My goodness life is full and wonderful and overwhelming isn’t it?! I have a bad habit of taking a look of a week or a month ahead of me and ponder all that needs to happen and all that I need to accomplish in such a short amount of time, and my head begins to truly spin. My heart races and my breathing gets shallow. I talk to my mom every morning after my kiddos are gone to school, and she will often say to me, “Mandy, you’re not breathing; I can tell you’re not breathing.” Then she tells me to lie on the floor with my feet up on the wall and arms stretched out wide for 5 minutes; apparently that position is supposed to calm you. I will admit that she’s usually spot on with my lack of breathing, and I’ll also admit that I’ve laid down in my church office with my feet on the wall on occasions as well. It actually works! A few days ago she noticed my shallow breathing again, and texted me this: “My peace is my continual gift to you. Receive it by daily collecting it (like manna). Come by prayer and petition with thanksgiving!” Those words sounded like 3 separate verses, so I spent some time in the Word finding them.
Jesus tells us in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” When we choose to believe in and trust Jesus as our Savior, we are given the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit then lives inside of us, providing this kind of peace and understanding of WHOSE we are. When the world is telling us that we are not enough, that we must be more, do more, try harder, the Holy Spirit tells us to trust Him, breathe in His comfort and rest. He tells us to soak in the truth, the Word of God, in order to give us real direction and to teach us the most important thing we can accomplish in a day which is to rely on Him; follow His lead. Will our life get easier, less busy, and less chaotic? Maybe and maybe not. BUT, zeroing in on God’s presence will help us to breathe deeper, and handle this nutty life in a healthier way.
The second part of this blessed quote my mom provided brought me to Exodus chapter 16 where God provided daily (yes, DAILY) manna to the wandering Israelites. The people were starving and angry and crying out to Moses who had led them to freedom out of slavery, but into the wilderness without food or sustenance. Each day, God provided manna (which tasted like a cracker with honey), enough for that day for every person; no more, no less. Except on the 6th day He also provided enough for the 7th day, the day of rest. What does this teach us about how God provides? I hear this chapter teaching me that God wants us to trust Him every day, and take one day at a time. Today, God will give me what I need. Today, God will provide the answers I need for that day. Today, God will give me the rest I need. Today, God will give me direction. He will give me exactly what I need. My human, I love a plan self, appreciates a bigger picture, but my God tells me that I have what I need for today. So do I plan for my future? Yes! Do I worry about the “what ifs?” No! Because God will provide.
The last part of this quote brings me to my favorite book in the Bible, Philippians, in chapter 4, verse 6. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” I have women in my home every Tuesday night to study scripture, and our conversation provided this revelation to me this month; I’m continuously asking for help for the same things. I know God hears my prayers, and have wondered since I know He won’t forget them, do I need to keep praying about them? The answer is YES! Prayer gives me peace. Prayer provides communication to God and keeps my relationship with Him strong! However, I’ve changed how I ask Him. When I ask for help, I thank Him for how He will be answering my prayers. I thank Him that I have Him to trust with my “stuff.” I thank Him for what I believe He will do with my needs. Instead of asking, I thank. It has turned my anxious cries for help into confident, I know He is listening and will answer prayers. Praying this way gives me peace. It reminds me that God promises to provide for our needs. He promises to provide daily manna. The Lord’s prayer Jesus taught us to pray says “Give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11).
So girlfriends, breathe. Put your feet up against a wall, and thank God for what He promises to provide for us. I’ll be doing it too!