Posted by: Kris Lindsey | January 22, 2014

Day 17 – Peace in His Arms

“I know I’ve just given you a lot of options. I’ll fix the leak right now, and then email you the estimate for the rest.” The plumber smiled, then turned and left the room.

I stood in the middle of my living room, my stomach all wrapped up in a knot. Why was I so riled up? It was just a plumbing decision. Nothing earth-shattering. Why did decision-making stress me out so much?

Oh well, I needed to move on. Time for my Connection Challenge exercise for today—reading John 15:1-8. Maybe reading my Bible would calm me down.

I sat down, found John 15 in my Bible, and then started to read. I read the first line, but had no idea what I just read, so I read it again. And again. The plumbing options kept competing with the words on the page, and I still felt tense and restless. I prayed for God’s help and finally made it through the whole passage and a little beyond to verse 12.

What was God’s message to me in these verses today? The whole thing seemed a blur, but I looked back and a few phrases popped out. Jesus seemed to be saying he wanted us to stay connected to him for our own good—to be fruitful and abide in his love. Yes, I was trying to connect but I couldn’t with my mind so foggy.

I decided to go for a prayer walk to try to burn off some agitation. I walked twice around the neighborhood, trying to concentrate on my verses, but they just wouldn’t stick in my head.

I walked back through my front door, tired but still just as wound-up as when I left. This was ridiculous. I didn’t want to go through my day feeling like this, so I sat myself down and started again with God.

“Lord, I don’t want this anxiety. Please help me get rid of it and rest in your arms.”

Okay, all I have to do today is connect with Jesus. That’s all. Now, how do I do that again? I had started this whole thing by “entering his gates with thanksgiving,”

gates

so I said a quick prayer thanking God for all I have, and remembered how blessed I really am.

My anxiety level fell a tiny notch.

“I praise you, Lord, for being in control of the world.”

My breathing came a little easier.

“I thank you that you love us and want us to abide in your love.”

A little better, but still not good.

Let’s see, that’s thanking, praising, a Bible message…what else? Oh yeah…

I looked at the empty space at the other end of the sofa and pictured Jesus sitting there. What would he think if he saw me sitting here all stressed out for no reason? I felt antsy so I stood up and looked out the window.

Then I turned and pictured Jesus again. This time he stood right next to me, and I knew what he would do. He would put his arms around me and whisper, “It’s all right. It’s all right.”

As I stood there, the room came into focus and brightened, and I did feel all right. Now I could go on and enjoy my day, connecting with Jesus. And I did.

Below is tomorrow’s “Connection Challenge” exercise:

Premise: To receive God’s power and peace in my life, I need to be connected to Jesus (John 15:4-5).

Guidelines: For 21 days, my only goal will be to connect with Jesus throughout each day. I can also do any other activity if I can do it with Jesus.

Connection Aid: Day 18, Thursday January 23: Pray

I tend to do most of the talking when I pray. Today, as Psalm 85:8 says, I will listen to God when I pray.

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