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Learning to Settle Down


When my children were babies there would be times when they get so worked up, crying over some imperceptible need, uncomfortable or unhappy about something in their little bodies, that as a mother would hurt my heart. Helpless to comfort them I simply had to sing to them or whisper to them until they managed to calm down. We know that a mother’s voice is as soothing to a baby as anything and that even newborns recognize the voice that has been swirling around them for months (though perhaps a little muffled pre-world-entry.)

Those days of trying to comfort an anxious child have not ended even though one is in high school and one is fast approaching middle school. The increased demands of homework, athletics, grades, music lessons, musical auditions, student council, helping around the house, and trying to find time for friends, church and family. This is a sure recipe for STRESS! The overwhelmingness pervades the atmosphere at our house as deadlines approach and grading periods come to an end. Anxiety looms as dreams of a certain part in the musical hang in the balance. Tension prickles the air as the swim season draws nearer which means less time for the other things that are pulling and pushing. 

“Settle down, ” I say tenderly. “Take a deep breath,” I coo at my baby. “Relax a minute and know that it is going to be just fine. You will be alright” I sing quietly. The words may be a bit different from when I could hold him in my arms but the sentiment is the same. My love for him urges me to try to calm him, to reassure him that he is doing a good job and that everything will work us just fine. 

“Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus offers to each of us the comfort we so desire when we are totally overwhelmed, stressed, worked up, you name it! Come to me, he says. . . sit with me awhile. Take a deep breath and fill your lungs to capacity with the breath of God. Settle down dear one because it is going to be all right. Trust in me, I will never leave you stranded or alone. How often in our lives do we get so overwhelmed with the tasks at hand that we forget that Jesus is right by our side, whispering in our ears, “I love you, relax, I will take care of you.” Do we allow those sweet words of Christ to wash over us, to take our anxieties and troubles away, at least for a few moments of peace? 

As a parent I know how I feel about my children. . . doesn’t God love us even more than that? Doesn’t our Creator want to very best for us? No one likes to see their children struggling or worrying about certain outcomes. Neither does our heavenly Father like to see us biting our nails in angst, fidgeting around in nervousness. Jesus draws us closer to the divine heart and teaches us to settle down, to trust that he will watch over us and relieve our panic. He draws us into rest and peace even while we go about our business. . . so take a deep breath. Right now. Draw it into your lungs. Fill those tiny alveoli with the holy pneuma. Now exhale all the toxicity that is coursing through your veins. You are loved. You are safe. You are a child of God. Amen.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jane Hoskins permalink
    23October2012 13:26

    Amy, awesome message. All my life I have always borrowed problems that were not mine yet. A friend once told me, stop borrowing trouble, wait until it is at your door then take care of it. So with the Lord’s help and much prayer I am doing better and trusting the Lord who said He will never leave me or forsake me. Love your messages and you. Aunt Jane

    • 25October2012 06:37

      I love you too, Aunt Jane. Thanks for reading my ramblings and always encouraging me on this journey of faith. You are amazing and wonderful!

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