Finding Rest in a Restless World

Do you ever feel like the Energizer Bunny? Or maybe the Energizer Bunny when those batteries start to run down? I do. My mom used to say, as her health was getting worse, that her brain was still going 90 miles per hour. She wanted to do so many things, but she couldn’t. The spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak quite literally. I feel that way so much of the time. I have more to do than I have hours to do it in it seems.

As we walk through this Christmas season and into a New Year, we can get so many activities and deadlines on our plate. This Christmas is a little different. Rather than parties and cantatas filling our schedule, many have home school and zoom calls overflowing on their calendars. I heard one home schooling parent refer to it as “crisis schooling,” not home schooling. And for many, that is true, especially for those who don’t normally school from home. This isn’t the normal way to home school, and whether we’re working from home or schooling from home or both, everything is very different.

So, how do we keep the peace of God ruling in our hearts? How do we let the joy of the Lord be our strength and His mercy and grace flow through our lives? I know that sometimes reminders from the Word of God can get me back on track. Here are a few I thought of:

  1. “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” (Psalm 46:10, NLT)
  2. Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. (Psalm 62:5-6, NLT)
  3. Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28, NLT)
  4. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31, NLT)
  5. Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:5-6, NLT)
  6. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. (Psalm 91:4, NLT)
  7. No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8, NLT)
  8. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7, NLT)

I’m sure we could come up with many more scriptures that bring us to God’s peace, joy, mercy, grace, hope, and help. The key is believing and acting upon what the scriptures say. Will we let God’s peace reign in our hearts, or will we let our worries and responsibilities push Him out and take over? We really do have the choice. I see so many suffering with anxiety. It breaks my heart. As I’ve talked with many who struggle with anxiety, I’ve talked with them about trusting God. It may not take the panic attack away, but it helps strengthen them to get through it.

I always find it interesting that God offers us peace, joy, and hope in the midst of the trials and challenges of life. He doesn’t offer those instead of them necessarily. I think we often want all the troubles to go away and everything to be perfect, or at least better than they are. God is like that. He offered us salvation while we still sinned and rebelled. He meets us where we are and in whatever condition we are in. His mercy and love are amazing.

Of all the verses I listed, the one that has been rolling around my heart and brain a lot these days is the Micah verse. I’m realizing in our world today, that verse offers us guidance that can calm our hearts and minds and help us cope with the challenges we face.

To do what is right – If God’s people would do what we know is right, not worry so much about whether or not others are doing what is right, but that we choose each day to do what is right, I believe our world would be radically changed overnight.

To love mercy – Loving mercy means we understand and appreciate the mercy God has poured into our lives, His forgiveness and acceptance. It also causes us to extend that same mercy to others around us. If we all were to be filled with gratitude for God’s mercy and extended that same mercy to others on a daily basis, again, the world could change overnight.

To walk humbly with your God – When we lay down our pride and our agendas and simply walk humbly with God and obey His leading in our lives, everything changes. Our worry melts away. Our lives take on new meaning and new purpose. We find peace and contentment. And as a result, the world could change overnight.

I am struck by the power of these verses and what our obedience to them could mean for our hearts and minds, for our kids and family, and for our world.

In 2 Chronicles 7:14, which we often quote when asking God for revival and spiritual awakening and for our land to be healed, one of the main points we can overlook are the first three words: IF MY PEOPLE. To see our world changed, to see our homes changed, begins with us and our obedience to and belief in the scriptures God has given us.

And as 2 Chronicle 7:14 tells us, when we humble ourselves and pray, seek God, and turn from sin, God will heal our land. Whether our family needs healing and peace or we are praying for a larger family of our nation and world, we will never find the peace and healing we are asking for until you and I humble ourselves and walk in obedience to God’s word.

So, this Christmas, as we are tired of the new routine and are longing for things to be different, for healing to come to our land, let’s begin by humbling ourselves before our God, resting at His feet, and seeking His face.

As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42, NLT)

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