I initially wrote “The Stormy Mind” more than three years ago. I decided to repost this devotional here, as it helps me realize how much the Lord has helped me in this area.
When troubles came, my mind was often chaotic and rowdy. My thoughts reminded me of trees swaying in the wind frantically during a strong thunderstorm, gripping the earth with their roots, holding on for dear life. I worried about one problem. Then, I worried about a different problem, and back and forth my thoughts went, jumping from one issue to the next. When there was thunder and lightning, I could not think clearly enough to make a decision. The thunder was loud and seemed to crowd out the voice of God, and the lightening intimidated me. I was afraid to make decisions because the lightening could strike me, and I’d be sprawled on the ground, angry that I had put myself in danger.
I lived with a mind like this for much of my life, and in time, the Lord has helped me dispose of my stormy mind and replace it with one that has clearer skies even with circumstances are not ideal. I have learned that such a peace must be fought for. This peace is fueled by constant prayer, faithful devotional time, and a determination to believe in the Lord’s faithfulness and maintain a good attitude. At one time, I was not good at any of these practices, but as challenges arose, I began to seek the Lord before ranting to a friend or parent about my struggles. And as those challenges ended better than I ever expected, I gained more confidence that the Lord would be faithful to me in the future.
Sometimes, I am still like the disciples in the boat with Jesus. There’s a crazy storm, and the waves nearly capsize the boat. I imagine the disciples holding onto the edges of the boat and to each other for dear life. They try to shout at each other above the noise of the wind and rain, but they can’t hear what’s said. They can’t stop the storm, and they don’t know how to protect themselves. Suddenly, in the midst of chaos, their eyes turn to Jesus, who is sleeping on a cushion in the boat.
It’s that image of Jesus sleeping that stops me. Though the waves are crashing over the boat, He seems very comfortable on His cushion. I wonder about His dreams, and I think they were probably wonderful, peaceful ones that make you smile when you wake up. It is this image that drives me back to prayer, journaling, and Bible reading when I look to people for solutions instead of the Lord or allow worry to consume me.
When the problems of life swirl, stop and focus your mind on the one who tells the wind and the waves, “Be quiet! Be still!” and they obey. He is calm and never worries. He has a plan, and He is so powerful that he can control the weather. He will hush the storm of your mind, and when He does, you will see nothing but Him.
Great job of testifying how God is shaping your heart! I think that makes God to smile. Not only “He is calm and never worries,” but also telling us to do the same—worry not! How we do that? Simply by trusting him! As you write—“This peace is fueled by constant prayer, faithful devotional time, and a determination to believe in the Lord’s faithfulness and maintain a good attitude.” In other words, we must put on the armors of God (Eph. 6:10-20).
By the way, before I start composing this comment, right after my daily devotional and prayer, I happened to press the remote control of my TV and Robert Morris was preaching on this very point, the armor of God, with the emphasis on praying in the spirit—the vitality of praying in the heavenly language (tongue) quoting from Eph. 6: 17-18. Note that when one prays in tongue/heavenly language, he/she prays the perfect will of God—that is the Holy Spirit uses the person’s tongue to communicate the perfect will of God. I said, “That is not only amazing but also liberating!” What also astounding to me was, prompted by the Holy Spirit, I just prayed for someone to have the gift of praying/speaking in heavenly language/tongue. God is awesome!