Peace or Panic?

Peace or panicMy morning devotional spoke especially loud to me today. Last week was one of those weeks that felt like one thing got piled on top of another and the pile started to overflow. By Friday I was tired and stressed out—because rather than choosing peace and resting at the feet of Jesus, I allowed myself to become frazzled. I have a bit of Type A personality and I’ll try to do everything, and do it perfectly. But I know that the feeling of being overwhelmed is not a spirit that comes from God. If we are not careful, the enemy will use busyness to distract us away from the One who matters most—Jesus.

In a world that often makes us feel like we have to “do” so much to be good enough, it can feel strange to stop and rest. We get so busy “doing” and doing is not a bad thing, but sometimes we also need to focus on just “being.” Being sons and daughters of God. We need to take those moments to rest at the feet of Jesus because He is our life source.

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I hope this devotional encourages you in the way it did me:

We face so much stress and pressure today. We never seem to have enough time—pressure. We want to do well as a wife and a parent—pressure. We are called to be good stewards of our finances—pressure. We strive to be effective managers of our home—pressure. How do you handle all the pressures of life? Do you experience peace or panic?

In sisters Mary and Martha, God gives us a classic study in opposites. Jesus went to their home for dinner. Martha welcomed Him in, but then she became distracted by all the preparations. Busy in the kitchen, lots of details on her mind, anxious that everything go well, Martha was a whirlwind of activity. Was she at peace? No!

How did her stress show? Martha was stirring the pot in the kitchen, but she was also in the family room. There she accused Christ (“Don’t you care?”) and accused Mary (“She’s left me to serve alone”), complaining about the burden of dinner. Martha is bossy, blaming, distracted. She’s “yarping”—which, you’ll notice, is “praying” spelled backward!

In contrast to this hurricane of hyperactivity, we find Mary…

  • resting at the Lord’s feet while Martha is restless
  • worshiping while Martha worries
  • remaining at peace while Martha’s panic level rises
  • sitting while Martha is stewing
  • listening while Martha is lashing out

What was Jesus’ response? He commended Mary for doing what is most important —spending time with Him.

Would an outside observer see Martha or Mary in you as you deal with schedules, commitments, and pressures? Do you need to make any changes?

Devotional from: Walking with the Women of the Bible, by Elizabeth George. 

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As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”

The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” ~Luke 10:38-42 (MSG)


hannah

(C) 2014 Pocketful of Motherhood, All rights reserved.

*Photo credit

I Am

I Am

Flashes of light peeked through the window as I was putting my son to bed last night. And thunder echoed in the background.

No raindrops that I could hear. Just a light show with music—God’s music.

The lyrics, they were comforting. Sweet reminders that He is still in control—always has been and always will be. Assuring whispers that He still holds the world in His Mighty Hands and He’s not letting go. Glowing truth that no amount of darkness can ever hide the Light.

Peace filled my soul. A sort of peace that passes all understanding.

My sweet boy dozed off. Peacefully sleeping.

As I made my way to the living room, the light show carried on. And the music, it kept playing.

When I peered out the window glowing beams lit up my every nook and cranny of my neighborhood. Flash after flash after flash. They just kept coming.

It’s as if with each bright flash and bursting note I could hear this:

I Am…

The Alpha and The Omega.

The Beginning and The End.

The Holy and Righteous One.

The Everlasting One True King.

The Shepherd to the lost.

The Defender of the weak.

The Healer to the wounded.

The Father to the fatherless.

The Giver of all things good.

The Hope for all of humanity.

The Way.

The Truth.

The Life.

I Am,

and I always will be.

A while later the streets were glazed with moisture. The rain calmly trickled down—“God’s sprinklers” as my son says.

Be still my precious daughter. Be still and know that I Am God. I hold the whole wide world in My Hands. I’ll make good out of it all.

_____

hannah

(C) 2014 Pocketful of Motherhood, All rights reserved.

Guest Post: A Very Present Help

Valerie from Atlanta Mom of Three is so kind to share this guest post with us today! Her welcoming and friendly personality are a blessing to me and so is her writing. She is an encouragement to moms and beyond, so make sure to visit her wonderful site and say hello. Thank you Valerie for this uplifting message!!

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A Very Present Help
I have a little page-a-day calendar on my refrigerator. There is a verse for every day during the work week, and then weekend days share a verse. I have loved having it in my kitchen for these last eight months! Each morning (mid-morning, usually – a girl has to have her coffee first!) I read the verse and I ponder it, even if only for a few minutes. Sometimes, though, when it’s a verse I’ve known for most of my life, I (unintentionally) overlook it. I don’t mean to, but I do.

On August 8th, however, I read the day’s verse and new meaning shone through an “old” verse right away. It read –

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

I’ve heard those words – known those words – for many years. They’ve been a source of encouragement to me in the past, but that morning the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to one word, in particular, that changed (or, enhanced) the verse for me. ~ PRESENT ~

Why would He single out this one word? Because it means something really important!

  1.  being, existing, or occurring at this time or now; current
  2.  at this time; at hand; immediate

Okay, think of all the sources of help that you can. If you had an emergency or problem, where would you find help? Persons that come to my mind are police, fire fighters, doctors, family members, friends, and others who care about my well-being.

Now, think about how quickly that help arrives when you need it. Are any of them PRESENT with you? All the time? No! But that’s okay because GOD IS!! Think of the awesomeness of that! He is a very present help in trouble. He is always, ALWAYS there!

If you’re one of His children, you don’t ever have to feel alone. Whether you’re having a good day or a challenging one, He’s there. He is PRESENT.

♥ ♥ ♥

littleValerie blogs over at Atlanta Mom of Three. She loves sharing encouraging posts for other wives and mothers, writing mostly about marriage, pregnancy, and motherhood. She also shares posts about her faith as the Lord leads her.

You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Twitter.