I’m reading the devotional “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. I am really enjoying it – much more than I thought I would. Sarah wrote this devotional book from journal entries she recorded during her time spent reading the Bible and praying while she and her husband were missionaries in Australia.
What she shares in this book are the ways she felt God speaking to her heart and the things she felt He was telling her in response to her prayers. It’s a very personal devotional written in a unique way. Each day’s devotion is supported with scripture references that encourage you to dig a little deeper into the truth of God’s Word.
Some days, my reaction is average. Other days, my response is almost a gasp as I read something that is directed so specifically at what I am feeling or experiencing that day. Yesterday’s devotion was one that made my breath catch in my throat. It said:
I am always with you, so you have no reason to be afraid. Your fear often manifests itself in excessive planning. Your mind is so accustomed to this pattern of thinking that you are only now becoming aware of how pervasive it is and how much it hinders your intimacy with Me.
“Your fear manifests itself in excessive planning.” Is there anyone else reading this who can relate to that statement??? That one sentence literally stopped me right there. I paused and read it again, and then read it again. Yes. It is speaking directly to me because that’s one of the ways I process fear.
If I plan my day well enough, there is no need to fear what will happen. If I research my cancer and treatment options well enough, I don’t need God because I’ve already got it figured out, right?? If I prepare thoroughly enough for a meeting or event, there is no need to be afraid of what will happen because why? Because I have it all under control. Right? Wrong. Control is an illusion that only lasts for a short while before we come face-to-face with the reality that we are not truly in control.
Excessive or compulsive planning in response to fear is nothing but a substitute for faith and trust. Many times, we busy ourselves with tasks and lists that keep us from being still and knowing that He IS God. Stillness and silence allow for fear to creep back into our hearts. But if we allow God to fill our hearts with peace, there will be no room left for fear.
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. – Psalm 46:10
I hope that – no matter what you are facing today – you sense an the overwhelming peace of God’s presence in your life.