My mind was racing both day and night. I caught myself tightly wound up about things beyond my control. Anxious thoughts multiplied within me, as it did every December. I was beginning to show physical signs such as sleeplessness, lack of appetite, and overwhelming fatigue.
I shared the realization that anxiety had taken over my life with a friend. She shared just one sentence from the Bible, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” She encouraged me to think about this one thing — with God, I lack nothing.
Before turning off the light to go to sleep that night, I read the entire Psalm 23 again. Then I prayed, “Lord, you want me to have peace in my heart and not be anxious. You, indeed, are my shepherd and I don’t need to be in want. That’s not your plan for me! You make me lie down in green pastures, and lead me beside quiet waters. I can trust you, Lord even in this. Give me peace tonight, please?”
Every time I woke up at night and my mind threatened to go down that same track of anxiety and lack of peace, I instead repeated that one sentence, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” He was in control, and I could rest in that. After all he was the Prince of Peace.
Isn’t that what Advent is all about, preparing for the coming of that Prince of Peace?
December can be an exhausting month with all the activities and expectations that we place on ourselves. When those things threaten to overwhelm you today, remember, “The Lord is your Shepherd, you shall not want.” Let that truth fill you with peace.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the reminder from this familiar psalm and the message of peace that it gives me in the midst of this busy month. Thank you, Lord, that you truly are my shepherd, and I can trust you to work out all the details that threaten to overwhelm and consume me. Fill me with your peace today. Amen.
Go Deeper — Are you feeling overwhelmed today and feeling like anxiety is threatening to take over your life? Take a minute right now to repeat, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” List those things that concern you and entrust them to God. Allow him to fill your heart and mind with peace instead.
Read Further — all about the Candle of Advent -Peace.
Photo Credit: Fabrizio Conti