God’s peace.
Remembering and trusting in God’s sovereignty enables us to receive God’s peace which transcends all understanding, and His peace will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, continue to teach me how to “Be still.” Increase my faith, so that I will trust You with the future. Remind me to seek Your strength to live moment by moment. Calm my spirit, so that I may perceive Your still, small voice. Give me eyes to see Your hand working in my life and the lives of my family. May I know that You are sovereign; so that I may receive Your peace that will guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus, Amen.
Encouragement: Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
Originally posted on October 15, 2015 on ourfocusforhope.blogspot.com