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Settle Down in Christ

“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” – Psalms 46:10 NASB

I don’t know about you, but I can easily become overwhelmed with the burdens of life, the various responsibilities on my plate, and the sheer volume of activity on my schedule. I suspect everyone at one point or another struggles with similar feelings.

One cold January afternoon earlier this year, my mind was swirling with a flurry of demands, responsibilities, questions, pressures and doubts. In a moment of desperation, I decided to create a running list of everything weighing on my mind. I feverishly wrote it all out – everything from my annual business plan, an expensive medical situation, and upcoming client interviews to a poorly-timed overseas trip. There it all was in black and white. I had a complete catalog of all my worries, fears, questions and doubts, and now I had a choice to make. Would I continue to carry this on my own, or would I choose to lay these burdens at the feet of my heavenly father?

This crossroads is familiar territory. Will we carry our load in our own strength, or will we surrender our own efforts for a more excellent way? Thankfully that afternoon, I chose to remember and act on what I’ve learned about my heavenly father, and I sat quietly with him in sweet surrender.

Later that week, I came across the Message translation of a familiar scripture. “Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me— The very thing you’ve been unwilling to do.” (Isaiah 30:15-18 MSG). I had never read that version of the passage and was blown away by how accurately it described my situation. Too often I rely on my own silly efforts to save myself, and only when I settle down and acknowledge my complete dependence on Christ, am I able to experience his saving grace in the midst of my earthly experience.

Just the other day, I went back to the list of worries in my journal. It was interesting to see how 99% of the items had been resolved – resolved without any effort or issue. It boosted my faith to review the tangible evidence of Christ’s life flowing through me as well as God’s faithfulness.

Funny thing is there was a handful of unresolved items on my list, but I decided to check them off with a footnote that says, “I don’t know, but God…” It’s such a sweet relief to live settled down in complete dependence on him! Come join me, won’t you?

Donna Downs

About the Author

Donna started working with the Lifetime board and staff in the fall of 2010 as they were redefining the mission and vision for the ministry. In May 2011, Donna assumed a permanent role and joined the Lifetime team as Executive Director. In this role, Donna provides leadership and direction for the team as they execute the vision that God has given for Lifetime.