I really should know better. And I’m embarrassed to admit that I still do this. But the fact is, I do.
When my to-do list gets too long, or I have to deal with a difficult person, or I’m working through some significant challenges, or circumstances aren’t going the way I wish they would, I sometimes do the most ridiculous thing…
I lose my joy and my peace. I get stressed and distracted.
I usually don’t notice it at first. I’m just working hard and thinking hard. Then I realize I’ve gone a day or two (or seven!) without praying hard. My nerves are frayed, my thoughts are scattered, and my faith is weakened. I’m exhausted, irritable, and pessimistic.
I’m blessed in more ways that I can count…saved by Christ’s grace, wealthy by global standards, very happily married, healthy kids, great church, good health, just to name a few. In the day-to-day stresses and challenges of life, there is really no good reason for me to lose my grip on the Spirit’s joy and peace in me.
I should probably read this encouragement from Paul everyday:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
…I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
The fact is that even if I didn’t have the blessings of a great marriage, wonderful kids, and good health, I still and will always have Jesus. When my peace and joy are settled in Him, I can’t so easily lose them when circumstances change and difficulties accumulate.
Can you relate? What makes you get ridiculous and what do you do about it?