Unfortunately stress is something we are all too familiar with. The world around us is moving so very fast and how dare us not be able to keep up for even one minute?
Ten million things to do in only 24 hours.. Can you keep up? Can you manage your time correctly? Can you spend time with your family while still managing a stable job? Can you hangout with your friends/significant other without forgetting your responsibilities? Can you sit down and have some quiet time with Jesus when all that’s around you is noise, noise noise?
In today’s world a little peace and quiet seems nearly impossible to find. There’s so much noise and chaos all. the. time.
The main place I feel peace is when I’m driving in my car alone. It’s the only time I feel like I can actually hear my own thoughts. Sometimes I pray, sometimes I listen to music, sometimes I roll the windows down and just take in how beautiful life really is.
Those moments are really, really helpful. It’s like a 15 minute total refocus sometimes. It can easily change my mood, dissolve my stress, and help me refocus my eyes on Jesus.
God’s peace is a wonderful, wonderful thing when we truly seek it. I admit I don’t seek after it near as much as I should, but He always reaches out to me at just the right times.
Have you ever had one of those moments when you hear a song you’ve heard ten thousand times but this one time you actually FEEL it. You don’t just hear the lyrics, but your heart really listens to them? Here’s what happened.
A couple weeks ago I was driving to work after a night of very little sleep. Dreading the day ahead of me and wishing I could just be curled up in my bed. I was trying to hurry so I wouldn’t be late and it seemed like every car on the road was driving at LEAST 10 miles under. Stress had crept up on me and I was in a cranky, yucky mood.
I turned on my radio and the song that just so happened to be playing was Just Breathe by Johnny Diaz. If you’re not familiar with the song, take a look at the lyrics:
“Alarm clock screaming, bare feet hit the floor
It’s off to the races, everybody out the door I’m feeling like I’m falling behind, it’s a crazy life.
Ninety miles an hour going as fast as I can
Trying to push a little harder, trying to get the upper hand So much to do in so little time, it’s a crazy life
It’s ready, set, go, it’s another wild day
When the stress is on the rise in my heart I feel you say
Come and rest at my feet
And be, just be
Chaos calls but all you really need is to
Sometimes in tiny moments like that, I feel the Holy Spirit more than I ever have standing in a church service. (Not that I don’t feel it there, too.) I continued to drive, my whole body covered in chills. I was speechless. I was in awe.
Not only does God know and care about every ounce of stress and heartache I’ve ever felt, but he reaches out to me right there in the middle of it. He gently speaks peace louder than any of the noise going on around me.
Whenever I think about God speaking peace to me, it reminds me of when Jesus calmed the storm. (Matthew 8 and Mark 4)
Paraphrased: Jesus went out on a boat with His disciples. Jesus fell asleep and a storm came about them. The disciples were scared, they were stressed. They woke Jesus, telling him they were going to drown! I imagine at this point Jesus might have put his hands on his hips and shook his head with a sassy (but yet loving, because He’s Jesus 😉 smirk on his face. The text says he replied “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”
Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, saying “Peace, be still.” …and it was completely calm.
I think stress can feel like being in a storm. I stress when I can’t see what’s ahead, I stress when my faith is shaking and wandering. I stress when I feel out of control.
I imagine both situations the same. I imagine Jesus looks down on me, hands on hips, shaking his head with a loving smile thinking “Oh you of little faith, why are you so afraid?”
Then He gently speaks over every bit of stress rising in my heart: “Peace, be still.”
…and all is completely calm.
He calmed a storm so many years ago, and He continues to calm every silly storm raging inside of me. He is a God of peace.
Amidst all the noise and chaos, He is gently speaking peace louder than all of it. If only we’re listening. Are you listening?