Want Peace? Cease Striving…

I love reading inspirational quotes. I consider them little nuggets of encouragement that make my day a little bit brighter. When I find one that causes me to laugh or smile, increases my confidence, or reminds me of a positive truth, I almost always have to share it with others. Whether I post it on FaceBook, Twitter, text or email, I just can’t seem to keep inspirational quotes to myself because I know somebody, somewhere will be encouraged when they read the quote just I was.

Because of my love for inspirational quote, recently when I came across a new app that said it would send inspiring quotes directly to my email every morning I couldn’t click, Sign me up fast enough.

Most of the quotes I have received so far have been pretty good at inspiring. They often encourage one to climb to new heights, believe in you and do the impossible. Who wouldn’t find inspiration in that?

However, last week I received a quote that didn’t inspire me at all. As a matter of fact for one brief moment I flinched, twitched and got that crazy look in my eye that I get sometimes when something doesn’t set right with me.

It was only six little words but it rubbed me all the wrong way. The quote, listed as coming from a Greek playwright Euripides (480 BC–406 BC) said, God helps him who strives hard.

When I read those words I had an instant flashback to all the striving I have done over the years. Whether it was as a child, a woman, mom, daughter, friend, employee or Christian, I spent countless hours “striving” for something along the lines of perfection. Quotes like stated by Euripides really made sense to me then. I believed God would help me be better and do better as long as I kept striving.

I am certain I would have spent my entire life striving if it wasn’t for God bringing a familiar scripture to my attention but in a different translation than I had read before. “Cease striving and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10 NASB.

For years I had read this scripture in the NIV translation which says it as, “Be still and know that I am God.” I always appreciated the verse and took it to mean that I needed to quiet my mind and trust God and so I strived to do so. But when I read the words, “Cease striving…” well that was downright shocking.

Cease Striving? But striving is what I do God, was my response to reading that translation.

Well do you want to know what the Almighty God of the universe, creator of heaven and earth spoke to my spirit in that moment, in that still small voice of His that is often missed when we’re too busy striving? God spoke to my heart and said, How’s that working out for you?

He got me there alright. All my striving over the years for some measure of perfection in one area of my life or the other hadn’t really worked out at all. Truth be told, most of the time, all it did was leave me exhausted. It wasn’t until I ceased striving so hard in my own efforts and simply chose to have faith in God and follow His way that things changed.

I know that our culture is bent on striving to be the best and do the best and when kept in proper perspective there’s nothing wrong with it. But if like Euripides you start to believe that God will only help you because of all your hard striving, then there’s a problem.

You want God’s help, you want His blessing? Then simply let your hands drop, let go, relax, cease striving and know that He is God and that He will take of you.
Now that and inspirational quote you can count on.

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