Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Have you ever been anxious before? Dictionary.com defines "Anxiety" as "a state of uneasiness or tension caused by apprehension of possible future misfortune, danger, etc; worry." Feeling anxious has to be one of the worst feelings ever. Have you ever been near someone who is feeling anxious? Just today I was with a client who began to experience anxiousness over potential fears in social settings. The "what if's" of life began to take over his mind and I could see him beginning to sweat, his breaths began to get more shallow and his eyes widened with a distinct stare. I literally could "see the fear in his eyes."
Anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad.
This man's heart was literally being weighed down by his anxiety. As I saw him struggling, I began to think to myself, "I am no different from this man." There have often been times when my heart has been weighed down by worry. Unfortunately, too often I have fallen victim to this worry and let it affect my mind, emotions and even physical health. As I began to speak soft comforting words to him and use deep breathing techniques to help calm him down, I wondered, "What am I using to comfort myself?"
I think there is a reason why the Bible addresses worry and why it is so important that we battle against the worry that so easily tries to weigh us down. I think that worry is a natural human feeling. As humans, we naturally worry about a multitude of things at any age. When I was growing up it was mostly "Will 'they' like me?", "Will I ever have a boyfriend?", "Am I going to make it through this grade?" to "What will I major in?", "Will I have enough money for college?" to "Was this the right choice?", "Will I make enough money for rent/groceries/travel?", "Should I get married?". Worry has been my constant companion.
Sometimes I like to think that I don't worry as much as "this or that person," but I have recently come to a painful truth. I am a worrier. My worry has gotten so bad that I went to see the doctor because of severe stomach pains (a build up of too much acid in my system).
To break it down simply, I am fully aware that worry = lack of trust in God. A recent Bible App. I downloaded sums it up perfectly.
"[Worry] does not mean that you don't take responsibility for the things you are supposed to to handle; it just means that you know when you stop and God begins."
The awesome thing about all of this is, I don't have to feel powerless when faced with worry. Bible reading has always been a struggle for me. I LOVE the Bible, but when it comes to reading it consistently, I struggle. However, God has been supplying me with the strength to read the Bible every morning before work. I wake up to God's word speaking peace into my heart.
Anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad.
This verse is SO true. Whether you believe in God or not, if you have ever been worried about something, you have felt the weight of it on your heart. Now, think about the feeling you get when a good word is spoken to you... "Everything is going to be ok", "You are going to make it through this", "I am here for you".... BAM! A glad heart is born!
There are so many verses in the Bible that proclaim these truths that hold the power to take a heart that is weighed down with the worries of this life and make it glad. I have experience the peace and power God has over worry, and though I still struggle (often more than I'd like), I know that God is renewing me day by day and helping me trust in His control over my life.
What a blessing it is to experience a glad heart.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I think so. I once heard that the worshipper of God is truly revealed when one continues to worship God in weakness. A no-brainer, one might think, or at least I did when I first heard the phrase. But here I am. My heart is crushed and my eyes sore from crying.
Tonight a truth was revealed to me, and not just any truth. The very truth revealed to me was my greatest fear. I am kind of in shock at the moment. So many emotions and yet a strange numbness at the same time. Could this numbness be the very peace of God? I hope.
To have the power to forgive someone for the wrong done to you is quite a dangerous position to find yourself in. The battle of the flesh to have it's way is strong, but God is stronger. "It's not fair!, I deserve more!, I deserve revenge!" screams my flesh. Yet in whispers stronger than any scream, a still small voice repeats, "Dear child, remember what I have done for you. Remember my perfect plan. Discover my perfect peace." Because God has forgiven me for everything, past, present, and future, it has always been my strong conviction when in the position to forgive others, to do it...
"Therefore as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."
I think it is quite amazing how God prepares His children to walk through the fire, and prepares their hearts for all things. Even in in tears as I write this, I look back and see how God has been preparing me for this moment. I find peace, hope, and strength in his word and will continue to follow Him throughout my struggle.
your prayer versus questioning is much appreciated.
grace and peace.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
"Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the LORD ?'
Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God"
This proverb is hauntingly true to the prayer of my heart at the moment. This verse has such insight into the human mind. If I have plenty of money, there is no need for me to be dependent on the Lord the way I am dependent when I am wondering how I am going to be able to make rent and still be able to eat the following week. It's funny to me how abundance of money can make one dishonor God by not being dependent on him and the lack of money can dishonor the name of God by causing one to steal or not trust Him to provide, but just enough daily, satisfies the soul. I am finding that this concept isn't just true of money, but also of grace, patience, joy, contentment and love.
Searching for a job I've found, is quite a discouraging thing (at least it has been in my case). Daily submitting resumes, filling out applications, attending interviews... "selling" myself to someone about why they should hire me. It's humbling for sure.
