Lately I’ve been feeling off balance. I open my eyes to “snooze” my alarm, and a swirl of anxious and busy thoughts instantly bombard my consciousness. I feel a heavy burden and a worry at the start of my day, despite being well aware of how harmful that is to the joy I’ve fought hard to obtain.
I drop my daughter off at school and begin my morning commute to work. I listen to Life 102.5 out of Madison (seriously a HUGE shout-out – what an awesome, light-hearted station with endless encouragement and inspiration!) every morning. However, when I can feel a crippling weight of worry, I turn the radio off and pray to God.
>> “God, I know you don’t want me to feel like this. I know these feelings don’t belong to You. Help me to feel your presence. Help me to remember that regardless of my circumstances, I was created to feel Your love, Your joy, and spread it. Please Lord, help me recognize the difference between Your voice and Your thoughts, and those that come from a sinister and harmful place. I know I can enjoy this day and feel gratitude in my heart for everything I am in You. Amen.” >>
Do you know the amount of relief I almost always instantly experience? When I take the time to quiet the noise of the world around me – the buzzing of cars, radio advertisements between songs, celebrity gossip updates – and focus on Him, I feel Him right there. Right. There. As if He was never anywhere else.
My God, our God, is never not with us. In the busyness of life, we adopt the false thought that we are responsible for this world going ’round and ’round. We feel an immense responsibility to always be on time, never a minute late. We feel the responsibility to never make a mistake or forget to complete a task. We feel that if something doesn’t go according to plan – which is very often – we are to blame. And when we internalize everything and focus on how we impact the world, we lose sight of God. We were never meant to be the center of the world. We were never meant to carry that burden. We suffer when we take our eyes off of Him; We slowly suffocate. We wake up unable to breathe.
When we pause amidst the chaos of life and refocus on God, we allow ourselves the opportunity to feel Him next to us again. We can feel His strength. We can see that He is in control. No matter how messy our lives feel or how broken we feel, He is standing beside us. He is calm, He is collected, and He is sure.
When I feel overwhelmed, when I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, I must remember to stop. I must take 5 minutes and pray.
Open your eyes to see that He is reaching His hand out to you with a gentle smile on his face. He knows it all, has seen it all, has a plan for it all, and is surprised by absolutely nothing. Cast your cares on the One who has battled it all and has come out victorious. He has defeated the world for you. Rest, my friend, for the outcome has already by determined by Him.
“He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.”
Psalm 107:29 (NIV)