I used to be an early riser. But I’m becoming more of a night owl. It’s common for me to drink a cup of coffee at 10 o’clock and go to bed around 1 o’clock in the morning. During this time, I typically catch up on some reading or work on seminary assignments.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” (Prov. 3:5-6 ESV).
Seasons of waiting can be difficult. It’s hard to rest in uncertainty. But if we learn to rest in God rather than our changing circumstances, we can be certain of His faithfulness.
I sit outside as I write this. My coffee steaming in the cool, crisp air. The sound of rustling leaves and chirping birds in the background. Meanwhile, a yellow jacket seems oddly interested in what I’m doing. The morning sun shines on my face. I squint, holding down the pages of my Bible against the wind. But I love it. It reminds me of who’s really in control.
I get overwhelmed pretty easily.
Most of the time, I don’t handle this feeling of being stressed out so well. I have a tendency to shut down. Block out everything and leave things to be dealt with later. As you can imagine, this only creates more stress for myself.
I’m in a season of life right now with a lot of planning and a lot of change. These are all good things. Great things actually. But this is a recipe for stress in my life.
How do you handle overwhelming situations?
We all recite the verse that says, “When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2 NKJV).
But we tend to leave it at that. We never look at the beginning of this Psalm. Or, at least, I never did.
“Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to you, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:1-2 NKJV).
After reading this, I stopped all of my “self-help” tricks (running, yoga, Netflix binges, etc.), and I sat on my bed and prayed. Next, I picked up my Bible.
This has been my morning routine ever since. Even more so in seasons of great stress.
“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ Or ‘What shall we drink?’ Or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:30-33 ESV).
I love this passage.
After reading these verses, we can rest in the fact that God knows exactly what our needs are.
I used to do things backwards. I would worry, try to figure things out myself, worry some more, go for a run, and THEN take it to God.
I have found a way that saves me a lot of steps and a lot of worry.
I’ve not perfected it by any means. I still worry.
But I have found that I worry less when I first read the words of a God who already has it all figured out.