October 9, 2020
Finding Calm to Quiet Your Soul
I do not get involved with things too great or too wondrous for me. Instead, I have calmed and quieted my soul (Psalm 131:1-2, CSB).
Friend to Friend
This has been quite the year, hasn't it? The world feels in chaos . . . relationally, economically, spiritually. How many times have you found yourself saying, "2020 can't get worse, can it?" Well, the truth is that it can get worse, and we could easily find ourselves wallowing in despair if we don’t know how to process the promise of pain.
The possibility of dire circumstances doesn't have to be a declaration of hopelessness.
We know that hard is part of life on this side of heaven. Jesus promises us such in John 16:33 (NIV), “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” We find a similar promise in Matthew 6:34 (NIV), “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Trouble is still coming, sisters, but that promise doesn’t have to undo us today.
The fear of suffering and hardship doesn't have to consume our thought life and rattle our minds with anxiety.
The lack of control and certainty doesn't have to undermine our purpose and steal our joy.
There is another way, and I found it tucked into a tiny little verse in Psalm 131:1-2 (CSB):
I do not get involved with things too great or too wondrous for me. Instead, I have calmed and quieted my soul.
Say that again and again, especially this part:
I have calmed and quieted my soul.
It is simply amazing that God puts the responsibility in our hands to find calm and quiet in our soul, even in the middle of chaos. What does that look like?
The Hebrew word for "calm," which is actually translated as "composed," is sharah. It means to level, smooth, to set, or place. What can you do to find a level, stable, and predictable place in your life to process your thoughts and release all your worry to God?
"Quieted" comes from the Hebrew word, damam, which means to be silent and still. Where is the silence in your life? What do you need to do to make room for it, so that your mind and heart and soul isn’t spinning in overwhelm but can settle at the foot of the cross?
The word "soul" comes from the Hebrew word, nephesh, which refers to your seat of emotions, passions, and appetite as well as activity of the mind, the will and character. What can you do to nurture and care for yourself daily? How can you steward not just your spiritual life, but also your physical body, so that you can respond to the chaos settled and regulated?
When times of crisis hit, we may try to muster up the strength and press on, simply surviving. But does that really work, or do we just end up worse off in the long run?
I think you know the answer. We need to practice slowing down every single day, giving our bodies a recovery moment as we steady our minds on truth. That slowing down may be sitting and breathing deeply for five minutes. It may be ten minutes of stretching or a brisk 15-minute walk. Yes, it’s this physical activity that will actually get the brain and body integrated, enabling your mind and heart to embrace the Truth more clearly.
God made us, sister, to actively care for our heart, mind, soul, and body. So, in the middle of this chaotic COVID era – or any chaos you find yourself in – I pray that you’ll seize the opportunity to take the overwhelm as invitation to release your life once again to the Lord.
God knows you. He sees you. He made you. And He has equipped you to embrace the calm and quiet you’re craving today.
Dear Lord, thank You for the calm and quiet you promise is accessible to me even in the middle of the chaos. God, it often feels impossible to find when life is spinning out of control. Help me to remember that when I feel overwhelmed by what I can’t predict or plan, that You already know what will play out and are with me through the process. Help me, Lord, to trust You as I steady my mind and heart on Your promises. Help me to care for my body in the way it needs so that my mind can embrace Your Truth more easily.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
What is the Lord seeking to accomplish in you and your life through this string of no good, very bad days? How can you submit your heart, time, and focus to Him, seeking refuge and protection from what He offers you?
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Elisa Pulliam is a trauma-informed coach, author, podcaster, speaker, and founder of More to Be. She is passionate about helping women pursue a fresh encounter with God and align with His Word as well as equipping women to become mentors and coaches. Her free resource, PIVOT, will help you overcome the overwhelm and find hope again in God’s purposes, and the CALM Anxiety Cards will help you practice this discipline, releasing worry and embracing peace. She delights in being Stephen’s wife for 24 years, savoring her role as mom of four treasures, and stealing away for a horseback ride whenever she can. Connect with Elisa at MoretoBe.com.