Peace, Even When It Doesn’t Feel Like It
It feels like a full week has gone by, but it’s really only Tuesday. I know you all will be reading this on Saturday, so it might be confusing — but I’m writing from where I’m at, not where I will be. Sometimes, we stuff a whole lot of reality into our minutes, hours and days. It’s been that kind of week so far — and I’m not imagining it will slow down any time soon.
Being a month into school, planning (otherwise known as worrying about) the upcoming holidays, wondering when the kids will actually eat and/or like my cooking, not wanting to cook, and your garden variety of issues like laundry, dishes and other general household chaos, October is shaping up into a wild and crazy month. And it’s only the first!
I wish I could tie this all together with a nice bow, saying “For those of you also feeling this way, I have the answer for you! Don’t worry!” I really can’t though. Worrying is something that I can’t seem to get away from, no matter what I do. I’ve tried all kinds of things — even essential oils — but nothing seems to get rid of it completely.
It’s hard to even admit that I can’t stop worrying. It feels like worry and anxiety are highly frowned upon as topics of conversation. It’s as if there’s been some kind of decree that “You can not speak of this!” It almost feels shameful to admit you’re fearful of something.
I would also like to reiterate that I believe it is important to get help when you need it. No one should be afraid to ask for assistance, like counseling or other resources, when it is needed.
The Bible certainly is not silent on the matter of worry. Instead, we are told not to worry all throughout the Bible. Jesus tells us not to worry in the Sermon on the Mount. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble,” he said in Matthew 6:34.
In 1 Peter 5:7, it reads “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Likewise, in Philippians 4:6-7, it reads “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.”
What do we see in these few verses? 1) We are told not to worry. 2) It is implied that worry is unhelpful and we should focus on praying instead. 3) God will listen to our worries if we tell him. 4) He cares about us and does not want us to be anxious. And finally, 5) the Peace of God is available to us and will guard our hearts and minds.
That’s a lot to unlock, especially if you’re already anxious and panicking. But we can rest in the simple reassurance that God is listening, that he cares, he knows we are worried — but he is ready to share his peace that surpasses all understanding with us.
In the next few days, weeks and (let’s face it) for the rest of my life, I am probably going to struggle with fear and worry. But I am thankful that God has laid out these plans and ideas that let me know that I am not just nagging him — that he wants to hear from me and he can take care of whatever comes my way. We don’t have to live in fear — rather, with communication, trust and faith — we can live in the peace of God.
May that Peace be with you this week — no matter what it throws at you.