Sanity is “the ability to think and behave in a normal and rational manner.” Our thinking informs our behaving and there are so many things clamoring for our thoughts, our attention, and even our emotions. We may not be headed toward clinical insanity, but the stress of life can sure make us question ourselves at times.
Here are two vital components to staying sane, reducing stress, and keeping your head on straight:
Peace and Presence.
Peace and Presence
In a recent Sunday message, my pastor asked us to take a look at what makes us angry. For myself, I find that anger comes easily when I don’t walk in peace and in presence – that is, walking in the peace that Jesus offered freely to his disciples (John 14:27), and walking fully in the present moment. It’s also about walking in the presence of God, which we now have access to through Christ.
Jesus gave us permission, as my pastor alluded to, to take our peace by NOT taking thought for tomorrow.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Matthew 6:34 KJV
I’ve reflected on this quite a bit over the years, but this time it brought to mind the habit of having my brain in too many places at once. Taking thought for tomorrow sometimes means allowing thoughts for something other than the present to override and interrupt my being in the present. (I’m terrible at this.)
The struggle is real!
Peace through Worship
This is one reason that I LOVE worship. Worship, especially through music, gives me permission to step away from the reality of the all-too-busy life I live and engage emotionally and physically in declaring truth about God, His presence in my life, and the resulting peace.
If you find yourself running through the motions, checking your laundry lists during worship (we all do it!), etc., might I encourage you to simply make the conscious choice to meditate on the words that you sing as you sing them and recognize that they are true for you.
This simple, but thoughtful and intentional act, over time, has revolutionized my experience in worship. Perhaps it will shift something in your spirit as well, and will strengthen your resolve to walk in peace and Presence.
Peace in Grief
If you are going through grief, this is especially important. Grief often overwhelmed me and made everything feel harder. It took more brain power to process very normal activities.
Seeking peace in the Presence of God was one healthy way to cope. After all, God sent the Holy Spirit, who is called the Comforter. If God, as a loving father, is aware of our pain, would he not want to comfort us in it as we do our own children?
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
John 14:16 KJV
God is peace. And God is present with us through the Holy Spirit. It is Him, the Helper, that we can connect with in worship, that brings peace in our pain, and healing in our brokenness.
Where do you need peace in your life?
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