Do you ever notice how peace and calm are the first things to go out the window when life takes an unexpected turn? In times of stress, struggle, or change, we know reading God’s Word or praying could help us find our calm in Christ, yet those are the very things we find hardest to do!
When life gets complicated, it’s good to remember the Lord responds to even the simplest steps we make towards Him.
Recently big life changes made it harder for me to have regular quiet time with the Lord.
Last week, I arrived in Austin, Texas, after a month-long packing marathon, a trail of goodbyes, and a 24-hour journey with my husband, daughter, dog, and six suitcases. Severe shoulder pain sent me to the emergency room 36 hours after our arrival. Then our dog got fleas.
Now my shoulder is much better, but I’m still learning the ropes of our new normal. Even going to an American grocery store overwhelms because of all the choices involved in choosing one box of breakfast cereal. So you can imagine how distracted I feel when I sit down to have a quiet time.
I’ve had to simplify my spiritual life, so I can find the peace in Christ that I need. I’m learning even small steps towards God help me receive what He has for me.
Friend, your life has its own set of complications that threaten to push peace right out of your heart. Perhaps you also are trying to learn to walk out a new normal. Maybe you could use a bit of encouragement to simplify your spiritual life and find new calm in Christ?
When the world gets complicated, try these 5 ways to simplify your spiritual life:
1. Let Go of Guilt
When life interrupts our regular spiritual routines, thoughts of “I should be more spiritually mature” creep up on us. Yet God understands how emergency room runs and moving days mess with our spiritual mojo. Let’s leave guilt aside and give ourselves the same grace He so generously extends to us.
2. Open a Small Window for God
A short and simple conversation with God is better than a long prayer time that never happens. Five minutes to read Scripture now is better than waiting for when you might have more time later. Sometimes even turning on a worship song is all you need for God to renew your attitude. When we open a small window for God, He comes in to bring us a bit more peace and light than we had before.
3. Go Back to Simple Truths
When illness, stress, or tragedy strike, it helps to return to simple truths we can get our minds around. These life-giving truths comfort stressed or worried souls:
- God loves me.
- Because of Jesus’ death, my sins are forgiven.
- The Lord is my Shepherd. I lack nothing.
- God is my helper and sustainer.
4. Read a Favorite Scripture Passage
A few weeks ago, I shared this on Facebook: “Can I just say there’s no way I can handle a chapter-a-day Bible reading plan right now?” Apparently, many of you felt the same way.
If your mind is zooming into overdrive with worry or stress right now, can I give you permission to let go of that reading plan in favor of something simpler? During troubling times, familiar passages like Psalm 23 or John 15 can calm our minds and hearts so we can hear God speak to us.
5. Pray as You Go
If you’re having trouble focusing on prayer, maybe you’re making it harder than it has to be? You don’t have to sit down for God to hear you. He delights in the simplest sentence lifted up as we get into the car or load the washing machine. He hears the briefest cry for help as we walk into a meeting or hit “submit.”
Friend, if your life has taken an unexpected turn or gotten complicated, I want you to know you’re not alone. May I invite you to join me today in one of these simple practices to find new calm in Christ? Let’s open a small window for God to come in today.
Now it’s your turn: What’s your favorite “go-to” passage when life gets complicated?
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