“Surrender your anxiety! Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God.” - Psalm 46:10 (TPT)
What comes to your mind when you think of the word “thrill”? Skydiving, Six Flags, swimming with sharks…? Well I like to think of myself as adventurous, and I love a good thrill. From being tricked into eating beef tripe on my honeymoon to climbing Mt. Whitney this past summer, trying things that stretch my limits is very exciting. However, my desire for adventure within the bounds of activities has translated into much more. Now not only do I seek the kind of endorphin-booster that typically operates within the confines I just highlighted, but I am constantly in search of a life-thrill. My definition of life-thrill is taking a risk based in change. I love change. I drastically change my diet every few months, the furniture orientation in my apartment and add something when life gets boring. So, the ongoing shelter-in-place has forced me to focus on the present, engage my personality in unique ways and be still with the Lord to be open to what He wants me to learn.
I’d like to share a few things the Lord has been working through me during this time, and hopefully something speaks to your heart out of what He has been speaking to mine.
- Be okay with stillness because it’s where God resides. A few months ago, before the pandemic hit full force, the Lord told me to be still. I honestly did not know what He meant but held onto it anyway. Now I know He was preparing my heart to press through fear and anxiety into stillness with Him. This pandemic is chaos, but the essence of God is peace. “Go, stand on the mountain at attention before God. God will pass by. A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn’t to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn’t in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn’t in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper.” (1 Kings 19:11-12 MSG)
- Shift your focus outward. My husband and I adopted a puppy in March right before shelter-in-place occurred. We did not know three days later our lives would change drastically and freedom to live as “normal” would be far gone. However, the best thing that could have happened to us was to shift our focus off ourselves and channel our energy into our girl, Gia. Now I understand that I am talking about a dog here, but the principle remains. As followers of Christ it is our duty to love God and love others well, and that is the mission.
- It is okay to not have a plan because God does. I love plans. I find that preparing for something is exhilarating, especially when it comes to big life things. You will rarely catch me without a 1-year, 3-year, 5-year or even 10-year plan. But as coronavirus has it, my 6-month plans have been put on hold. As much as this made me uncomfortable at first, God keeps telling me it is okay. In whatever surprising and unplanned situation I find myself in, God is not surprised. “Within your heart you can make plans for your future, but the Lord chooses the steps you take to get there.” (Proverbs 16:9 TPT)
I invite you to find some still moments with the Lord throughout your week, shift your focus away from yourself and know that God, the ultimate peace, dwells within you. His promise stands firm. He is with us always.