Anxiety had hung around me like an unwelcome visitor, even though that week didn’t seem that stressful. Dentist appointments, car problems, and some new changes are usually in the category of “something I can handle.” I didn’t know why I felt so worried, so restless. And I was angry at myself that I was worried over smaller problems that I usually breezed through. I wanted so much to handle the situation in a way that honored God. Yet I was reluctant to ask God for help to handle my concerns. I wanted to handle it myself.
Yet that was the problem. I was trying to muddle through the week under my own power, when I clearly needed God’s help. God wants us to look to Him daily! We should be asking Him to give us this day our daily bread; but instead, we continue to search our empty cupboards for provisions. What can we do to rely on God instead of ourselves? How can we be giving God control when life gets tough?
Admit that we need Him.
This first step can seem like the hardest one. We all like to fancy ourselves as strong enough, smart enough, capable enough. And God has given us abilities, yet they are to serve Him and not us! Sometimes God uses challenges in our lives to remind us of this very truth. “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 ESV
Ask Him for grace during hard times.
One reason I was trudging through not-so-challenging challenges is that I had been through some rough times in the past months. My heart and mind were a little more vulnerable than normal. A friend had died, and I was grieving. God knew all that. I asked Him to strengthen me as I grieved my friend. Even so, I still want to look to God for His will and His strength on days that don’t seem hard. I don’t want God to be my emergency plan. I want Him to be the center of my life, and look to Him for everything. “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 ESV
Spend consistent time with Him.
We can start to resemble the habits and behaviors of others if we spend significant time with them. Then who better to seek out for time together than the Lord? That week had been a little light in my time in God’s Word and prayer. My heart did calm as I found my peace and joy in Him, even despite the concerns I had about the week. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” Lamentations 3:22-24 ESV
As I leaned more on God and less on myself that week, I found that the peace of God was guarding my heart and mind in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7). Even when life is going wrong, we can trust in Him!
Read more on this subject at Being Content Even During Trials.