I was stopped in my tracks by my husband’s words. It turns out that I have been less than gentle or calm in my behaviour towards him and more like a woman who is anxious and stressed. For the record, my man is generally calm, patient and methodical, whereas I am flighty, impatient and intuitive.
Wrangling with technology is proving to be my nemesis, my giant to subdue, if not slay. And who am I kidding to think I can achieve it alone, if at all? Numerous glitches, pressing problems I hadn’t anticipated, and a weight of worry are hanging around like a threatening cloud.
Try as I might, I am failing to get to grips with a different method of self-publishing than the one I used before to turn my words into a paperback book. As I bite back the tears and gnash my teeth in frustration, fiery feelings course through my mind.
Seeking calm in the storms of life
These swirling emotions seem to mirror the furious squall which the disciples experienced while out in a boat with Jesus (Mark 4: 35-41). When the waves rose and broke over the boat they were terrified and thought they might drown.
And here am I, drowning in overwhelm, far from peaceful or calm. I’m a woman wrung out, stressed and upset because I cannot handle these obstacles by myself. I’ve temporarily forgotten we’re not meant to do life alone.
When you have chronic illness, then it’s not easy to marry the self-care it requires with a maverick stubborn streak, coupled with a go-it-alone mentality. My independent spirit is definitely the weakening, if not the death of me.
Turning to God’s Word aids our ability to be calm
In following a flying solo approach, with a fierce determination to complete what I have started, coupled with extreme fatigue, the only thing I succeed at is anxiety, depletion and burnout.
Being calm seems an unachievable state of mind when we lose sight of our dependence on God and others. When we’re floundering around because we’ve become lost, harassed and exhausted, it soon teaches us about our need for God’s input and support
When I revisit the story of Jesus calming the storm, I am reminded of His power over all creation, over me, over my thoughts, over all of us. He is so chilled and relaxed that He has the ability to sleep during storms. It reveals His calm control and how much He rested in His Father’s loving arms.
We can learn how to remain calm in challenging circumstances
When you and I act like the fearful disciples, Jesus isn’t fazed. Our turbulent emotions are no deterrent to Him because He has the balm for every heated thought and wounded soul. But we might forget He does or neglect to turn to Him soon enough.
I tend to have a head in the sand mentality and focused intensity about those things that really matter to me. Therefore, when problems arise to derail and sidetrack me, I am apt to react with increasing angst as I seek to solve them, if possible. Yet experience teaches me, time and again, that it really isn’t the wisest course of action to take.
Maybe stubbornness isn’t your flaw and failing. Perhaps you fall at other fences instead? Though whatever our personal stumbling block might be, Jesus has the remedy to get us back on our feet again. This is a freeing truth I have been slow to learn.
There’s a better, calmer way to live
We don’t have to stew in stress or drown in discouragement. There is a better way to live and behave. Our task is to recognise when we need help and to have the courage to ask for it. Family and friends are a great resource, of course.
But for deep inner work to resolve our behavioural issues? Then we need to turn to God. He alone has the means to bring calm from chaos, beauty out of ashes, peace from problems and serenity out of stress. And as we cooperate with Him, we will learn to become more Christ-like in our actions and reactions. Which can only be a good thing! 🙂
Are you struggling right now, friend? Facing a storm or two? May these words encourage your heart if you are seeking serenity or pursuing peace. You are not alone. Meanwhile, let’s pray for one another and seek to praise God in the storm, even if the dark clouds haven’t lifted yet. Because there is always hope when we seek God’s help and support.