As a college student, I am well acquainted with anxiety. Assignments, studying, time with friends, working out, working a job, and thinking about the future are all capable of making even the strongest man anxious.
In the professional world, there are work assignments and projects, emails and zoom calls, all needing immediate attention. Our families require conflict management and intentionality. Married couples often need to designate time to pursue their marital relationship.
Be still, the Spirit whispers. I’ve got this.
In the rush of everyday life, we are so quick to be caught up in what I jokingly call “the busy.” There are a thousand and one things that require our attention, and this state will not change as we grow older. As TCKs, we often bear an even heavier load – juggling intercultural work, culture adaptation, or even language lessons. We often have more to worry about when it comes to relationship building, identity issues, and future plans.
Your life is in My hands. See Me work.
“Of course Christ is at the forefront of my life. I’m here, aren’t I?” These words are quick to escape my mouth. I take a sip of black coffee and lean back in my desk chair. A theology textbook lies open on my lap.
How much time did you spend in the Word today? the Spirit whispers.
I am often too quick to boast about the priority I give Christ in my life. Instead of spending substantial time reading Scripture and praying, I often put my attention elsewhere. A shame, is it not? I fail to rest in the One who has made me and instead fill my time with all sorts of activities.
Of course, my day is filled and I would certainly call myself busy, but even the busiest man alive takes time to breathe. According to Finty.com, Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft and one of the most influential men on the planet, sleeps at least seven hours a night and spends his evenings resting with his family. Rest is a priority for even the busiest.
Yet between all of this time resting and working, where do we put Christ? On the ladder of priorities, where does our Savior fall? A basic question, perhaps, but at face value, I think we need to genuinely consider the answer.
Many genuine Christians would likely state with little hesitation that Christ is the highest priority in their life. Again, I am no exception, but in order to fully live as one in love with Christ, we have to learn to walk through the day completely and fully resting in the riches of His grace. Prioritizing Christ through the day, in all things, is a great necessity and a beautiful calling. This task is impossible without the working of Christ, yet this is our calling and it is good.
Ministry often makes this reminder all the more difficult. As one serves Christ and the church, it becomes even easier to hide behind the “well, I’m serving God, doesn’t that count?” excuse that many use to avoid pursuing their personal relationships with Christ. When times become difficult, it often becomes even harder. In the midst of difficulty, a natural impulse is to rest and prioritize our bodies and minds. As TCKs, self-preservation is often a reflex.
As we rest in Christ, we cannot forget to spend consistent time in both prayer and thanksgiving. Philippians 4:6–7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (ESV).
Jesus calls us to present our requests to God in prayer and also in thanksgiving, not in a few situations but in every situation, at all times through the day, in all circumstances. As we turn our hearts to Christ and lift up prayers of thanksgiving and petition, His peace becomes all the more apparent. Draw near to Him and His presence throughout the day. Prioritize Christ, and your life will change.
“But Father, I prayed for my brother this morning. I prayed even a few hours ago! I read my Bible as an assignment for class. Surely this counts?”
My coffee lies cold and unfinished. My neighbors probably think I’m crazy.
Calm your mind, Elisha. I am here. Walk with Me. I desire your heart.
Jesus reminds us in Matthew 6 that our heavenly Father delights in us. In fact, He cares implicitly about our lives, more than we can possibly imagine. There is no need to be anxious about the things of the world, for Christ calls us to rest in His love and mercy.
I need this reminder so much. I am so quick to forget the true beauty and light of the gospel, a truth that gloriously calls me out of myself and into the light of Christ. In my own arrogance, I forget that I have a Father who truly delights in me. I get caught up in the busyness and anxiety of this world, and rather than placing my anxieties on Him, I attempt to single-handedly bear the burden of living and growing in a culture that is not my own.
The gospel truly is beautiful, is it not? In all of my fears and failures, Christ takes my closed fist and opens it. Give it to me, He whispers. Let me bear your anxieties.
As we respond to Christ’s call to come out of the busyness and rush of our daily lives, we will find more opportunities to place our burdens on Him. Through this process, we begin to find true rest.
Prioritize Christ. Wake up in the mornings and pursue time with Him. Read your Bible, sing your worship music, go to church, and turn your heart toward Him when the day gets busy. Meditate on scripture and memorize verses. Battle your flesh and keep your heart turned toward Christ. His burden is easy and His yoke is light. He will take your burdens and anxieties and give you deep, meaningful rest. Make Him your priority today.
You are My dearly beloved child, and I delight in you.
I open my Bible and smile. “Father, You are mine. Draw me nearer to You today.”
TCKs for Christ: Director
lived in Uganda as a missionary for 16 years. His family has since relocated to West Virginia. He prefers to spend his time drinking coffee, writing, playing basketball, and reading. Elisha is now a third-year student at Boyce College, pursuing his Bachelors of Science in Communications with an emphasis in digital marketing. He is the current director of TCKs for Christ. Connect with him at Elisha McFarland or follow him on Instagram, @elisha.mcfarland.