Things may seem out of control. People acting crazy, shifting priorities, rapidly changing work, the list goes on. Sometimes life is difficult and stressful and constantly changing in ways you thought it never would. Don't get swept away in trying to keep up. During a sermon, my pastor told a story about Napoleon. Napoleon and his army were out numbered, out gunned, and had a weak strategic placement. Napoleon settled in on the battlegrounds and did not attack. He did not retreat. He did not attempt a truce. He just waited. He planned his defenses and his attack. The opposing army grew impatient and being the stronger of the two armies decided to wait no more. They rushed into battle and were quickly defeated. Later on Napoleon said this about that specific encounter,
"If they knew the power of 15 minutes, they we would have lost the battle that day."
How many times in our lives do we rush into things? How many times do we react without planning? How often are we victorious in those situations? What can we study in the Bible to learn how to handle these situations?
Withdraw and Pray
But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
Luke 5:15-16 (ESV)
My Boss need this now...the customers are complaining...I need to handle...my kids are...Yes, yes, yes, life is happening and at times it feels like everyone needs something from you. Jesus went through the same thing. Thousands of people searched him out, traveled long distances, and often did all this while bringing along sick and injured love ones. Did Jesus let the crowds dictate what He did and when? No. Jesus knew that everyone would benefit by first taking a step back.
Jesus did not simply go to a quiet place to relax, He had a purpose in retreating. He needed to talk to His Father. Jesus needed a place where He could think of what to say and have the ability to hear God's response.
For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
Ephesians 2:18 (ESV)
Through Jesus Christ we have the same access to His Father, who is our Father as well! Praise Jesus! We can, like Jesus, withdraw from the stresses of life, find a quiet place, and discuss how to handle things with God.
Does God Really Want Me To Talk To Him About This
Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
"...in EVERYTHING..." in every situation, with every pressure you face, with every demand made on you, in everything talk to God. When you have this conversation, don't focus on the negative. Don't focus on the stress. Don't use this as an opportunity to vent. Instead, talk to God with a focus of thankfulness. Let Him know you looked for Him in the situation and are grateful that He was there.
Will God hear me? Yes. The verse says "The Lord is at hand". The term "at hand" means near or on call. God is here for you. He wants you to use Him as your strength (Psalm 28:7-8, Exodus 15:2, Philippians 4:13).
What's in it for me? That's a simple one, peace. When you withdraw and pray,the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. You will have peace in the storm and you will be seen as a reasonable, gentle, and kind person.
When life's storms rage around you and you find yourself on the brink of losing it. Take 15 minutes, walk away, and talk to God about it.