“But I stand silently before the Lord, waiting for him to rescue me. For salvation comes from him alone.”
– Psalm 62:5, TLB –
People just can’t see the inner workings of the soul. And that’s okay.
But that also means that on the outside, you can have it all together and on the inside be a nervous wreck.
For some people, emotional highs are like a shot of adrenaline. They start chattering when they get nervous or excited.
Often, I withdraw.
Mounting excitement or tension put my heart on red alert. I pull back and start conserving energy, a sort of emotional hibernation to prepare for the onslaught ahead.
I’m a strange blend of extrovert and emotional barometer. I pick up on people’s feelings quickly, and those emotions can easily impact my mood. When others start to squeal and chatter about an exciting event coming up, I absorb and brace myself. Not that I’m dreading it. I’m just getting my heart ready for impact.
Still, whether it comes out in nervous chatter or instinctive hibernation, a turbulent heart is not fun.
Yesterday, the day was dawning with uncertainty. I was nervous and excited and far from at peace.
I needed to quiet my heart.
This time, I wandered down the gravel drive and stared up at the golds and pinks beginning to brighten the clouds. The tension in my muscles started to loosen as I began to pray. I was a sight, all dressed up for church, but wearing tennis shoes in the gravel. It didn’t matter. I started to sing my prayers, alone with the Lord, as I walked. It may not have sounded so great, especially as I started making up words, “Quiet my heart,” I began to sing.
Peace began to steal over me.
A pair of donkeys wandered to the fence, silently begging for attention. I went and rubbed their peach-fuzz noses, mottled gray. The female bowed her head as I found an especially itchy spot along her neck.
It was fifteen, twenty minutes. But it made a huge difference.
When life starts to drive you crazy, take a little time to breathe. Take a walk. Sing a song. Pray aloud in your car.
I don’t know exactly why, but Jesus often went away from the crowd to pray (Matthew 14:23). Early, while others slept, he walked off to the mountains to talk to His Father. Of course, Jesus did not have sinful anxiety in His heart. But there was a sort of quieting that must have come, a stilling peace away from the grabbing hands and raised voices of the crowds, and the bickering and questioning of his disciples.
It’s okay to rest a while.
“I have to get to the point of the absolute and unquestionable relationship that takes everything exactly as it comes from Him. God never guides us at some time in the future, but always here and now. Realize that the Lord is here now, and the freedom you receive is immediate.”
– Oswald Chambers –
What difference do a few quiet moments make? For me, it gives me a chance to refocus on what is true. I get so caught up in all the rush and excitement that I lose sight of what I’m really living for. In the quiet of the morning, I can voice my thoughts aloud to God, letting all the other things fall away. I can tell Him, “Lord, I’m scared about this situation” or “Father, I don’t know what to do.”
I stared at the cotton-candy clouds yesterday morning and knew that the Artist of those clouds also designed me. My life is no secret from Him. Anything intimidating me is nothing to Him. He holds my days in His hand.
Quieting my heart came back to trust. In the end, I stopped my worry long enough to lift my eyes and see how He is still being faithful, reminding me that He alone is in control. Quieting my heart was a choice of faith–choosing to believe that He has it all in hand.
The turbulence and uncertainty faded as I vocally gave over of my cares to His keeping.
We all have stress. We all are faced with challenges, excitement, life-changing events, and unforeseen changes. When you feel your insides twist with worry or lurch with nervousness, take a step back and lift up your eyes.
Be still before your God, trust Him utterly, and let Him quiet your heart.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.”
– Philippians 4:6-7, TLB –