My husband and I import quality grafted fruit trees.
About twice a year, we import a huge quantity of fruit trees. This coming weekend is one of those weekends. Months leading up to this weekend requires insane amount of logistics coordinating with over 700 clients we work with, various farmers who are grafting trees for us, truck drivers, farm workers, etc. It is crazy! Yesterday alone my daughter actually counted – 272 people had called or messaged me on Whatsapp before lunch just to ask questions about this weekend’s upcoming delivery. That was after literally NO sleep the night before because we were so busy finalising spreadsheets to make sure no one who has paid will be left out on collection day.
To compound the stress of 272 calls and texts, last minute logistics preparing for the trees, operating on no sleep, one of the truck drivers who we had already paid wasn’t answering our calls nor returning messages. Imagine. I have given my word to hundreds of clients that I will have their trees here by the weekend. I have accepted their payment for those trees. The truck driver is crucial to the success of this.
I began panicking! I mean my heart started beating faster. My head started to hurt. I started sweating. I was on the verge of tears worrying about all the things that could go wrong. This business has so many risks involved because so much is outside of my control. As I am panicking about this, people kept calling or writing to ask if we had extra trees because they never got around to putting in an order. I needed to update spreadsheets because my bookkeeper was at the farm with my husband preparing for the clients with compacting a parking area and extending the shade net.
For months, I have been handling all this stress but yesterday when I could not get in touch with the truck driver and hadn’t slept – it just all sunk in and words can’t describe the sense of overwhelming anxiety I suddenly felt. Thankfully, I had a friend here at the house who is helping me with homeschooling my children. Seeing I was literally losing it, she wisely suggested she take my phone and field my phone calls for 30 minutes and I just go lay down and leave all the drama to just cool off. I think she was worried I was going to have a nervous breakdown the way I was so stressed out. As I laid there, with my heart beating a million miles an hour and my brain racing with all the bad things that could go wrong the Lord quietly whispered to me, “Ashley, come to me when you are heavy burdened and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). Philippians 4:6-7 states, “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
1 Peter 5:7 states, “Cast your anxiety onto Him for He cares for you.” Matthew 6:33-34 states, “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
I repeated these verses over and over in my mind – until I believed them. I really had NO control over that which was outside of my control. Consequently, to stress over it would do NOTHING to help the situation but it was physically affecting me. I chose to believe that God knows I do seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and as a result I can “cash in” on the promises of Jesus that I do not NEED to worry about tomorrow because God will take care of the details. I decided in this situation to, by prayer and petition and WITH THANKSGIVING, present my requests to God. Thanking Him for the opportunity to do business and praying my word would be one people would trust and that everyone needed to make this work would keep their end of the deal and not make me a liar to our clients. I decided to cast my anxiety onto Him convinced to my core that HE DOES CARE. And slowly, my breathing slowed. My head stopped spinning and peace returned to my mind and joy to my life.
My friends – I give you this very real example because I don’t know what you are going through today. Maybe you are also having situations which are outside your control which are stressing you out. I wanted to testify that God’s word is TRUE… in real situations that REAL people go through creating REAL anxiety. God can STILL make a way. God can still your heart and quieten your mind and bring peace that SURPASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING. Your job in all this – in every way, every day – seek GOD FIRST and SEEK FIRST HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. This peace is a benefit of the LIGHT and living in Righteousness and a gift of the Holy Spirit. It is a FREE gift and available to anyone at any time – even on the bed of one stressed out farmer like myself!
*Ashley Thaba is a popular motivational speaker, team building facilitator, author and the Producer of a hit TV show offering practical advice to strengthen families and improve marriages! Episodes of her show can be downloaded from her website – www.ashleythaba.com.You can view some of her work on her YouTube channel: Ashley Thaba. You can buy three of her books, Dive In, Making Marriages Fun, and Conquering the Giants, on her website. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Facebook at: Talking with the Thabas