Cease striving…

Monday this week was one of those very Mondayest of Mondays.  Normally Monday has a slightly higher-than-normal workload, so I generally avoid scheduling any appointments or doing any errands, or leaving anything that has to be done that day.

Well… I didn’t manage it this time.  And not only did I have a higher-than-the-normal-higher workload, I also had wound up having to leave the house four times. (I work out of my home.)

All day long, I was either staring at the ever-increasing volume of reports that needed to be checked on, or I was out but knowing what was waiting for me at home.  Repeatedly, I doubled my efforts to get that number down to zero just once.  But nope. By 10pm at night, I was exhausted, 300 emails had come in from my team and the other managers I work with, 300 reports had been dealt with, and there was still 30+ waiting.  And I never wanted to leave the house again.

So Tuesday morning, I opened my Bible at 6:30 am, praying that I wouldn’t have two such days in a row. I landed on Psalm 46, which is one of my favorites. I almost didn’t read it because, as one of my favorites, didn’t that mean I’d already discovered all there was to find in it?


46 God is our refuge and strength,
[b]A very present help in [c]trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the [d]sea;
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. [e]Selah.
That part just made me smile.  My world wasn’t exactly changing and quaking, but if God can help me in trouble like that, then of course He could help me with one measly little Tuesday. 
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
I found myself asking God what this really means.  It’s pretty-sound poetry, of course… but isn’t there a meaning in every word?

I didn’t get the full answer… but I did realize this: What are the dwelling places of the Most High?

Answer: Us. Those who are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Those who are filled with “the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

And this river makes us glad. 

God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her [f]when morning dawns.

So it’s us He’s helping when morning dawns!

The [g]nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;
He [h]raised His voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
[i]Who has wrought desolations in the earth.
He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.

I read all of that, and I realized that I had some things that needed to be made desolate… specifically some technical issues with the August reports that were making everything more difficult.  The prospect of facing an entire month’s worth of issues was making me feel tired, just thinking about it. 

But my God is capable of obliterating those issues, isn’t He? He could make the whole realm of “technical issues” desolate. I asked him to do exactly that.

10 [j]Cease striving and know that I am God;

I’ve read those words many, many times.  But all of a sudden, I realized that I had been striving to bring down that mountain of emails all day long. It was still the same size at 10pm as it had been at 6:30am. And my striving had exhausted me.

So I asked God to show me how to do my job without striving.

And then I closed my Bible and went to work.

And He… the God of the universe… the One melts the earth with His voice… the One who makes wars to cease… the One who is my refuge and very-present Help… led me.  He did take care of the technical issue. And midway through the day, my inbox reached that marvelous zero-waiting status.

I was not worn out.

But I was glad. For I had seen His strength and His works in my little corner of Tuesday.

I will be exalted among the [k]nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
11 The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.

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