I received a sign from God this weekend. A real one – couldn’t have been plainer.
I went to The Hob (read: Hobby Lobby) on Saturday and it was PACKED. What a great turn out for the big support day – cars spilled over into adjacent lots and you had to wait a good 20 minutes in line to check out. I was excited to be there for the cause, and I’m an enthusiastic Hobby Lobbyist anyway. Inside, the foot traffic was insane and you couldn’t walk 3 feet without excusing yourself from someone’s way. I was just a few minutes into my visit when, amid bumping shoulders and pardon-me’s, I spotted a sign – one I had been looking for without even realizing it:
“Be still and know that I am God.”
Right there, in the middle of the crowded chaos, I stopped.
I took a long, deep breath – my eyes focused on the words – and I exhaled.
By God’s grace, everything became clear.
I’m prone to anxiety and have been for as long as I can remember. I recall that, even as a first grader, I would stay up late worrying myself sick over homework or field trip forms. This tendency adapted to my situation as life progressed and even now, in moments of anxiety and fretfulness, I complicate things. I over-think things. I try to control things and when I can’t, I become more anxious. The perfect companion to anxiety is the tendency to people-please, because in my need for control, I can convince myself that it’s out of consideration for others and not wanting to impose; while this is often the case, it whittles down to a lack of trust in God and the consequential peace within my soul.
God is God – but what does that mean? I have to force myself to answer this question when worries creep in. It seems elementary, but considering the depth of meaning in the answer is grounding. God is God and that means that He is perfect, all-knowing, all-loving, all-powerful, all-goodness, all-present. The fact that He is God means there is no detail, thought, or anxiety unknown to Him (Matthew 6:31-32); His Divine Providence offers what we need and His love does not abandon and He has a good grip on the reins.
If I allowed myself, I could probably think of plenty of things that could cause me anxiety or sadness: the health of family members, dear friends recently moved away, finances, the upcoming week, parenting, marriage, on and on; but it becomes a messy spaghetti plate of thoughts and there’s really no point to worrying about any of it. Fretting wastes time and energy. Worrying does nothing.
Prayer on the other hand, does everything. While the sources of anxiety don’t disappear just like *that*, in prayer I entrust them to God and acknowledge that He is God. Do you remember that song from Sunday School, “He’s got the whole world in His hands…”? It’s a simple truth taught at an early age so we can spend the rest of our lives trying to submit to it.
Thank God that He is God and I’m not, and that He sees all things, wills the good of my soul, and desires loving peace to reign. When I’m dizzyingly anxious, my mind wanders and analyzes and arrives at a million conclusions that all lead to more questions; but God commands me to BE STILL because, contrary to what I’ve allowed myself to think, I’m not in control – of either my mental chaos or of God’s will for me.
If you have tendencies resembling any of this at all, relax. Take a deep breath. Allow yourself to be still. Know that God is God.