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After a time of hellish difficulty, what do you do to bring a calming effect? Whether it be a physical, mental, emotional or spiritual difficulty. Does the effect come in the way of a cup of your favorite tea? A good cry? A cozy fire? Maybe a walk in a quiet place?
Lately, I have been trying to remain calm in the midst of returning to part time work after being unemployed for twenty-one months. I have to admit that while there was gratitude, I was also freaking out.
While it was the beginning of a new adventure in a role I had never done before, it was something that I knew would be an extraordinary adjustment. I would have to re-think my schedule and squeeze things I did in a week into a couple days off. There would be much more planning and arranging involved than before.
It is somewhat of an overstatement to say that I was feeling overwhelmed. Even though I knew that the new job was exactly what God was calling me to, it didn't necessarily mean that I was ready for it. There was anxiety about how well I would do and learn within an office environment again.
To be honest, I wasn't looking forward to the new chapter in my life and there were many long conversations where I spilled my guts about how scared I was to lose some freedom and be seconded to a desk. I guess I imagined things manifesting themselves a bit differently when I started working again.
Yet, when it came to the night before my first day back in the blue collar world, there was one person I could truly count on to talk me down 'off the ledge' of my inner turmoil - God. I began to recall situations of the past when God came to my rescue when I was 'losing my cheese' about fearful things that I knew were coming, so this situation was no different. It was obvious what I had to do.
I sat on the couch in silence and began to read God's Word. More specifically, times in the Bible when people struggled with their present circumstances and how God intervened in their thoughts of fear and anxiety.
It wasn't long before I felt the calm and steady reassurance of God's voice in the text to the people who worried - and there were a lot of people throughout its history who fretted - from kings to prophets.
There is a book in the Bible called Isaiah. In chapter 7 of the book, it talks about a king by the name of Ahaz who was petrified about fighting against a group that was very powerful. In fact, Ahaz's anxiety was so extreme about this army that his own people were shaking with fear.
Isaiah, a great prophet, was directed by God to deliver a special and personal message to Ahaz. He said to Ahaz, "Be careful, keep calm and don't be afraid." (Isaiah 7:4). Isaiah then went on to tell Ahaz that his military efforts against the enemy he dreaded, would be successful and the land would be laid waste.
Granted, this was an extreme encouragement in a very extreme set of circumstances but, ultimately, Ahaz was greatly encouraged and succeeded in overcoming his own strife. So, in turn, I was encouraged. That no matter what I was facing with going back to work, I had the calming effect within needed to get me through any scenario I'll face as I transition into this new season of life.
Encouragement for the week:
Are you facing something in your life that is causing you a lot of anxiety? I am there and completely understand.
It's hard to believe that you'll ever get over the feeling of being afraid...but you will.
If you are a Christian, you have the wonderful reassurance offered through God's Word and covering prayer. You can be calm and confident in all you do because you have these supernatural tools.
If you are not a Christian, you can look for Jesus and you will find Him. He has the beautifully calming reassurance that you are desperate for in your life right now.