John 14:27 (NLT) “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
Don’t be troubled or afraid. Don’t be worried. All sound advice, really, but what does that look like? I’ve been overwhelmed with a variety of concerns lately. After listening to my litany of cares one day, my sweet friend reminded me that I was worrying and that I needed to hand it all over to God. And she’s right. But what does that look like in a practical sense? Because if I could find a way to take all of my burdens, ALL of them, put them on a platter and lift them up to the Lord, I would. I’d hold them up and say, “Here you go, please take it all away” — like they are little problem pebbles.
But they aren’t problem pebbles that I can pull out of my brain, they’re thoughts. And thoughts seem a lot harder to lasso sometimes than they should be. 2 Corinthians 10:5 (ESV) says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Taking thoughts captive, throwing them out, and replacing them with truth is probably the one thing I struggle with the most. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s possible, but it feels like Satan works overtime some days sending lies to my brain in rapid-fire motion. And, I’m not always very good at “catching” them and throwing them right back out. Perhaps it’s my lack of athletic skills. Or, perhaps it’s my lack of yielding to God.
At my Bible study last week, one of my friends shared something she’d read in a Beth Moore devotional. It said, (and I’m sure this is somewhat paraphrased) “Without bowing a knee and giving Him lordship every single day, you are living in the flesh.” And there it is! The answer to receiving peace; waking up every morning and saying, “Lord, today is yours. I’m just a vessel. You have lordship over my life. I submit to you.” It SOUNDS easy, right? And yet, it’s also easy to forget.
Wow, that really hit me between the eyes! I thought to myself, have I been spending more time praying or more time worrying? You can probably make a pretty good guess as to my answer. It’s not that I don’t want to pray, or that I’m angry with God, or that I don’t believe he will take care of things, but sometimes I simply forget. How does one forget to access the greatest power available? She spends too much time trying to figure it out on her own. Maybe that’s just me . . . but I doubt it.
Friend, have you been trying to muddle through the trials of your life on your own accord? Why not stop today and put all your concerns in the hands of the One who knows just how to work it all out? He would love nothing more than to lift some of the load off your shoulders.
Matthew 11:28 (NIV)”Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Nancy loves to laugh and considers laughter a critical part of human survival. If you were to ask, most days she would say her glass is half full but when it starts reaching the half-empty level, she reaches for a funny book or movie knowing that indeed “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Nancy has three married sons and five grandchildren. To read more from Nancy find her at www.nancyholte.com.