Rambling of the Day: Taking a deep breath with confidence

22 Aug

I’m changing direction on topics today, because it is just one of those times I feel really bogged down by the personal struggles in my life and it’s difficult to focus on other things. I won’t go into detail about my problems and why I feel overwhelmed, because that’s not what this post is about. My issues are going to seem like huge problems to some people, and other people will just laugh at them because they seem so minor compared to their own. I’m writing this because I’m sure I am not alone in oftentimes feeling so anxious about life that it causes me to stop living it as fully as possible. When I was talking about this with someone today, I was graciously reminded that sometimes we go through times when we’re tested. I know the language is cliché, but it was a great reminder to me to calm down and adjust my attitude about my situation.

Sometimes we get so caught up in everything that seems to be going wrong in our lives that we downplay the good things that deserve our attention. We forget that we are loved during both the good and bad times in our lives. Perhaps we even feel that God is neglecting us when we are going through difficulty, but it is in these times that we need to remember the promises of God. Sometimes when we think about the Bible, we only want to take into consideration the parts that make us feel happy. But oftentimes the promises God offers are prefaced with the fact that this life will not always be easy! We are told we will have difficulty in this life, but we are also reminded that it will eventually be overcome.

John 16:33 explains it perfectly: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Philippians 4:6-7 is also a wonderful reassurance for those of us with the tendency to be anxious and dwell on our worldly problems: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” I read these words today and it is amazing how much easier it was for me to focus on the positive things. The key to this verse is the description of the peace of God as being something “which surpasses all understanding.” Once you realize that God’s peace is greater than anything understood by man, how can you not simply let go of your burden and accept that peace? I know sometimes it seems impossible to let go of the difficulty in our lives because we feel like we have so much to be worried about. Honestly, sometimes I feel like if I’m not worried about something then I’m doing something wrong, and I do that mental checklist of things going on in my life, until – oh, yeah, that thing, that’s what I was supposed to be stressing over. But that isn’t the way we’re supposed to handle our burdens. Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” The first part gives us the instructions, and they are pretty simple to follow. The second part holds the promise – we will be given rest! The peace of God will guard our hearts and minds, and we will be given rest. That’s more than enough to convince me to let go of my anxiety.

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