Unravel

via Daily Prompt: Unravel

“Jesus answered them, ‘Do you now believe? Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone because the Father is with Me. These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.'” John 16:31-33 NKJV

One of my coworkers organized some Easter week devotionals at school. This was her verse for today, and I believe it is no coincidence that “Unravel” was the prompt for today.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. In. Out. Repeat.

This seems like such an easy process, and it usually is, until we worry. When we get really stressed, breathing becomes a difficult chore. Labored breathing is an abnormal respiration characterized by evidence of increased effort to breathe, including the use of accessory muscles of respiration, according to Wikipedia.

Stress kills. This is a scientific fact. Worrying and stressing about things, even things that seem to be very important, can turn hair gray, cause wrinkles, cause stomach ulcers, and overwork your heart.

The world does a really good job of wearing us down. Like an old sweater that has been worn so many times and begins to unravel, we can start to come apart at the seams.

Christ tells us in his last days that we should “be of good cheer” because He has beaten everything that could beat us, even death. Now, this does not mean that everyone can live stress-free. He says that “in Me you may have peace.” This means that true peace can be found in Christ and not elsewhere.

In the 1990’s, there was a popular bumper sticker/t-shirt that simply stated: “No God? No peace. Know God? Know peace.” Yes, it’s catchy and quippy, but it’s also true.

When life is trying to unravel you, and it will because Christ said, “In the world, you will have tribulation,” turn to the Lord for peace. Then, breathe.

Peace. Love. Roll Tide.

Words of Inspiration

I’d like to start writing more often. My “Southern Observations” have rekindled my love for writing, and I’d like to take that relationship to the next level so we can start seeing more of each other. I thought I would offer some words of inspiration from God’s word, and today’s verse is a great start.

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” (Psalms 55:22 NKJV)

When I was in high school, a popular saying among Christians was “Let go and let God.” You could easily see dozens of churchgoers driving in cars with that bumper sticker and wearing t-shirts and bracelets with the slogan; however, it’s not just a catchy saying.

King David penned these words in a psalm expressing anguish. He was sorrowful because he was being hunted by his enemies. He cried out to God for help as he did many times in songs that truly pull at heartstrings and speak to many even today.

This was about a thousand years before the apostle Peter wrote: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV)

Two men separated by a millennium were inspired by God to write similar messages of hope to their contemporaries. Why the repetition?  Could it be that even 2,000 years after Peter we still need to hear and accept this teaching?

How often are you stressed because of something at work/school/home? How many times do you feel like you just can’t handle it anymore? Honest answers only please: How many times have you wondered why God is doing this to you?

We (Americans) are a stressed people. Not because we are running from militant dictators or striving to survive in the jungle, but because we try to do everything ourselves. God did say that He would not give us more than we could handle; nonetheless, we do not have to do it all. If we admit that we are not God, accept that there is an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God who loves us, and give control of our lives to Him, we will see many of our stresses go away. Those that remain will seem much simpler and less taxing.

So when you feel like pulling your hair out and screaming in frustration to the heavens, remember these somewhat trite but nevertheless true words: Let go and let God.

Peace. Love. Roll Tide.