We are a culture saturated with exhausted and stressed out people. And to manage our stress many of us eat or escape into the internet.
But is it helping lighten our load? Or does food, shopping or the internet mask our pain for brief periods of time before we are sucked back into the churning rapids of life.
We say we need more hours in the day, but is a lack of time really the answer?
What are we saying “yes” to, and why?
We usually say yes to good things (carpooling, helping with a fund raiser, volunteering at school, staying late to help a co-worker), but perhaps we are saying yes to too many things.
And our “no” gets held back by guilt.
The Guilt Factor
It’s selfish to stay home and rest.
If I don’t help out, they’ll have to do it by themselves.
They helped me out when I was in a bind.
It’s almost as if we feel unsettled when we have excess time on our hands, so we fill it all up.
Why do we do that?
What are we trying to stay ahead of?
Sometimes, we busy ourselves so we don’t feel lost or lonely. It’s as if by flying at mock speed we are staying ahead of the shadows. And when we slow down, they catch up and cast their bleakness over our emotions.
Maybe we need to learn to be present with ourselves and see what drags us down.
Many of us have learned to create circumstantial happiness, rather than internal peace.
I know when stress starts digging into my life and I remember that slice of cheesecake waiting in the fridge, I start to feel happy. My taste buds remember the joy of decadence. Rich desserts take me to a happy place.
What’s Hidden Inside
But if we don’t find out what is really going on inside us—–why we can’t slow down for fear that desolation will creep over our souls—–then “food” (insert whatever is your go-to pain killer) begins to take the place that God wants to inhabit in our lives.
We don’t slow down alone. God wants to be our “shadow” protector.
The shadows usually contain a mixture of lies and hurts.
Lies get attached to the wounds in our souls. That’s what makes them so difficult to look at. The pain can be overwhelming.
Most of us probably don’t even know if we are wounded. We just feel a vague dissatisfaction or anxiousness creep up when we have to be present with ourselves, without the relief of distraction—–be that a smartphone, computer or TV.
God designed us to live so the peace dwelling in us is greater than the pressures of the outside world. So we learn to access that place of rest, even when chaos surrounds us.
But sometimes we’re so filled up with life’s gunk, there is no room for peace. And then we’re back to hunting for circumstantial happiness rather than finding how to get the peace Jesus promised us.
It is there, but sometimes we have to create a place for it. And God is the only one who really understands what lies in our shadows.
He yearns for us to grab His hand and let Him lead us into the light where rest and peace are waiting.
Jesus, I want to slow down and breathe. I need to experience the peace You have for me. Uncover the lies I’m believing and teach me how to apply Your truth to send them fleeing. Show me how to walk in peace when the enemy tries to chain me to the past. Heal my hurts and pain so I can rest in You. Thank you! In Jesus’ name, amen.
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