I love to jog in the early hours of the morning. Often, when I reach a certain spot, I hear a rooster crowing. The first time I heard it, I thought, ‘Who has a rooster in our neighborhood?’
I had a good idea of whose backyard he resided in until, on another jog, I ran a different route and heard the crowing coming from another neighborhood adjacent to our subdivision.
I got on the computer and posted on nextdoor.com, “Does anybody else hear a rooster in the early morning in either of these two neighborhoods (I named them both)?” I received no response, and I no longer heard the rooster either. I thought my inquiry had contributed to his relocation or, even worse, his demise.
Several weeks later, I heard him again. Happy and relieved I thought, ‘He’s still with us!’ His location, though, is still a mystery.
My bird encounter reminded me of the story of the neurotic rooster. He believed if he was not awake to crow at just the right time, the sun would fail to rise, and it would be his fault. This anxious bird became so fixated on what he believed he could control that he suffered from insomnia and experienced a nervous breakdown. The distressed rooster misunderstood the fact that his cock-a-doodle-doo had zero effect on the sun’s rising.
Most of us realize the sun doesn’t rise because of something we do every morning, but we do act like this rooster when we seek to control things that are simply out of our control. Our striving to be in control robs us of the peace we have in Christ. God wants us to relax!
Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10, NKJV).
Despite our tendency to never still, the best way to meet with God and to understand Him is to sit still in His presence. In the midst of life’s pressures, we need God’s peace.
On the night before Jesus’ crucifixion, He gathered His disciples in the Upper Room to give instruction and encouragement. These things I have spoken to you (everything from John 13 to this point), that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world (John 16:33, NKJV).
Did you catch the contrast? In the world, tribulation; In Me, peace.
The word tribulation describes a pressing, like a millstone crushing grain. Jesus promises the reality of our being pressed in this life. Yet, He said in Him, we can possess peace even as we face various pressures.
Jesus said earlier this peace He gives is the same peace He experiences. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27, NKJV).
Peace is not the absence of chaos; peace is tranquility in the midst of chaos.
P - Place your trust in God.
Jesus said our focus is either on the world or on Him. On circumstances or on Jesus. Choose, with God’s help, to focus on Jesus and trust in Him. When the world goes nuts, Jesus is still on His throne.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You (Isaiah 26:3, NKJV).”
E - Enjoy today.
One of our greatest joy-robbers is stewing over yesterday’s regrets and fearing tomorrow’s uncertainties. Mother Theresa said, “Yesterday is gone and tomorrow has not yet come; we must live each day as if it were our last so when God calls us, we are ready and prepared to die with a clean heart.”1
Wisely plan for tomorrow, but live for Him, glorify Him, and walk closely with Him today. Today is a gift so make it count.
A - Apply His promises.
According to bibleinfo.com, there are 3,573 promises recorded in God’s Word. dailybiblepromise.com invites us to sign up and receive a Bible promise every day.
It’s one thing to know God’s promises; it’s another thing to apply God’s promises.
C - Commit your way to the Lord.
Surrender control to the Lord. He knows us best and loves us most, working in all circumstances for our benefit and His glory.
“Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass (Psalm 37:5, NKJV).”
E - Employ Christian resources.
A law enforcement official told me one time that wearing a uniform makes him feel like he can’t reach out for help. He said he’s supposed to be the one helping others in need. Everyone has weaknesses. Everyone needs help at some point. There is no shame in reaching out for professional help, preferably from Christian counselors called and equipped to assist when we need additional support; grief counseling, managing depression, or processing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder issues.God is God. we are not. Relax. Rest in Him, and His peace will sooth the soul.
is a Christ follower, husband, dad, granddaddy, writer, runner, Atlanta Braves and Georgia Bulldogs fan, cancer survivor, and chocoholic. He lives in Fayetteville, Georgia, and serves as pastor of McDonough Road Baptist Church. He is the author of The Day I Nearly Met Dolly: Tales of Faith, Family and a Few Home Runs available on Amazon. Watch for his new book, The Most Wonderful News You Will Hear! Proclaiming the Glad Tidings of Christmas coming this Fall. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.