Devotional—The Struggle of Sanctification—Sonya Johnson
Many individuals worry about the things in life that they have no control over. The unknown future, unexpected situations, financial gain or loss, compromised health, maintaining a healthy family home environment, relationship problems, and the list could go on forever. Worry is our enemy—always preventing mental, emotional, and physical rest, along with spiritual restoration.
Trending is a concept to stop negative thoughts “you have to empty your brain to control your mind.” Well, we cannot empty our brains from the memories, current situations, and information gathered by our five senses. The brain immediately stores the things we are exposed to without our help.
Whether we are dealing with memories or present out-of-control occurrences—our brain is a never-ending file cabinet. Thankfully, we cannot retrieve everything that our brain gathers in and stores.
How do we rid ourselves of the mental noise? “The answer is not in thinking happy thoughts or chanting affirmations. Once you stop, it’s likely the throng of thoughts will flood back in.” psychologytoday.com
The incessant thoughts which flood our minds are related to our lifestyles. We have embraced the continuous noise of social media, screen time, and after-school or work activities that prevent rest. We lose our coping abilities because of mental and physical fatigue.
Our spiritual relationship with God is the first to decline when we are overwhelmed. God does not expect us to ignore our daily responsibilities of maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Yet our activities of daily living should not prevent us from adequate rest.
When overwhelmed with endless tasks, we miss out on the restorative benefits of peaceful sleep and relaxation. Too much on our schedules leads to fretting and worrying–negative thinking! Even more devastating, the busyness interrupts our spiritual connection with Jesus Christ. There is no time or energy left to have a meaningful relationship with God. How do we change the cycle?
“Then Jesus said, ‘Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.’ He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat” (Mark 6:31).
God has given us the gift of rest. Acknowledge that the vicissitudes of life [which we cannot control] will always happen. Pray and ask God to reveal through the Holy Spirit the changes that are necessary for you to have peace, rest, and restoration through Him. It’s up to us to pray and obey.
Prayer: God, we thank You for our gifts of rest and restoration. We ask You to reveal the things that we need to eliminate from our lives. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.