When a control freak loses control, all that’s left is a freak. That used to be such an overwhelming truth in my life, that I had a t-shirt made of it.
And that’s where I lived for years. Trying to control things and failing – and freaking out.
But the catch phrase only stated the problem. It stopped there because I knew the problem, but I didn’t know the solution.
I don’t wear that t-shirt anymore, because now I know the solution.
Blessed is the one…
whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
Trees don’t freak out.
I have learned that when my mind is spinning out of control, the one thing that will always calm it down is God’s Word.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”
If I can catch the freak-out as it’s building, then sometimes I can talk my mind into trusting God with the situation.
Just reading one or two verses won’t do it, because my brain has already gone into full danger mode and flooded my body with adrenaline. But if I counter with a flood of God’s Word, I can sometimes move my mind away from the instinctual response and to a more reasoned response.
A flood of His Word means reading more than one verse. It means reading certain verses over and over again. And often, I have to read them out loud because my mind won’t cooperate unless my mouth tells it to.
The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.
It’s not easy, but it is possible. God said so.
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Sometimes, my emotions have so escalated that I’m no longer able to bring it back to a reasonable place. The thoughts in my mind are spinning so fast that it seems all I can do is hold on for the ride.
But even then, I’m not helpless. Because God’s Word is supernatural and doesn’t rely on my strength.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
God’s Word is God. When I bring my spinning mind to His Word, I’m exposing it to the Almighty God who created it.
When I’ve reached the point where I failed to convince my mind to accept the wisdom in God’s Word, I give up trying to convince it of anything.
At that point, I just turn on the faucet and let the water of the Word wash over my mind and trust His supernatural power to accomplish His Will.
What works best for me is to put in my earbuds, bring up the Bible on my phone, and set it to audio. I have my phone read the Word to me and pump it straight into my ears.
You rule over the surging sea;
when its waves mount up, you still them.
Even if I’m doing something else, like working at my desk or driving in my car, I trust that His Word is doing the job.
And it works. It may take a while, but if I don’t give up – if I keep forcing my mind to see and hear God’s Word – it will calm down.
Ideally, I fill my mind with His Word consistently every day so that I stop trying to control things and prevent the freak-out from happening at all. I’ve gotten much better at this over the last few years and they happen a lot less often now than they used to.
But they still happen. The good news is, His grace and mercy cover me even when I’m freaking out. And He provided everything I need to calm down again.
How do you use God’s Word to deal with extreme emotions?
Photo credit: skeeze