When Your Mind is Racing…God is Able

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Woman's mind is racing
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Stress.  Worry.  Anxiety.  When our brains won’t stop, and we are kept up at night.  I don’t know about you, but I tend to go on a loop, running a scenario or a situation through my head over and over again until I feel that I am going crazy.

I can’t tell you how often I have to interrupt this cycle, apologize and repent for my runaway brain. Then divert my attention to something a lot less………intense.

How do you shut your mind off?

We all have our tricks, right?  Counting sheep, mindless scrolling, diversion t.v. ………my go to is a silly alphabet game I came up with when I was young – pick a theme and run it through the alphabet (A is for apple, B is for banana, C is for cherry….you get the picture).

But what if I were to tell you that there is a better way?  God has asked us to cast our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7).  What if, instead of endless worry and wasted sleep, we stop overthinking and trust God.

Trusting in God’s abilities is hard for a lot of us who struggle with letting go.  For whatever reason, we believe that if we can only worry it to death, we’ll be able to figure it out.  Or maybe we don’t trust that God will do it the way we want it done (like we know best or something).  For some of us, we don’t believe in God’s goodness, or in His endless love, or in His care for little insignificant you.

Exceedingly abundantly above - Rest in God's ability

There are a few situations in my life that, even though I pray for them religiously, feel beyond help.  These specific problems seem beyond His grasp, and It’s hard to trust that God is capable (or maybe even willing). 

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul pretty clearly lays out why to stop worrying and start trusting God. Because HE IS ABLE!!!  And not only is He able, He is able to do EXCEEDINGLY ABUNDANTLY ABOVE all we ask or think.  WOW.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.   

Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV)

This means that whatever you can imagine praying for (or can’t imagine praying for), He is able to do so much more.  Sit on that for a moment, would you?  Let that sink in.

RELATED RESOURCE – GOD IS ABLE by Priscilla Shirer – This is a fairly short and easy read which tears into Ephesians 3:20-21 highlighting that God can do immeasurably more than all we ask.  I highly recommend it as a deeper dive study.

Is God really able to do all things?

When your mind is racing God is able

You better believe your patootie He is.  Nothing is impossible with God.  The Bible is full of examples where God had heard the prayers of His people and answered them in a greater and more magnificent way:

  • The Israelites prayed for deliverance from Egyptian slavery.  God not only answered their prayer (in a miraculous way in and of itself) but also went exceedingly abundantly above and burdened the Egyptian’s hearts to give them their articles of gold, silver and clothing on their way out of town…………….Exodus 2:23-25, 12:31-36
  • The Israelites again cried out for relief, this time from the oppression of the Midianites.  God went exceedingly abundantly above by raising up Gideon and whittling his army down to a mere 300 before leading them into a victorious battle with only torches, clay jars and trumpets………Judges 6:6-8:28
  • Hannah prayed many years for a son, promising to dedicate him to the Lord’s service should she conceive.  God answered her prayer by not only providing her son, Samuel, but also went exceedingly abundantly above by blessing her later with three more sons and two daughters………….1 Samuel 1:1-28, 2:18-21
  • In another cry out to the Lord, Israel prayed for salvation from the Philistines.  God heard their plea and, going exceedingly abundantly above, won the battle against a giant with a young shepherd and his sling…………1 Samuel 17:1-58
  • Elizabeth and Zacharias prayed for many years into their old age for a child.  God answered their prayers, but not just with any child. He went exceedingly abundantly above with giving them the boy who would prepare the way for Christ Himself.  Because of this blessing, Elizabeth was given the opportunity to encourage Mary during her most frightened moment……………Luke 1:5-45
  • At a wedding with family and friends, Mary approached her son with a problem.  The host had run out of wine for the guests.  Jesus protested, but in the end, did as His mom requested.  Not only did He turn the water into wine, He went exceedingly abundantly above and made it of the highest quality.  (I don’t know about you, but that is a glass of wine that I would like to try!!)……………John 2:1-11
  • Mary and Martha sent word to Jesus that their brother was dying.  They wanted Him to come and heal him.  But Jesus waited until Lazarus had died and then went exceedingly abundantly above and raised him from the dead…………….John 11:1-44
  • When Peter was arrested by King Herod and awaited his execution, many in the church prayed constantly.  God heard their prayers and went exceedingly abundantly above by sending an angel the night before his impending death to break his chains and lead him out of prison while everyone around him slept…………….Acts 12:1-19

If God can do all of these things, for all of these people, He can do your things too.  God answers better than we ask, because God can see the picture that is bigger than what we ask.

For this reason, we shouldn’t be confused between the words “can” and “will”.  God can see the greater picture at work, so He may not answer your prayer the way you would like.  Just because He CAN and is ABLE, doesn’t mean that He will do it.  But we can trust that if He does answer it differently, then there is a reason for it.

RELATED POST: WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY YOU SHOULD PRAY FOR?

Rest in God

The next time you find yourself wondering how to stop waking up in the middle of the night, or wondering how to not overthink, remember that God is able.  Whatever it is, whomever it is, God can handle it (or them) way better than you can. 

I was reading the book Kitchen Table Counseling by Muriell L. Cook and Shelly Cook Volkhardt the other day.  In the third chapter, they mention a passage from Jesus’ ministry that I was well acquainted with, but in a way that I hadn’t yet considered.  The passage is Mark 2:1-12 and depicts the moment in Jesus’ teaching when a paralytic’s friends lower him through the roof to Jesus’ feet.

Instead of focusing on the paralytic, she focuses on his friends.  The friends whose only job was to lay their loved one at the feet of Jesus.  Worrying over him, thinking about him on loop, stressing about his disability throughout the night, none of these things would have healed him.

And Jesus’ response?  When He saw THEIR faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you” (vs. 5).  The paralytic’s faith came into question later, when Jesus told him he was healed and asked him to get up and walk.

God's Ability - Is God really able to do all things?

Our job, our ONLY job, is to lay our requests at Jesus’ feet.  Only here is where the worrying can cease.  This is where true rest lies.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.   

Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV)

For more information on who God is, and what He could mean for your life, please see the blog post, Why is Jesus Important?  Please know that I’ll be praying for you as you embark on this crucial journey!

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