When was the last time you sat down and received God’s rest? Or beter yet, when was the last time your mind was at rest?
For me, it has been a very long time since I had a rested mind and peace in general. My stress symptoms are letting me know that my mind has been in overdrive for quite awhile actively stealing my peace. I am all too familiar with the symptoms of stress overload: anxiety, heart palpitaions, loss of sleep, fatigue, short tempered, emotional, over-eating, or in my case under-eating. And if we have been stressed out for a long period of time we may have panic attacks, depression or health issues that have risen from the stress.
I can remember a time in my life when I was so stressed out, that I broke out in shingles on the left side of my face and in my left eye. We were going through a very hard time in our ministry and a lot of false accusations were being made against us. We were also going through the whirlwind of emotions connected to not being able to conceive another child. And then add health issues on top of all of that and you have a classic case of stress overload.
It’s hard to control your thought-patterns when life seems to be falling apart all around you. I would cry out to God, but my mind was in such an overdrive that I was not able to find rest for my soul. I was desperate for freedom from the turmoil that was attacking my mind. Notice I didn’t say freedom from the physical symptoms. Those were bad enough, but I wanted freedom from the detrimental thought pattern that was manifesting itself as physical symptoms. I knew if I could conquer the war raging in my mind, I could conquer the physical symptoms. When you are dealing with stress, or anxiety, or fear, the arena of the mind becomes the arena where victory or defeat will take place. Isaiah 26:3 AMP says:
“You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [ both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You and hopes confidently in You.”
How do you fix your mind on God? By meditating on His Word night day and night. Even in your lowest state you can find scriptures that deal with your situation that will cause the heart to mend and your mind to begin to find rest.
A lot of times finding the scriptures are easy, but staying focused on those scriptures may be a little harder. Sometimes it is hard to break free from our thought patterns. We need to learn to cast our cares onto God and believe that He will take care of everything that has us so stressed out. I Peter 5:7 AMP says:
“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”
In order to cast the whole of your care upon the Lord, there are a few things we must reject: Those are the thoughts of fear, worry, doubt, and unbelief. I don’t know about you, but I’ll give my cares to God and then a thought will enter my mind and before I know it, I have taken back my cares. This is where the scriptures we find for our circumstances come in handy. As soon as the negative thoughts come back in, we need to verbally quote our scriptures over our circumstances. Then we need to roll our burden back onto God so that we can find rest for our minds.
David wrote in Psalm 23:1-3 that:
“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul”
David knew something about finding rest for his mind. He penned that God restores his soul. The soul is your mind, your will, and your emotions. Only God can give you rest for your weary mind. Let Him lead you to the quiet places. Let Him give you rest. Throw your cares upon Him and find peace. He cares for you too much to see you battle-scarred from your own thought pattern. Fall back into the loving arms of the Father, and allow Him to give you peace.