“Your job is to rest in Me.” Those are the lyrics to a song I have been listening to lately that has made me reflect on what it really means to “rest in God” and the work that simple phrase demands.
As Christians, we are taught that if you really trust God, you should not be afraid nor lack peace, after all, God says “fear not” 365 times in the Bible. Have you ever heard that phrase or others to that effect? I bet so!
Today, I want to tell you a few things, dear reader:
- Being completely at peace takes work;
- It’s OK if you think it’s hard to rest in God. It is not something that comes naturally to humans; and
- It’s OK if you’ve been scared this year or maybe still feel scared now.
As human beings, subject to anxiety, we will feel fears and many of them will be irrational.
Feeling guilty about at times not being able to fully trust God makes it even more difficult to find rest in Him, so the first step is to break free from that guilt and recognize that you need help finding peace.
I imagine you are thinking, “Now we’ll read some Bible verses about how we should trust, have faith and not be afraid. Then I’ll read some motivational phrases that will make me feel a little more confident and that will be that. ”
Yes, I could list several verses for you here, but today my goal is to talk friend to friend. I want to help you with practical tips on how to achieve peace in your daily life.
But please don’t think I believe I know everything about this topic. Quite the opposite! I battle against my anxiety and irrational fears daily, so what I am going to pass along to you now are tips I practice every day during my struggle to be at peace.
Having made this disclaimer, let’s talk about practical things we can do. There are three very fast exercises that really help calm anxiety and panic.
1. “Mental Paper” Exercise
I often perform this exercise when something is upsetting me. We know that the only place where everything can be resolved is in the arms of Our Father, so this exercise involves thinking about Jesus. There are 6 steps:
- Think about what is taking away your peace right now;
- Write it down on a piece of paper in your mind;
- Hold this “mental paper” in your hand as if it were a little ladybug;
- Close your hand very hard (really hard) for 1 minute (or as long as you need), while you reflect on everything involving your fear/problem;
- When enough time has passed, inhale while thinking about that feeling; and
- As you exhale, slowly open your hand and imagine this little paper flying into the hands of Jesus (Who is right in front of you).
2. Choose a “Crisis Song”
You know those moments when anxiety takes over? Anxiety is a psychosomatic disease (psychological with physical symptoms), so your accelerated thoughts can cause shortness of breath, quickened heart rate, hand tremors, among other symptoms.
That’s why it’s important to develop emergency mechanisms to help you calm down, and one of these mechanisms is the “Crisis Song”.
Choose a song that gives you peace. I’ll give you an example. My crisis song is “Under His Wings”. The lyrics are as follows:
“Under His wings I am safely abiding,Under His Wings – Hymn #48
Though the night deepens and tempests are wild,
Still I can trust Him, I know He will keep me,
He has redeemed me, and I am His child.
Under His wings, under His wings,
Who from His love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide,
Safely abide forever. ”
Once you have chosen your song, it’s very simple. Try to sit or lie down comfortably and then sing the song mentally, but very slowly.
Try to match an inhale with a sentence and an exhale with a pause. I’ll give you an example:
(Inhale) Under His wings I am safely abiding,
(Inhale) Though the night deepens and tempests are wild;
3. “What am I thinking?”
Be aware of your thoughts. This is one of the hardest exercises. For anxious minds, controlling their thoughts is one of the most challenging battles.
Start slow. Stop 2-3 times a day to consider what you are thinking. Question yourself. “Why am I thinking this? Why am I feeling this fear? Is it warranted?”
Remember, you must control your thoughts, not the other way around. So imagine yourself inside your brain, walking all over it and collecting your thoughts. Putting order in the house. Over time, you will realize that your mind will no longer “run-off”.
My dear readers, these are just 3 steps to start renewing your subscription to inner peace. Don’t give in to irrational fear or lack of peace during this year.
Decide to work to rest. Decide to achieve peace and run after it in 2020. Peace has a name, and the name is Jesus. I guarantee that He wants you to live in peace and has already prepared a beautiful year for you.
Until next time ????