Feeling agitated and uneasy, though increasingly more and more common, is not a human being’s natural state of mind. Troubling and distressing thoughts eat away at our physical health and erode our sense of well being. Stress, which is typically first experienced in the mind, has been known to critically damage the delicate nervous system and even has the capacity to eventually kill its owner! Agitation and unrest do not come from God as His admonition is just the opposite. So, what can you do if you find yourself besieged with troubling thoughts?
The first clue, in the puzzle of agitation, is to get clear about exactly what it is that is bothering you. In living life, you will discover that unrest begets more unrest and agitation more agitation. It’s like losing a fight. The greater the barrage of punches, the harder it is to fight back. Your job is first to get yourself quiet on the inside. Go somewhere alone, calm yourself down and get quiet on the inside. Do some serious thinking about your perceived problem. Can you identify what it is? You will find, in your honesty and your earnest, that most of the troubling possibilities exist not today, but in some future state. Therein is your next clue! Possibilities that threaten you or brashly proclaim the potential to take something from your life, are just thoughts which have no power of themselves. Their power is gained by your consideration and acceptance of those rogue ideas. Once the water of your mind becomes troubled, it becomes very difficult to see the bottom of the pool, i.e. the source of your difficulties. Step one is always to get very, very clear about whatever is bothering you. Real issues have a solution or some action you can take about them. Phantom issues (fear) require elimination from your thoughts.
The next remedy is found in specificity. The problems that confront us are generally full of tentacles, blending and enfolding together, making it hard if not impossible to discern where one part starts and another part ends. The devil thrives in convolution. Complexity intimidates us and in our diminished state we mash it all together in our minds, leaving it to be dealt with on another day. Often, after you’ve removed all of the red herrings, the real issue becomes quite clear. Focused thought is a powerful ally, but requires a willingness both to confront and subsequently take action on the problem at hand! There is no tomorrow in problem solving. Each day spent half-in, is a wasted day, appearing useful, but defeated before it began. “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways!” Get specific about what is troubling you, as specific as you can be. Specific problems have specific solutions, while vague, convoluted problems have no end!
Once you’ve become crystal clear on the topic and precise in your identification, you must do the one thing you never dreamed you should do. Give your problem to God! That’s right, hand it over to Him. Release your death grip on it and remove its claws from your heart. Demand the courage to let it go. Look, if you’re honest, the reason you continue to wrestle with some unseen foe is precisely because of that, it remains unseen. If you knew the answer you would have already remedied it. The deception isn’t found in the assault on your mind, but rather the ongoing assaults as you try in earnest to figure it out. Some conundrums, some complexities you are never going to figure out. You’re chasing the rabbit down a rabbit hole that has no end point. The source of your troubles is always a spiritual opponent; one that depends upon your reliance on your own human reasoning. Once you finally get it, as a great man said recently, you get it! You at last begin to understand that you must fight your spiritual opponent with something bigger than your human brain. Prayers are God’s way of offering you help with things bigger than yourself. And best of all, with God, nothing is impossible!
The reason we allow ourselves to get so worried and troubled about things in life is because we have forgotten how to trust our Creator! Instead of following His original plan of living our lives freely, joyfully, giving all of our cares to Him, we have instead hewed ourselves out cisterns; broken cisterns that can hold no water. We have systems and plans and procedures. We have technology and information and science. We have almost all a person could ask for, yet we lack the one thing we need the most! Our life was never meant to be a futile effort in self-preservation. God never asked us to figure everything out for ourselves or to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. People made that crap up; the same ones filled with worries and anxiety and stress! Instead God asks only that we learn who He truly is and begin to understand who we are to Him. Once we see the big picture, the troubles of life fade away like the lies and threats they have always been. Getting to know your Heavenly Father ends in your realization that there is nothing in life bigger than Him, smarter than Him or more powerful than Him. Then, my friend, you can finally relax. You can end the game of “wits end” once and for all.
If you find yourself worried, harassed, perplexed or vexed, take solace in this, God will hear your prayers and lead you to your solution. Your worry and stress simply won’t get the job done and you already know that. Your mental churning and broiling, your thinking, analyzing and thinking won’t lead you to the answer. Instead, hand all of it over to God and when you realize you’ve taken it back, hand it over again! The solutions to problems don’t appear in stormy seas, but only when the waters are calm. Let God calm your waters so you can see! Let God do for you what you cannot do for yourself! Rest…
Just some good thoughts…