Shifting focus – Anxiety to Peace

Date: 23rd November 2018

This is what the Holy One says, “Return to Me and rest, this is your safe place; be calm and confident in
Me; that will be your strength. But alas you refused!
Isaiah 30:15 (author’s own)

I vividly remember praying one particular time; talking and talking, getting more and more upset as I
drowned in my anxiety. All of a sudden this verse ‘popped’ into my mind. Immediately I stopped
praying (talking furiously really), and I let the words settle into my soul. In my desperate need for a
solution to my problem I had moved into a place of self-sufficiency. Instead of going round and
round in circles trying to figure out what I was to do, I stopped my inner turmoil and settled down
to ponder the essence of what God was saying, not only to Israel in a time of great strife, but also
to me.

Unfortunately in Israel’s quest for a solution they abandoned their God, and instead put their trust
in others. The problem was that these ‘others’ didn’t care about Israel, instead they wanted to
plunder and control the people.

So often the very remedy we seek to alleviate our problems becomes our master! Then we find
ourselves in a worse condition emotionally or physically than when we started.

Isaiah is pleading on God’s behalf with Israel. They are desperate for help, but instead of going to
God for counsel, they rushed off to get help from those whose help would eventually destroy and
enslave them.

When we are in times of great anxiety we tend to rely on our feelings, rather than waiting and
thinking through the situation rationally. God calls us to a place of rest. Not to be in a hurry to
solve the problem. Allowing God to ease our tortured emotions is one of our greatest
opportunities to worship. It takes the emphasis off the situation, and re-centers us. We move into a
place where we become aware of our reliance on God’s peace and grace.

Lord help me look to you rather than my own strength, or the strength of others. Teach me to wait on you
rather than rely on my own abilities. Give me a heart to listen, and perceive your voice. Grant me the
wisdom to find stillness in the midst of the turmoil that is in my mind.


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