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Christian Devotional - Calm Chaos

Happy Sunday!

I wanted to take a few minutes and just share a few things from my heart with you all today. I don’t know about you, but the holidays were quite a rush with lots of hustle and bustle. We even had a wedding as my younger brother got married 4 days after Christmas (yay Brent and Jaquie!), and with all the travel and the dinners and the presents and the family I’ve felt in a whirlwind of activity.

But this week started the New Year and I felt an incredible urge to slow down a bit. A passage of scripture has been weighing on my mind heavily as I’ve run from one thing to the next and I wanted to share with you what God’s been sharing with me.

Psalm 46:10 – “Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

What God’s been speaking to me about is that beautiful word “striving.” In some translations the verse says, “Be still.’ Other languages translate it “quiet” or “at peace” or even “tranquil.” I’ve always thought that this verse was referring to the idea that I needed to find a quiet spot, free of distractions, and there I am to just focus on God. You know, something akin to a convent or monastery. I would also look around my life and wonder how that was even possible. You see, I am always going and busy with something. My “things to do list” multiplies like rabbits and even if I do take a minute just to sit on the couch and close my eyes, my kids find that moment to start saying, “Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy,” “What?!?” “Never mind.”

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What God has so peacefully suggested to me and I would humbly offer to all of you whose lives run at a pace just shy of “chaos” like mine, that word striving refers to the state of mind. Striving is an attitude or motivation, not an action itself. Determining whether we are peaceful or tranquil has very little to do with the activity level around us, but the state of mind we are in during the midst of the activity.

God is going to be exalted, the verse above assures us of that. We can calm our mind; calm the frantic thoughts that fill our already busy and active inner-dialogue, and mentally relax and rest in the knowledge that He is God. No matter what happens, no matter how big or how small, no matter the activity level of our day, God is still God. God will be exalted and we can take a calm mental approach to the activity of the day. We “do” without “striving.”

That’s my encouragement for you today and as we go through the new year. “Cease striving and know that I am God.” Calm your mind, even if you can’t calm your circumstances. God is still God and we can mentally rest on that fact, even as the activity around us speeds on.

Kristi Burchfiel, Christian devotional author and speaker
Living in the World – Living out the Word
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