As I was preparing to write this, there was yet another mass shooting in our country. It has become clear that this is not going away. Fear seems to be a blanket that is beginning to hang in the air like a thick fog. It lifts every now and then, but not for very long.
It’s not just the shootings, it’s the response of Christians to each other, the lack of solid leadership in our country, natural disasters and more. It feels like the world is on fire. We fear for our children and grandchildren. We feel helpless and deep down inside, we can’t help but hear the insidious voice of the enemy hissing, “Where is your God?”
I’m here to tell you that OUR GOD IS ALIVE AND WELL! He is still on the throne, and He is sovereign and good and loving. (Psalm 62). He loves his people and nothing touches us unless it passes through his loving hand FIRST.
But when we feel like everything is falling apart, chaotic, and just plain frightening, what is it that we are desperately needing, wanting, scrambling for? REST. And God says we will never find it apart from him.
So I’m giving you some tools for your tool box to help you find REST. Practical. Time tested. Unchanging. We have very little control in this life, but we CAN choose to give God his rightful place on the throne of our hearts which in turn will give us the rest we so desperately need.
R-Read (and meditate) on God’s word.
The times and culture changes, but Isaiah 40:8 tells us that God’s word stands forever. If we are going to anchor our life in anything, it should be something that will stand the test of time.
Hebrews 4:12 says that the word is living and active and gives us discernment. Isn’t that what we need as wives, moms and as believers?
Isaiah 55:11 says that God’s word always produces fruit. So even if you are a busy mom who gets little snippets of time here and there in His word, God promises that it will be productive! I think he also has a very soft spot in his heart for each one of our situations. He knows the demands on our lives and he gently leads us with grace and mercy. (Isaiah 40:11)
Ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom, get out your Bible and READ it! Psalms and Proverbs are solid and practical. You can also use a topical study Bible to search God’s word for specific subjects. I love using my journaling Bible and have a highlighter and pen handy for marking certain verses that stand out to me and making notes as to what God is showing me. It’s also easier to find them again if I want to reference them later. Write key verses out on cards and hang them in places you will read them often.
I can’t tell you how important it is that we worship God. We are all created to worship and we are worshiping something or someone every moment. God created us to worship HIM and when we do that, we are not only acting in obedience to Him, we are turning our eyes toward Him and focusing on who He is. In that process, He becomes bigger and our problems become smaller. It changes our desires and aligns our hearts with his. Turn on the praise and worship music and let it fill your home, your car, your heart and your mind.
This is a tough one, but absolutely essential to hearing from God. As busy moms, we often feel like we simply can. not. stop. The reality is that we actually can. Maybe we cannot stay up a little later than the kids or get up a little earlier. But maybe we could utilize nap time instead of trying to get more done, use quiet times in the car, take a walk, ask our husbands to watch the kids for 20 minutes while we sit someplace that we can be alone. If remotely possible, I love to do this while taking a short rest or before I get up in the mornings (pretending to be asleep)! Even if we only find ourselves with a few moments here and there throughout the day to pause and quiet our hearts before the Lord, there will be a good return!
The biggest help for me lately has been putting my phone in airplane mode. I wouldn’t call myself a phone addict, but as I’ve been more careful to make time to quiet my heart, I can see that I actually do spend more time there than I should. The reality is that I am making a trade off every time I choose to be on my phone… even for 2 minutes, because it takes my mind a different direction. I am suddenly way less intentional.
When we shut everything off and choose to wait on the Lord, carefully listening for His voice, we give him his rightful place in our hearts. We give him time and space to speak to us. Essentially, we say, “Lord, You are more important to me than anything else.”
T-Take your thoughts captive.
We are engaged in a spiritual battle every.single.day. (2 Corin. 10:3-5) We cannot ever, ever forget that! Our battle is NOT against flesh and blood and the battle begins with our thoughts. In order to have victory over our enemy, we must keep a close watch on where our minds are. Have you ever noticed that when a feeling of unrest comes over you and you stop to realize what it is that you’re thinking about, it’s NEVER good? Our emotions can serve as a red flag that our thoughts are going places they shouldn’t. (Phil. 4:8)
One of the best ways to combat anxiety and lack of rest is gratitude (1 Thes. 5:18). “God asks us to show Him gratitude in the dark times of change because He knows that’s how we find Him in the dark.” (Kristin Strong)
Instead of being fearfully distracted, let’s be intentionally faith filled.
Our kids are watching us. We are showing them by example whether God is loving or not, whether he is sovereign or not, whether he is trustworthy or not. Let’s show them that He truly IS all of those things. Let’s leave a legacy of faith, for their sake and for ours!