Do you ever feel like the heat of a bad moment overwhelms you? You know in your head you need to stop and remember the presence of Christ when a problem hits, but it’s hard to actually do it in real life. If you’re like me, you might let a flat tire, empty bank account, or doctor’s appointment set off a broken record of negative talk in your mind and on your tongue.
Recently I went to a marriage seminar where I discovered I have an unhealthy thinking pattern: magnifying my problems. In other words, I make mountains out of molehills. Sometimes I allow one small mishap to ruin my whole day, or I let my whole life revolve around one problem.
This bit of information was not news to my husband. He’s been married to me 23 years and has seen how I can let one difficulty define my day, week, or even month. But I’m learning I can choose to live and think differently, one small choice at a time.
I Can Choose God and His ways moment by moment.
I can choose to stop the broken record in my mind and turn to God’s Word instead.
In that moment of overwhelm, I can let go of stress and choose to remember God’s presence with me. “The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing.” Philippians 4:5b, 6a (NASB)
In that moment of relational conflict, I can let go of my need to be right and choose God’s peace. “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15
In that moment of anxiety, I can choose to surrender my fears and believe God’s promises. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
We can choose. We can choose to look beyond our problem and lift our gaze up to God and His presence. We can choose to hold on to God’s promises instead of our problems.
We can choose to live Holy in the Moment.
Ginger Harrington’s book Holy in the Moment came along at just the right time for me. It’s one of the most encouraging books I’ve read in a while. Her transparent sharing about her battle with anxiety pulled me in from chapter 1, but no matter what your personal struggle is, this book encourages you to Believe, Choose, Love, Abide, Surrender, and Rest in God moment by moment.
Holy in the Moment: Simple Ways to Love God and Enjoy Your Life helps us see holiness in a fresh, new way. Part 1, “Love God in Every Moment,” encourages us to make choices right here, right now to make more room for God to come into our nitty gritty lives. “Choosing holiness on the hard days comes down to believing God is our savior who walks with us in all things,” Ginger writes.
I appreciate the practical wisdom she offers; each chapter ends with ideas we can apply to our own spiritual lives. Part 2, “Embracing Truth in Every Moment,” gives us real-life tips for letting go of our own stinking thinking to embrace God’s truth instead. Part 3, “Enjoy Life for Our Best Moments,” reminds us that sometimes the holiest choice we can make is to enjoy the life and people God has given us.
Holy in the Moment is helping me make those small daily choices to let God transform my thoughts and attitudes. If you feel overwhelmed by life, burned out, anxious, or stressed, it might help you find refreshment and renewal you need.
Now it’s your turn: What helps you choose God and His perspective in your hard moments?
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My word for the year is “focus” and this is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately- how to choose to focus on God instead of on difficult circumstances. Thanks for sharing about the book- it sounds great!
Oh yes, I’m with you on that “focus” idea, Lesley. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. How I magnify problems by making my life all about THEM, instead of all about Jesus. The book really encouraged me.
Excellent, timely words. Thank you! As I’m dealing with a beloved family member who is lost and lashing out horribly to me I am finding supernatural peace in choosing Him first and am encouraged by what you wrote. God’s light always shines through the darkness, and by His grace it will for us.
Oh Melinda, I’m so sorry to hear about that, friend. Praying for that supernatural peace, an awareness of Jesus’ presence with you.
Mary Geisen says
Perfect words for me today! Recently I’ve been thinking my word of the year should be focus but know that surrendering will help me focus. I know I am going to want to read Ginger’s book. I am reading nothing but wonderful things about it. Thank you for the reminder to be holy in the moment. When I am present I am able to see Jesus more clearly and then all the little worries don’t seem so important.
You and me both, Mary. I realize so often I make my whole life about the little worries!!! Surrender is a wonderful word for the year. Mine is JESUS, same as last year.
So glad you are finding and surrendering in those moments, Betsy. It can be so difficult not to get swept up in what we may not want, but we CAN choose to hold onto God and His promises instead. I’m trying to #BePresent in all my moments and lately they aren’t what I desire, but surrendering them to Him is helping me navigate all my moments well. Thanks as always for your wisdom!
