As I have been having my own little battle of stress, I came across a verse that has been a staple for me during this season. As many of you know, we have been seeking God’s will for the Christian bookstore we opened several years back. It is a needed ministry here in our little town but my heart is not there anymore. My heart is with my family time and the ministry at our church. I can see that our business is struggling from my lack of vision and don’t know what to do about it.
At the same time, I can see a lot that God is doing to prove He is moving. There are two lovely ladies considering buying the store. I believe they are the very vision and ministry hearts that will save the store but we are all seeing where God’s provision is coming from. Other encouragements have been there as well; a $100 donation from a stranger to our store, a staff member donating one week’s pay back to the store, a local church thinking to supporting the store as a mission project, help from family, prayers of many, and words of encouragement from customers. There are many signs that put evidence to God being in control. None the less, my natural mindset is to “run the numbers” and to find the plan to make it all work. This takes sleep away. This takes nights focused on my family away. This takes God’s peace away from me.
Now, the verses that I’m holding onto…..
“Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him…” Psalm 37: 1-7a
The main encouragement I took from this verse the first time I read it was this…..”dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.” Wow, that phrase grabbed my heart and I desired it. To get out of the headache giving, muscle tensing, and peace stealing mindset I was stuck in and just be able to dwell in the land and to be able enjoy safe pasture. I knew that God gives us “peace that passes understanding” but when the phrase hit, I craved it. Several times I have found myself returning to this verse for encouragement.
Recently, I revisited with a new look for a message I was working on for church last Sunday. If you care to hear the full thing, you can hear it here (at the time of this post, this sermon entitled WWJS:Peace, is not up yet it will be up by this weekend). This time, I realized there were several things in this verse that David was sharing with us to find this peace.
– Don’t fret; Don’t envy
– Trust in the Lord AND do good
– Delight yourself in the Lord
– Commit your way to the Lord
– Be still and wait for the Lord
The hardest one for me has to be don’t fret. This is conscience choice. If I look at the best and worse case scenarios for my particular situation, both share one common factor…I have no control over either. No matter what situation you may be in, I bet you might be in the same boat. Sure, there’s one or two things you should be doing. Of course….we need to do what God puts in front of us. This is the trust in the Lord and do good part. If I can trust Him, then I can rest in Him and not fret. As I start to submit more and more in my trust, my heart starts to reflect His heart more and more. My perspective changes to desire His will, to commit to His desires instead of mine and delighting in the Lord because it rises up as a natural response. In my rest and faith, I can then be patient, wait upon the Lord, and let Him reveal His plan while I rest in His land.
The simple fact is, the real solution is probably in God’s hands not yours. Worry is not going to add a day to your life. Let it go. When you feel it again coming on you, let it go again. Can’t do it alone. Pray. Get a buddy who understands to be an accountability partner. Get in the Word. Read Psalm 37 over and over again. There are conscience decisions we have to make to find and rest in this peace. For some, we could feel more comfortable as the one in control, the victim, or maybe even the martyr. We make choices to go our own way and find a perverse satisfaction in your own turmoil. If that’s you, stop it. It is not God’s will for your life. Rest in His peace. Give Him control. Trust.
Just some thoughts…….