We live in a loud world. There’s a constant hum of movement, music, or conversation everywhere we go. Even if our environment is quiet, it’s hard to quiet all the noise of worry and anxiety in our hearts and minds.
In Isaiah 26:3, we're reminded that the key to finding peace in the middle of any situation is to keep our mind focused on God’s love. When we trust in that love, it brings peace. But to do that, we have to pay close attention to our thoughts. We have to think about what we are thinking about.
You’ll never find peace if you're living on a steady diet of anxiety and anger. It’s not one or two negative headlines or social media posts that bring anxiety; it’s the cumulative effect of all the noise in our world. It’s so subtle that we usually don’t realize how much stress is building.
That’s why it is so important that we regularly spend time filling our mind with God’s word. In Psalm 1, King David says that those who meditate on God’s word will be like a tree that's planted next to a water source. It isn't shaken and produces good fruit because it has internal strength. That’s a picture of what your life can look like when you spend regular times in solitude with God.
Solitude is mental stillness. That’s my definition, not the dictionary’s. I use that definition because, for many of us, it’s just not possible to be physically alone or far from the madding crowd on a regular basis. Being by yourself is optimal for solitude, and we do need to carve out time to be alone, but just being alone doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get any mental stillness. But when you choose to meditate on God’s word you can find mental stillness right in the middle of any situation.
There are lots of little moments throughout the day where you can practice finding mental stillness. Drive to work with the music off in your car. Spend a few minutes taking a walk and praying during your lunch break. Repeat scripture while you fold clothes.
If your mind starts to wander toward fear or worry or anger in those moments, shift your thoughts to God’s word. The good news is, if you can worry, you can meditate on scripture. Worrying is thinking about negative possibilities over and over. Meditation on scripture is thinking about God’s goodness and truth over and over. It's the same mental process, but you’ll get way better results focusing on God’s word.
Today, when you start to feel anxious or upset, take a deep breath, clear your mind of worry, and repeat today’s verse over and over to yourself. You’ll find peace flooding into your heart and mind because that's God's promise to you.