Too blessed to be stressed? It has a nice ring to it, but sometimes the devil catches me slipping. This week, I had to step back and remind myself that God is the one making moves, not me. Proverbs 16:3 took me back to a time when I understood that very well and I want to keep that understanding alive.
    Commit your activities to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
    Proverbs 16:3 CSB

    Introduction (00:00:56)

    Hey guys! Welcome back to the PSALMS to God podcast! Proverbs 16:3 says "Commit your activities to the Lord, and your plans will be established." I think we all know this; we've heard it—we even say this to other people. But when it comes down to the moment, it's hard. It's hard to just let things go and assume that they're going to happen. We get stressed out, we worry, we panic, and you know, we take years off of our lives worrying about things—and half the time the things don't even matter.

    That's what I've been doing this week. Even though I know better—I know way better—but this week... Y'all, it was a week. It was a long week, and I didn't know if I was going to make it to the end of this week. So at my job—I'm a software engineer, for those of you who don't know—it is deadline week, and one of the things that was due this week was a major defect with one of the features that I developed. This defect was found some time in December, it's kind of been lingering since just before the holidays, but I was pretty convinced that I knew what was wrong with it and that it wasn't going to be that hard to fix. So I made the promise that I would have it done by today so that they could move forward with the next phase next week. When I made that promise, one of the things I did not know was that one of the experts in the area that I was working in at my job was going to be gone for 2 weeks. So a lot of things that could have been solved just by asking him a question, took me days of Googling and researching to figure out. So for the past couple of weeks I've been, you know, kind of ticking away at this problem, and pretty much all of the assumptions I made were correct. What I thought was wrong was what was wrong. How I thought we should solve it is how we ended up solving it. But just the whole timeline was way off; I was way off of that math.

    So this past week—because I wanted to be true to my word (the Bible also says "let your yeses be yes and your no's be no"[1] when it comes to promises) I made a promise, kind of bound to keep the promise, so I was like let me stay and get this done. Usually, I work from 7:30 to 4:30 I've been working from 7:30 to 7:00, 7:30 to 7:30. Last night, I worked from 7:30 to 8:30,[2] and that was not fun. I know the nurses out there can testify to this, 'cause y'all work 12-hour shifts all the time, and I don't know how y'all do it—so shout out to y'all for being troopers and taking care of us, even the crazy people. I don't know how y'all do it.

    But this week, on top of putting in all of this extra time to try to get this defect resolved, I have been so stressed out about it. Like, there's just something about doing all this makes you tense. I temper was short. I was stressed out. I didn't really want to take the time to eat properly. I didn't really relax. I haven't slept well. It's just been a rough week.

    I felt bad about it, because I knew I shouldn't be worrying. I kept telling myself "Shiree, you're not supposed to worry! There are plenty of passages in the Bible that say do not worry. We are not created to worry. God is in charge of everything, why are you worrying?" And yet, I kept worrying—No matter how many times I told myself not to.

    So, I don't know if it was Wednesday or if it was yesterday—things are kind of blurring together at this point—but at some point, I stopped and started reading Bible verses about stress in the Bible.[3] and one of the verses I came to was this particular verse. And what's funny is when I read this verse, even though I already knew what the verse said, and I already knew that I shouldn't be worrying, and I felt bad about worrying, this verse brought to me a memory—a memory that I should have thought of from the jump, because it's one of the reasons that I know this verse is true. I don't just "believe" that God will establish any of your plans when you take it to Him and give it to Him, I know this.

    Previous Stressors (00:05:58)

    And the reason I know this is because three years ago, I was in the middle of my Ph.D. program. I was working on the sensors that—I was creating a device using sensors—and the sensors I was using we're not working the way they were supposed to. I could not get them to behave according to the specification, and it wasn't my code, or at least it didn't seem like it was my code. I couldn't figure out the issue. My advisor couldn't figure out the issue. The other students in my lab couldn't figure out the issue. We called the manufacturer of the sensor; they couldn't figure out the issue. They had never seen it behave that way. They had absolutely no idea what was wrong with it. They almost thought that the part was fried for a minute. And after beating my head up against the wall for, I don't know maybe 2 months, trying to fix this sensor and get it to work the way I wanted it to work, I was just defeated. I went home one day—I was completely deflated. I was ready to quit the program. I was ready to give up. I just did not want to go back and do it again; I did not want to try anymore. I... I was done, and when I went to bed that night, I stopped to pray.

    And I was talking to God, and I was just venting all of my frustration. And I surrendered it. You know, I was like, there's only two things that can be happening in this situation: either God was telling me to stop, and He was saying, "This is not for you. This is not what I want you to do," and God was closing that door. If God was closing that door, then nobody can open it, because God is the highest authority and if God doesn't want me to do it, I'm not going to do it. It's just not going to happen, and so I was saying a prayer for that scenario and if that was the case. You know, I was like I accept it and I will move on. But the other side of the coin was it could have just been the devil being the devil, and just trying to get me to doubt God. Trying to get me to doubt myself. Trying to make me frustrated and to do something that God did not want me to do, and in that scenario I prayed that God would stop the devil from doing what he was doing. Because God has the ultimate say, and the devil can only do what God allows him to do. So, I was venting my frustrations and I was saying, "if this is for me, if you want me to do this, I need you to tell the devil to sit his butt down, because I just cannot fight this battle anymore.”

    And the very next day, when I went in to the lab, I figured out the answer in like an hour and a half—or rather I should say God told me the answer within an hour and a half. It was solved. He not only showed me what was wrong with it, He told me how to fix it, and suddenly it wasn't a problem anymore. I was done. From that moment on, I knew that God was in my corner for that degree, and it gave me the confidence to basically assert that I was not going to collect data for my research over the Sabbath, and that was a big deal because my advisor is not religious. And within the scientific community, they don't really care about beliefs. They care about numbers and science and what you can prove. Saying, "I'm not going to collect data on this day because God told me to rest on this day" is not really a scientific explanation, it's not really acceptable explanation.[4] So I was... When I was pitching this, I didn't really know how this would go over in terms of publishing papers, even if my advisor said "fine, okay"—'cause you also have to publish papers—but it turned out absolutely fine, because when you "commit your activities to the Lord your plans will be established." It's written in His Word, and I committed those plans to Him and He established them, and that's how I graduated.

    Wrap Up (00:10:17)

    And so this week when I was banging my head against the wall, trying to keep this promise that I probably should not have made, I knew in the back of my head that God could do it. And I needed to see this verse—this is why I'm trying to memorize some verses, so that this is on the forefront of my mind and not all the way in the back of my head somewhere—but I knew that if I would just give it to Him, then He would fix it. And like always, He fixed it. He fixed the problem. I met the deadline. My co-workers met their deadline, and everything is fine, it's great.

    It's now the Sabbath, and it's time to rest. And to enjoy and to worship and to celebrate all that God has done this week.

    So I wanted to share that with you guys, because I know that you guys will experience similar things and like me you'll probably forget that you already know that He will handle it. But whenever you get the chance to remember, remember Proverbs 16, particularly verse 3 but take a look at verse 4 too, and just commit the problem to God. I promise you, it will be so much easier that way.

    So I will see you guys next time. Thank you for tuning in. Don't forget to subscribe! You can find the transcript for this particular episode at

    References and Footnotes

    1. Matthew 5:37
    2. 7:30am to 8:30pm, that is
    3. I'm blaming this redundancy on the lack of sleep from this week. My bad y'all
    4. To them, that is. It's perfectly acceptable to me.
    Published on Friday, January 18, 2019
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