It’s true that surrender helps us navigate the hard spots. I’ve been thinking a lot about “letting go” lately, same idea as surrender. I need to let go of so many things to really grab hold of Jesus.
Jeanne Takenaka says
Betsy, what great wisdom you share here. I have spent most of my adult life learning and re-learning how to turn my thoughts toward God. One verse that has helped me hugely is Phil 4:8. If I can remember to think on what is true, that is the first step to help get my thoughts off of me and my situation and onto God.
I loved what you said here: ” I can let go of stress and choose to remember God’s presence with me.”
Thanks for your transparency here!
That is a beautiful verse. And it comes so soon after “Be anxious for nothing.” I imagine we’ll continue learning this lesson until we meet the Lord face to face, Jeanne!
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I am also a Queen of making molehills into mountains…just ask MY husband! Oh how I need to repeat…Be anxious for nothing….the Lord is near!! This book looks like a good read for me too. Thanks for sharing!
The book really encouraged me, Bev. And I LOVE the title. Holy (and Wholly) in the Moment.
Sarah Geringer says
I read her book too and I enjoyed your review, Betsy. Pinned and tweeted your post!
Carmen Horne says
I love these 3 words, “I can choose…”
Blessings to my friend, love you
Love you too, Carmen. Those are 3 powerful words!
This is such a blessing of a reminder for me today. I struggle with this too. Thank you for sharing Betsy! Love you my friend!
I’m glad if this encouraged you, Desiree. I was writing it to myself! Love you back.
Linda Stoll says
Magnifying problems – mine and everyone elses? Well yeah, I can relate, Betsy. I’m in learning mode, remembering mode, recalling all God’s faithfulness in taking care of all those glitches and disappointments and near disasters along the way.
None of what’s assailing us comes as any surprise to Him, does it …
I try to remember that, Linda: This is no surprise to God. Somehow it helps, doesn’t it? (And I get that about magnifying OTHER PEOPLE’s problems too. 🙂 )
That’s so easy to do, isn’t it? — Magnify our problems. That sense of overwhelm when all the things are adding up, makes each individual problem feel worse than it actually is. Good points today, friend. Thank you. And, Ginger’s book looks like a good one. 🙂 xoxo
Thanks, Brenda. Her book really did come at the right time for me. I’m trying to learn to step back and look at the bigger picture of my life when overwhelm hits!
Abby McDonald says
Oh Betsy, I can certainly relate to making mountains out of molehills. Although I’ve never experienced a full-blown anxiety attack, I’ve come close and Lord knows I can worry myself to death over things that are completely out of my control. This book sounds so good and I am definitely adding it to my list to read. Thank you for sharing!
I haven’t experienced a full-blown anxiety attack either Abby, but strangely– maybe because of our in-country circumstances?– I’ve felt more anxious the past year than ever! But yes, Jesus is in the boat with me. And that brings comfort. Praying for you, friend. I’m trying to hand over control!
Quite applicable to my life right now. Betsy, I hope you don’t mind but my comment is actually a prayer request that I am posting on a few godly blogs. I am asking for prayer for my sister-in-law and brother, Brad and Jessica. She has diabetes and preeclampsia, and ended up delivering her baby (their third child) by emergency C-section on Monday, three weeks early. Baby is fine, but Jessica is not. Her heart is in such bad condition that they put her in a medically-induced coma to keep her stable. She’s been under since Tuesday. Everytime they try to wake her, her blood pressure skyrockets and oxygen level plummets. She also picked up double pneumonia and is on a breathing tube. Neither she nor my brother is a believer. But they need the prayer. Would fellow believers please say a prayer for them? I also posted this request on my blog https://lovehealme.blogspot.com and I will add an update when things change. Thank you all.
I’m so sorry, Heather. I am praying now for your sister Jessica. May the Lord cover her, heal her, and restore her. May He give you the peace that passes all understanding.
Sarah Donegan says
I have to pray for peace daily and try not to look to the future too much. It’s not something I will ever get over, but I will get through with Jesus!