We live in uncertain times. It’s almost as if everything is written on vapor and as if we stand on shifting ground. The pandemic has rewritten life and it has left, for many, a lasting impact. The pandemic has highlighted the truth about life and how fragile it can be. We feel like we have control over our situations but the truth is a small shift in our environment can cause a butterfly effect. Our life hinges on a delicate balance and we realize how utterly helpless we can be despite all kinds of technology and progress. And yet, we hold on to life like we own it. We do our best to retain control and we anxiously do everything to ensure we don’t loose control. We desire independence and freedom so much that we forget what true freedom is. Anxiety and stress replaces peace and rest.
How do we find rest and peace when nothing around us is predictable? The theme of rest and peace is often found in the Bible. Infact, rest is recorded in the very beginning of the Bible. God ordained rest as a way to remind us of who was truly in control. Even when we aren’t running 24×7, the earth spin, stars shine, sun rises and sets, vegetation grows and all creatures big and small get what they need. God has put reminders around us so we will remember who is in charge. Our hearts will stop beating at His command. We need him to even breathe the next breath. So how do we find peace and rest? Refocus. Refocus from self to God. When anxiety kicks in and stress is overwhelming, refocus!
One of the best ways to refocus is to simply praise God. Praise is putting God on the throne. Praise is surrendering our crowns and our pains at His feet and recognizing His power. While it is good to praise God when we receive a blessing, it’s even better to praise Him when things aren’t too good. Praising God helps us recognizing who He is. It helps us remember His character. He is loving, passionate, magnificent, all powerful and all knowing. He loves us enough to die and on the cross and powerful enough to come back alive. His ways are always better than ours. Praise allows us to have the right perspective. It allows us to recognize that we aren’t mini gods and we aren’t all knowing. Praise allows to recognize that a loving God knows how to use our pain and our suffering to bring good out of it.
I’ve recently recognized that praise has a direct impact in experiencing the peace of God that transcends all understanding. While prayer is the key that unlocks the door, praise is the pathway to the door. When we keep asking asking asking all the time, there is a high possibility that our prayers have become self focused. Praise on the other hand allows God to redirect our prayers. Praise allows us to pray selflessly because we now know it’s not about us, it’s about the Him. Praise is the pathway to rest and peace. Exalt Him. Glorify Him. Find rest and peace in Him.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30