When Tension Builds

end of the day

  • tightness in my neck and shoulders,
  • a heavy weight clamping on my chest,
  • the slightest headache creeping across my temples…

Where did this come from?

I didn’t even realize I was starting to stress.

butterfly 01

Step away… and into Your presence.

It’s a Sabbath-moment.

butterfly 02

Mt.6… “consider”.

The Spirit keeps Christ promise that the Comforter sent by the Father would bring all His words to my remembrance, and LORD, You speak Your Word fresh to me, “Look around you and ‘consider’.”

butterfly 03

I’ve known You too long, LORD, walked too far with You to live a life of unbelief and fear.

I know YOU, that changes everything!

butterfly 06

You open my eyes and help me to see… details… grass blades, bees, texture, shadows…

beauty…

and my world, myself, my life, from Your perspective.

butterfly 05

Obviously I am stressing.

You tell me to be anxious for nothing (Phil. 4), and You’ve given me so many reasons to trust you.  So, where is the disconnect?  Show me, LORD, how to not let tension build throughout the day.  You have searched me, and You know me. (Ps. 139)  You know my anxious heart, even when I don’t understand why my eyes are aching and taking a deep breath requires a conscious decision.  Help me to understand why I feel this mounting pressure.

Today was a good day… not perfect, not easy, but good.

butterfly 07

Yet, there’s a backdrop of nervous anticipation:

Will I be able to keep this up?

I am spent, and all I completed today was school… no laundry, no cleaning, no extras.

There is no real crisis, just that vague feeling that there is not enough time in the day.

And, as a teacher and a student, I pray as I lay my head on my pillow.  LORD, if there is one thing I want to learn this year above all else, it is to REST in You

  • not only on carefree summer days
  • not just when I’m at the beach or on a mountain top
  • not merely when I’m alone having my quiet-time
  • not only when everything is in an ideal state of order and resolution
  • but, also “in the midst” of it all… in the ebb and flow of battles and blessings, in every season of planting and harvest, in the waiting… all day, continually.

“Thou wilt keep in perfect peace…

(I’ve known this verse long before I was old enough to understand its meaning.)

… whose mind is stayed on Thee; because he trusts in Thee.”

Isaiah 16:3

(The words effortlessly form themselves on my tongue.  Now to live it.)

Lesson #1 of School Year 2014-15:  I WILL KEEP MY MIND ON YOU, LORD.

time 001

Elizabeth George wrote in her book Woman After God’s Own Heart, speaking of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31, “This excellent woman reminds me of a watch. From the outside, we see her hands moving.  We witness all the activity… her busyness as she lives out her assignments from God as a wife, mother,and homemaker.  But there’s something inside, something deep within her heart, that makes her tick, moving her along, energizing her efforts, and motivating her activity.” (p. 171)

There’s no need for frantic activity today when I am doing what I have been created and empowered by God to do.  He is a God of order and perfect timing, not the author of confusion.

There’s also no need to be up-tight about tomorrow; the God of today is the God who has per-ordained (pre-ordered) my future.

time 002

Lord, I am like a watch constantly winding down, needing You, the Source of my life, my energy, and strength to sustain me, empower me, move me.  Unlike a battery, there is no limit to You; yet, I can’t last the day “keeping good time” without coming to You.

time 003aI bought this pocket watch after the LORD gave me a personal a devotion inspired by the following commercial:

OMEGA Co-Axial Chronometer   (Oh, I love this commercial!!!)

Whenever I hold it, I am reminded, “He’s got me and the whole world in His hands.”

The universe is not spinning out of control.  All of Creation and His-Story is moving along by His design, for His glory and His good purpose.

Even as I write this and process what the LORD has been saying to me, I am learning and choosing to rest in Him as I work.

Tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, and the next, I will pace myself by His perfect timing.  There is enough time in each 24 hour the cycle of the sun, moon, and stars, of wake and sleep, to accomplish all that He asks of me.  Moment by moment, living in His presence, praying continually, taking every task and concern to Him:  this is my peace.