My life’s been humming with a constant undercurrent of stress. I’ve said before that these past few months have had a lot going on in them. Lots of unexpected things to handle. Many moments of drama to work through with the boys, neighbors, and others.
And they’ve left me in this state where there’s no stillness. As I spent some time with the Lord last week, Psalm 125 stopped me. Verse one says:
Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be shaken but endures forever. (NIV)
All I’ve been dealing with is normal life-stuff, and they’ve shaken me. When I picture Mount Zion, I envision a mountain, standing proud, tall, unmoving, unshaken.
I am not like Mount Zion.
The smaller shockwaves of life still shake me. The things that impact me directly, the situations in our family life, the responsibilities I have outside our home. I am shaken down.
As I read this verse, the reality that I am not fully trusting God made itself clear. Because if I was, I wouldn’t be rattled by the things life throws my way.
I still rely too much on me to get through, to deal with, to do everything well. Yeah, because I’m such a great foundation to base trust on.
When I rely on myself to get through life’s stuff, I will end up rattled. I don’t have the power, the strength, the wisdom to do everything well in my own strength.
When my trust is in God, life’s unexpected may give me a shake, but it won’t rock me to my core. When I trust God, my faith is in Him, not me.
When my trust is in Him rather than in myself, I will stand firm. I may worry in the initial moments, but worry won’t clench its teeth around my neck and toss me around like a chew toy. My eyes will be on Jesus rather than on how I am going to “get through this.”
As I read verse 2, God comforted me:
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people
both now and forevermore.
There’s something life-giving in knowing God surrounds His people. Even when I make mistakes—when I fall short—God surrounds me, because I am His. He watches over His children, holding them in the palm of His hand.
He doesn’t always protect us from life’s hard, but He does protect us—our hearts, our spirits—through life’s hard.
Are we going to get hurt sometimes? Yes. But, He is there to walk with us through that. He shields us from what He knows is too much for us.
Proverbs 3:5-6 gave me my second reminder of the morning:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
This passage is thrown around often. And yes, I’ve shared it with others. Here’s what God showed me, though.
When stress is my companion, quaking my heart in a constant rhythm, my go-to mode is “deal with ‘it’’ and keep moving forward.
Honestly? I’m not very good at remembering to take a step back, be still, and ask God for His perspective. To pray for wisdom.
In the moment, it seems easier to lean on my own understanding, because then I can keep doing, continue moving forward. Why be still if I can take care of the situation on my own?
The problem is, when I operate in this mode for too long, life overwhelms me. Small things set me off and leave me shaken.
The way to not be shaken is to trust God with everything.
As verse six says, we need to submit all our ways,
all our stuff,
all those things that are stressing us out . . . to God.
It’s only as we do this that God will make our paths straight.
Being honest here, I’m weary. I’m ready to hand all my stuff over to God and let Him straighten out my path. I suspect I’ve made my own path harder to navigate by doing things according to my understanding. It’s time to begin trusting Him more.
What about you? When stress tries to vibrate you to your core, what do you do, really? What truths have you learned about trusting God?