"I don't concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp."
(Psalm 131:1, New Living Translation)
How are you managing the stress of everyday life? The holidays? Are you buried under all the wrapping paper? Do you need a breath of fresh air? Whether you are running from work to dentist appointments to dance recital practice, God never intended for you to live stress free, but victoriously.
I don't know about you, but some of the most stressful times are during the holidays. In my younger years, I literally collapsed on my bed after shopping all day on Christmas Eve. The next several days, including Christmas, I was sick with the flu. Stress had manifested into physical sickness. Though stress is good, being overstressed is unhealthy.
As we read Psalm 131-3, we see the pilgrims were headed to Jerusalem. Instead of complaining about the distance, the heat or the people they were traveling with - they sang a song written by King David over 300 years earlier.
What can we learn from David's song to encourage us to enjoy everyday?
1. Prepare your heart for the day.
Psalm 131:1 says, "Lord, my heart is not proud." Before you begin the day, make time to prepare your heart. It may mean getting up a little earlier, but the eternal results are worth it. When you bow before the King, you can stand for anything that comes your way. If you begin the day in your own strength, you will end the day drained, depleted and discouraged. Each day is a fresh start to prepare your heart for direction from the Lord and a song in your heart!
2. Keep your eyes focused.
Psalm 131:1 continues by saying, "My eyes are not haughty." What matters most in life? What people think? What you think of yourself? Or what God thinks? Sometimes this can become muddy waters when you are navigating through life. Nevertheless, take it one day at a time and keep your day in perspective. The psalmist said to not have arrogant eyes. Don't think so highly of yourself that everyone else becomes second class citizens. Keep your focused on the Lord and walk in humility. When you do, you won't "concern yourself with matters too great or too awesome for you to grasp." (v.1) Literally speaking, you won't be distracted by what God is doing in the lives of those around you.
3. Keep your soul calm.
Psalm 131:2 says, "Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother's milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me." The Merriam-Webster defines instead as "a substitute or equivalent". When David wrote the psalm, he said to "substitute" your concern with a calm and quiet soul. When my wife was weaning our daughter, some days were better than others. Over time, our daughter matured. It was a hard process, but it was part of her growth. In life, some days are more stressful than others, but its part of your growth. As you grow you will be able to calm and quiet yourself - knowing your peace comes from the Lord.
4. Put your hope in the Lord.
Psalm 131:3 concludes, "O Israel, put your hope in the Lord - now and always." Not sometimes, but now and always. That is continually putting your hope in the Lord. Trusting him to see you through. I heard one person say, "God isn't going to take me there, if he isn't going to see me through." That is exactly why your dependence is on the Lord and not yourself. Not trusting in others, but trusting in God to work it out.
Enjoy everyday (holidays included) victoriously!