Part of me says, ENOUGH! enough of this "humbling"!! But, i know, to be humble is to be like Jesus, so i find myself at the end of the day saying, "ok, Lord, I will keep going. Thank you for the lessons today. 'Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the LORD? Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God' "
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
18-19When Jesus saw that a curious crowd was growing by the minute, he told his disciples to get him out of there to the other side of the lake. As they left, a religion scholar asked if he could go along. "I'll go with you, wherever," he said. 20Jesus was curt: "Are you ready to rough it? We're not staying in the best inns, you know."
These verses made me wonder what Jesus would say to me. I realize that so much of my life is based on comfort. How i live, what i eat, what i wear, my friends, my car... EVERYTHING. I wouldn't exactly call myself a "roughin it" kind of girl either. I like makeup and dresses and things that smell nice. I wonder what Jesus thinks of the life i've been living? I have always wondered how "sold out" i need to be or if i have to be a certain kind of person. Does Jesus want me to sell everything i have? give away my car and take the bus to work? stop wearing makeup and stop buying shoes (oh shoes! i haven't bought any in SO long!)? I know i am probably sounding pretty shallow right now and making my faith sound like it is going to be judged on how little i have or how "rough" i appear, but these are things i think about. Would Jesus reply curtly to me, "You know, there is no makeup or nail salons where i am going and you'll probably have to wear the same clothes for the rest of the journey, are you sure you want to come?" Or if Jesus came to me and said "sell everything you own and come follow me", i would like to say that i would do it in a second. But does my life now, my possessions now, my actions now, show a life of one totally surrendered? Where is the line?
The beauty of all of these questions and thoughts rolling around in my head is that Jesus hears them and has answers. I know that God created me and i am precious in his sight. He wants what is best for me and wants me to have an abundant life in him. I pray that as i continue growing, the things of this world and my earthly possessions will hold less and less value to me. It's so easy for me to get trapped in accumulating things and become a slave to possessions. i would like to say that even if everything i owned were to be burnt up tomorrow that i would be content because i have Christ but honestly, i am far from that point. if i walked outside and up to my car tomorrow and found it a heap of ashes, i would probably freak out. If i looked into my closet and found nothing but scraps and smoke i would probably cry. Does Jesus point his finger and condemn me for that reaction? No! Those are my reactions now, but i don't think God wants me to stay there. He wants me to grow and change and view things differently. One day i will.
What a patient and caring and graceful God i serve! One who loves me despite my daily failures, silly questions, and distractions.
Although sometimes it is not so fun thinking about how far i have to go and how much i need to learn, it is kind of nice each morning when i wake to hear Jesus simply say:
"Give me today."
Friday, May 22, 2009
i am a little crazy i know this.
welp. one thing i would like to write about is finishing up the Joshua Wilderness Institue at Hume Lake. I graduated on Sunday, May 11. It still feels like a dream. The whole thing. I initially went to the Joshua Wilderness Institute because i felt the Lord calling me there. People ask... what does that mean? God called you? Yes, he called me. At the time i was on a missions trip in Thailand and studying through the book of Matthew. In Matthew i was reading all about Jesus' life and ministry and was SO fascinated with how Jesus spent 30 years of his life preparing for his 3 years of Ministry. 30 years for 3! When i look at my life, i want to serve the Lord. I do. It's all i want. Whether in a jungle in Africa or suburbia, USA, i want to serve him. I realize that is a BIG statement, especially with the God i serve. I say this because i serve a God that asks his followers to give up EVERYTHING (fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers) even their VERY lives to follow after Him, DAILY (Matt.10:37-39, 16:24-25). Therefore, i must ask myself daily, are you giving up everything to follow after God? The truth is, i'm not, not faithfully at least, some days are better than others. However, life is a process, a process of Sanctification (becoming holy) and God is faithful EVERYDAY to be my teacher, even when i am not faithful to pick myself up and follow after him. So, the Joshua program was another step for me in the direction towards a life fully devoted to Him. I left everything, my job, family, friends, life, to follow Him into this "wilderness" of an experience, and He met me there in BIG ways. I experienced God as my defender, my daily bread, my friend, my comfort, my counselor, my sustainer, my teacher, and revealer of Truth. The more i learn about God, the more i realize that i know nothing and that there is SO much more to learn and know and grow in, and that to me is exciting. It's a reason to live. This world is so temporary. This life is so temporary. This day is SO temporary. But a life spent glorifying God is eternal. ETERNAL. I can't even grasp that.
i confess that i am afraid. i am so afraid of what the future may hold for me, but how can i live any other way besides for the Lord? He has chosen me, i am His. He is God and i am not. He holds the Universe in His hands. So as i look back on the last 9 months i spent living at Hume Lake in the Joshua Wilderness Institute, i say...Thank you Lord, thank you SO much, for everything, it was all in your plan.