Sometimes life feels out of control. You get blindsided by some news at work. A car breaks down at the worse time possible. How do you find calm in the midst of these circumstances? Here are a few thoughts I hope will help.
- Understand the power of seasons.
Where I live we understand that seasons change. It is a predictable as the calendar moving ahead. It is also helpful for me, in out of control situations, to zoom back and look broader at the season that I am facing. Maybe what I am feeling is just a season of life that doesn’t last forever. Maybe the season is changing and this circumstance is just a sign of that season change.
2. Understand the power of appreciating time.
My thoughts have gone a lot lately to how short life really is for us. I talk to older people and they speak of how quickly life travels. The Bible refers to our lives being like grass which is here today and gone tomorrow. This can feel like a bad thing sometimes, but it also helps us put in perspective the situations we are facing right now. As tough as it is right now it is only temporary. The youth camp director at the camp I went to as a kid used to say, “You can do anything for a week.” Life is longer than a week but the lesson is the same.
3. Understanding the power of rest.
This may seem like a weird thing to write about when talking about feeling out of control, but hear me out. When I feel out of control I often want to push with the things within my control. This is helpful as it helps me get perspective on what I can and cannot control. While that is good in part I need to balance that with still honoring the calls to rest and Sabbath that God asks of us. For me it cannot always be, “One more phone call” or “Just a little more writing.” In times when it feels out of control honoring the rest anyways reminds me that ultimately God is in control. “Unless the Lord builds the house the laborers build in vain.” (Ps 127:1)
4. Take time to focus on Jesus.
Remember Peter walking on water. The storm of life got to him when he took his eyes off of Jesus. In the storms of life I like to picture the throne room of heaven. God is not sitting there wringing His hands in concern. God is not worried. God does not feel out of control. To take the idea a bit further, it is like finding a star or other fixed point when we are lost. The immovable object becomes the source of our confidence.
What things do you do when you feel out of control?