Dr. Susan Koven wrote in the Boston Globe,
In the past few years, I’ve observed an epidemic of sorts: patient after patient suffering from the same condition. The symptoms of this condition include fatigue, irritability, insomnia, anxiety, headaches, heartburn, bowel disturbances, back pain, and weight gain. There are no blood tests or X-rays diagnostic of this condition, and yet it’s easy to recognize. The condition is excessive busyness.
Being busy is such a staple in American culture, that we have placed a premium on it. I think if we are being honest, we have to acknowledge that Dr. Koven is on to something. Insomnia, anxiety, irritability, and headaches are all common symptoms of an addict. Is it possible that we are all addicted to our busyness and it is making us suffer?
Who else is busy? I know it’s not just me!
Think about the types of things that make you busy. Do they consume you? They do me! I have found that I am an anxious person. I deal with anxiety, and am prone to stress over things that keep me busy and things that I have no control over.
Are you busy? Are you anxious? Take a moment to truly evaluate yourself and be honest as you answer.
As a human being in the day and age we currently exist in there are always a slew of worries and overwhelming obstacles being thrown our way. It seems like everyday you enter a battlefield of work, school, stressors, family, friends, childcare, chores, etc…
Our world doesn’t slow down for anyone and it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that if you slow down then you are missing out.
Not to mention the fact that the choices and decisions you are currently making will lead to things in your future! It seems like at times you are picking today what tomorrow will hold!
But… thankfully that’s not the case and those decisions you don’t make alone.
If you are like me then you find yourself constantly forgetting amidst the hectic nature of life that God has made promises to you in Scripture. In fact, the word promise itself occurs over 50 times in the King James Version of the Bible. As you know, the Bible is full of God’s promises to help us in every time of need.
Let’s think about some of my favorite promises for a moment.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.
No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindication from me, declares the LORD.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
1 John 1:9,
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The next two promises are promises that I carry with me each and every day as I depart into a world filled with stressors and hectic schedules.
Deuteronomy 31:8 says,
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.
Jeremiah 29:11 says,
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Now obviously I could go on and on with several thousand verses containing promises God has made throughout Scripture to His people, but amidst all those promises we see over and over again that we are not alone! God promises to protect us, lead us, and guide us through each breath and moment in our day.
You know what that means for all of us who might say we are busy or overwhelmed? There is no schedule that God can’t handle!
Ephesians 3:20-21 says this,
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21 states that God is able to do abundantly more than we could ever ask or think. So today, I challenge you to remind yourself to remember (and have faith in) that power and those promises.
Even if you are searching to try to find your place in the world, to meet a close group of friends to support you, having difficulty at work or at home, wondering where the money to pay the bills is going to come from, struggling to decide on a major life altering decision, or battling to overcome a particularly difficult trial you’re facing, just know that God does not ask (or desire) for you to be perfect, flawless, or even strong, for He can (and wants to be) all of those things for you. You need only be still as it says in my favorite verse as of late.
Exodus 14:14 says,
The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.
Our submission is all He needs. We only have to submit and turn God loose! If you’re feeling stressed out about something, in particular, today, I hope you take away one of my all-time favorite verses in times of fear or worry. It’s found toward the end of Chapter 6 in Matthew.
Matthew 6:26-34 paints this picture,
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Each of us are just as loved as each of those birds that Jesus feeds. We are His children, crafted in His image, and worrying will not extend our time on this earth nor change His unique plan in store for us! So instead we need to take our fears to God instead, for He knows our hearts better than anyone else. And He promises to use our brokenness, our messiness, our fears, and our every inadequacy for the better. Even though it can be so easy to forget, He made each of us for a purpose, and He will protect us, love us, and He craves to have a relationship with us forever.