Today I wanted to share a quick reminder and a quick encouragement with you about what to do when we get in the situation where we are anxious about a problem because there doesn’t seem to be a solution and your mind gets stuck on trying to work it out. And no matter how long you think about it your mind just seems to keep going round and round in circles with the same ideas that don’t work.When you find yourself in this situation, don’t forget to let the Holy Spirit have His say. Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to solve the problem and so stressed about not being able to find the answer that we completely forget to stop and see what God has to say.We are all guilty of this, myself included. Our minds race from one thought to another about how we could fix this and nothing seems to work and the more we are unable to solve the problem the more stressed, anxious and focussed on the problem we become.Sometimes it helps to be reminded that God has an answer and it just takes for us to stop and be still and make some space to hear Him.
This happened to me recently. I got so caught up trying to solve a problem that I kept going over the same two possible options over and over but neither seemed to work and I was driving myself crazy going round and round in circles.
That’s when I realised that a “God-answer” won’t come to me when I’m anxious and distracted because when you’re anxious your mind is not open to creative ideas coming to you, or in other words, the Holy Spirit speaking to you.
And just a side note – one of the ways the devil tries to keep us from peace and from our meditation time with God is by distracting us with issues that we feel the need to think and worry about.
I have learned that when we get into a situation like this, the best thing to do is let go of all of our own ideas about how we could fix it, let go of anxiety, breathe… and wait on God. A creative idea will come to you when you are relaxed and open and you will hear the Holy Spirit when you are not striving to find a solution.
When you relax and let the problem go to God your mind becomes open to ideas you have not thought about before. It’s like my dentist said to me once when I was clenching my teeth – he can’t get in and do the work properly if I’m tense.
Ideas and thoughts from God can’t get into our heart and mind when we’re tense and anxious.
So here are three things that I have learnt help me to stay in peace and hear from God when I am feeling stressed and anxious about solving a problem.
- Deal with fear
Usually when we are anxious about something it is because we are fearful about what is going to happen if we don’t find a solution. I had allowed fear to get into my heart when I became anxious about the problem and it is almost impossible to hear God’s answer when we have fear in our heart. We need to get rid of fear by giving the problem to God and trusting that He has an answer for us.In my case I realised I also needed to ask God to forgive me for not allowing Him to lead me in the first place. I had got myself in the predicament I was in because I had acted out of fear instead of waiting and listening quietly for His leading until I had peace in my heart. When we make decisions and act out of fear it always makes things worse.It was a great lesson for the future to not act of fear but to listen for God and wait until I had peace in my heart before acting on something.
- Stay Present
And the second thing that we need to do in a situation like this is to “stay present”. If you’re so busy and distracted by the problem that you are not “present” then you’re not in a good place, especially for making decisions.Being present is powerful. I have a saying about meditation – and that is “Be still, be present, and be aware of God’s presence”. It is not just a quaint little saying – being present is a very powerful thing that protects us against distraction, which causes fear and anxiety.Don’t be tempted to become distracted by the problem. It will only lead to fear and anxiety.Being present keeps you in peace and stops you from wandering (or running) into distraction. When I was trying to find my own solutions I was not present. I was caught up trying to find the solution. I was researching all the ways I could try and solve this problem but it only made me more anxious. Being present brings you back from that. It is powerful to practice being present in all our everyday moments of life and not just in meditation.
- Empty yourself of your own ideas, thoughts, plans and solutions
And lastly, we need to be completely empty of our own ideas, thoughts, plans and solutions and we need to be completely still to hear God’s voice. It’s not just about a solution, it’s about hearing Him.His solution might be the complete opposite of what I was expecting but I won’t hear it if I’m fixated on the only ideas that I can come up with.Come to God in your meditation time and present your cares to Him, having no preconceived ideas about the outcome and allow God to have His say. Just like Philippians 4:16 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God”.Then wait on Him for His answer. Come to Him and be still, not anxious and striving and wait patiently for Him. The answer will come.
Psalm 40:1 – “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry”
So if you have been striving to work out a solution to a problem this week, I encourage you to let it go, be at peace, spend some time just waiting on God in stillness and He will bring a fresh idea, the perfect plan or thought to you that you would not have otherwise thought about. Let the Holy Spirit have His say. His ideas, plans and solutions will always be so much better than ours.
And if the answer doesn’t come immediately don’t become anxious about it, His timing will be perfect if we stay in peace. Just keep waiting and trusting and He will bring the answer to you.
I’m praying that this helps you this week. I will leave you with a couple more scriptures to meditate on. I encourage you to use these in your meditation time to help settle your mind if you find yourself striving over a problem.
Psalm 37:7 – “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him”
Psalm 27:14 – “Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD”
Psalm 62:5-6 – “Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”
Remind yourself of this verse every time you feel fear start to rise – I will not be shaken!
Praying you have a peace-filled and God-blessed week.