“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” (Ps 40:2 NIV)
Seeing the injustice, unrest, and chaos of this society, we may have feelings of uncertainty, fear, anxiety, anger, helplessness, or even hopelessness. Is getting trampled on by ruthless scoundrels justifiable? Violence is not the answer – we need to come together, lift each other up, and ensure justice will be served. Most of us are going through the same storm, albeit in different boats. The storm may be uncertain, but we certainly are in our own boats and trying to learn how to navigate through this storm. When I am in despair, I look to King David and his words of wisdom in the book of Psalms.
Sometimes the world overwhelms me. Sometimes waves of anxiety sweep over me. At those moments, dread seems to take over my life, and all I would see would be the dark shadows looming.
This kind of feeling can rise out of various facets of life; be it from stress at work, anxiety in school, insecurities stemming from interpersonal issues, or even confusion/doubts about church. And in my attempt to piece everything together, I find my thoughts in a whirlwind, shredded into bits and pieces, flying here and there, unfocused and flustered – the space of my mind left ransacked in the aftermath of a brutal tornado.
So amidst all the chaos and confusion, I asked God to grant me a quiet heart and to teach me how to maintain it despite the external circumstances. And bit by bit, I began to understand and appreciate more what having a steadfast heart means. Continue reading
A sound heart is life to the body, but envy is rottenness to the bones. (Prov 14:30)
In this modern age, life moves at a fast pace and can be fairly stressful. We often say, “I’m stressed out!” Physical stress and fatigue are easier to manage. A good night sleep usually helps. It is the emotional stress that keeps us restless throughout the night. Emotional stress comes from our negative feelings: anger, worry, fear, jealousy, and sorrow. Emotional stress can be destructive with the consequences of: broken relationships, physical illnesses, the inability to keep a job or to work with others, and violence.
Stress is a part of life. Stress becomes anxiety when stress gets inside us. Anxiety can dominate our lives, steal our joy, and cripple our ability to function. A calm heart, a heart at peace, is thus precious. Continue reading