Need a little more peace and rest? Have you ever struggled with a case of the gottas? You know, I gotta do this; I gotta do that! Other voices whisper (or shout) trying to steal your peace: “You have to!” “There’s so much to be done!” “I’ll never catch up!”
I’ve experienced thoughts like that many times, and most recently while working on my newest book. A deadline loomed; responsibilities stacked up, and energy waned. And then those nasty expectations followed. I should be able to get it all done. I should work faster.
I’ve learned through the years that this condition is no respecter of age or gender. Anyone, from students to seniors, can experience those all-consuming feelings. I’m sure we’ve all dealt with the gottas at one time or another. The expectations might originate in our own minds, or they might stem from others, but we can easily allow them to defeat and discourage us.
So how can we find joy, peace, and rest when the gottas try to get us? I’ve discovered four ways to push past those accusations and find peace and rest.
Four Ways to Find Peace and Rest
1. Refocus on the Joy of Your Calling
That’s what Jesus did–often.
Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2 NIV).
Jesus kept persevering, never giving up, and never giving out, even though His calling was to suffer for the sins of all people. But He kept focusing on the joy before Him: US! Our redemption–the salvation of all who would receive Him as Lord and Savior. He knew the reward was worth the price of His pain. Jesus never allowed the “gotta do this for all people” to establish a stronghold in His mind. The joy of completing His task kept Him moving forward.
What is your calling? God gave all of us a universal one: to honor Him, to bring glory to His name, to love Him and others. It is possible to find joy, even in the most menial job or the smallest task. And when our work brings stress and pressure, we find joy by focusing on the Lord and our future with Him. He helps us find joy just by being faithful.
God also gives us individual callings, unique to us and our giftings. For further help on Finding and Fulfilling your Calling, here is a message I encourage you to take time and listen to. There is a time to wait and a time to move. You can find joy in both.
Jesus can restore joy, and He will help you find peace and rest even in the hard things.
2. Release Your Burdens to God
Go ahead. Admit it. Burdens are heavy. And anything can turn into a burden if we let it: anxiety, worry, fear, discouragement, even responsibility or unreal expectations. The gottas are no exception. They can easily become an extremely heavy burden if we cling to them instead of releasing them to God. The apostle Peter, who experienced great difficulties in his life, offered great advice.
Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you (1 Peter 5:7 VOICE).
Other translations of 1 Peter 5:7 use the word “cast,” “throw,” “give,” and “turn.” In other words, load them onto God’s shoulders. He can handle them. He will carry those burdens because He “tenderly cares for” us.
3. Rest in God’s presence
Begin your morning with God. Take breaks throughout the day. If possible, take a brisk walk or go outside and observe God’s nature. Pray often, even if your schedule will only allow for “breath” prayers, not paragraphs.
In reality, God is always with us; therefore as believers, we are always in His presence unconsciously. And He never leaves our side.
Jesus knew our burdens would grow heavy. He wants you to find peace and rest, and He offers it freely.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28 NLT).
Even Jesus, the Son of God, needed rest–time away to spend in the present of His beloved Father.
Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray (Mark 1:35 NLT).
4. Remember to Give Thanks Often.
Thanksgiving is not the only time to offer thanks. Every day of our lives we can pause often to thank God. Thank Him for simple things, for hard tasks, for strength to complete His assignments. Thank God even in the midst of the gottas, because they remind you of your need for Him and your dependency upon Him.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT).
1. Be Joyful
2. Be Prayerful
3. Be Thankful
“You can read another recent post featuring those three “B’s”: 3 Activities That Are Always in God’s Will
That Newest Book?
It’s Your Turn
What about you? Do the gottas ever try to get you? How do you handle them? What helps you when life and its tasks become burdensome? I love to hear from readers. You can always write me through my contact page. Just fill out the basic name and address info, and then the email will come to me. Your name or info will never be shared with anyone without your permission.
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