The Calm in the Crazy
Stressed. So much to do. Overwhelmed. In a hurry. Not enough hours in the day. Fighting illness. Exhausted. Crazy.
These are just a handful of words I’ve heard used in the last week to describe the lives of those around me. "The most wonderful time of the year" certainly comes with an overwhelmingly long To Do List. The incredible volume of things to do, from the trivial to the super important, is so very high at this time of year.
As I thought through my own personal laundry list of "to dos" this week, I began to feel overwhelmed. I am one person, how am I to accomplish all these things? Let alone do them well. But dear sisters, those feelings lasted but a moment because I immediately called to mind the words of Scripture:
Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I
Within a few minutes I was able to find a secluded spot to pray; a spot to cast all my anxieties upon him, because he cares for me (1 Peter 5:7). Oh what hope, what peace, what comfort, what perspective, what calm there is at the feet of Jesus. Remember when he said that his yoke is easy and his burden is light (Matthew 11:30)? His shoulders are broad, he alone is able to not only give us peace in the midst of the crazy, but he is able to give us everything we need to bring him glory and serve him well in the crazy. David marveled over the intimacy of God's kindness and care when he said:
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
The same God who spoke the earth into existence, the same God who parted the Red Sea, the same God who caused the walls of Jericho to come crashing down by nothing more than the shout of men, the same God who brought fire down from heaven to consume Elijah's offering, the same God who stepped into time and space to live and die on our behalf cares about the details of our lives. Isn't that incredible?
Dear sisters, too often we sit in our feelings of anxiety, stress, and faintheartedness for far too long. We reach for our phones to text or call a friend, a husband, or a sister to vomit our to-do list upon them, to cry, "Woe is me! I'm so busy and overwhelmed!" Or, we grab our phone as an escape, a time-killer and procrastinating tool, hoping to find something to distract us from the mounting level of anxiousness we feel at the sheer volume of things to accomplish.
The hymnist said it like this:
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer!
How true this is! The peace we forfeit, the pain we bear because we fail to pray. We take our anxieties, stress, and overwhelmed feelings to mere people or things when the God of the universe has given Christians his Spirit as the Helper (John 14:16). Sometimes we are so headstrong in getting our day started that our feet hit the ground and we're off and running...we think, "I have too much to do today. I must get going. I'll pray on the way."
Martin Luther said, "I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer." The best thing you can do for these busy days and this busy season is to stop and devote yourself to prayer.
As Christians, let us not be known as women who are frantic, hurried, anxious, and spinning out of control at this time of year. But rather, let us be women who are calm, peaceful, joyful, and controlled. The rest of the world may be spinning out of control but we will not...because we've anchored ourselves to the rock.