But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness – Psalm 86:15
Lately, I have felt overwhelmed by the amount of things going on in my life. It is just one of those seasons where it feels like 24 hours just isn’t enough time in a day. I feel like I end just about every day with a longer list of things to do, people to contact, and places to be than I started with. Personally, when I am in seasons like this, my natural response is to try and control everything. Rather than slowing down to seek God’s will and to trust Him, I have a tendency to speed up and try to manage everything on my own. It’s amazing how quickly I forget that I am a human being with very real limitations who can’t possibly do everything in his own strength.
As I try and try to gain control over all of my circumstances, it doesn’t take long before I am tired and frustrated. That is the point that I hit yesterday. It wasn’t anything major or urgent. It was just that I noticed myself getting anxious and frustrated very easily. I was out of the office most of last week, so I returned to a flood of emails that I needed to respond to. Not only that, but as I tried to work through the backlog of emails, it seemed like more new emails were pouring into my inbox than I could actually respond to. As I began to feel more and more overwhelmed, a lot of not so loving words poured through my mind that I pray I never say out loud. Then came the thought, “Lord, how in the world am I possibly supposed to manage all of this?”
I found my answer in a YouTube video that contained a message about worry. Within that message, the pastor was imploring his audience to do two things when it comes to managing anxiety. The first one was to remember who God is. The second was to remember all of the things that He has done in our life. In other words, in those periods of uncertainty, this pastor was saying that we need to hold onto all the times in the past that God has proved faithful.
Later in the afternoon I went for a run. As I was running, I was intentionally thinking about all the ways that God has proved faithful in my life in the past. I was thinking back to all of those similar seasons of uncertainty when I had no idea how God was going to move, but He ALWAYS has. His promises have never returned void. The God that I have watched work miracles in my life in the past is the same God that now guides my steps, and He is faithful to the end!
The funny thing is that when I got back from the run, I hadn’t received any of the answers I was seeking. I still had more things to accomplish than time to accomplish them. I still don’t know how some of my current situations are going to turn out. However, I have a renewed sense of peace and hope. At the end of the day, my peace and hope don’t come from my circumstances anyway. My peace and hope are found in Jesus Christ! If you are struggling at all today with any type of worry or anxiety, just take a moment to look back at everything that God has done in your life. Meditate on the promises in His word. Remember just how faithful He is!