I have an over thinking problem. I am a reserved person with an outgoing imagination. I take my thoughts, wash them in worry, hang them out to dry and wear them all day long. As a result, I often feel uncomfortable and anxious.
I know better. But many of us know better and still behave the opposite of our “knowings.” Even demons mentioned in scripture knew God – they just didn’t trust and love Him.
“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder” (James 2:19).
“‘Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!’” (Mark 1:23-24).
When our thinking is directed by our expectations, we become a collection of soft truths and hard emotions. Energy is quickly drained, and our mindset becomes as fickle as our ability to control our circumstances.
There are days I feel more intimate with worry than with the Lord. Time is spent either way, and I find this question humbling: Am I a good steward of my time?
Despite my flawed self, there remains a bloom of renewing hope that the Holy Spirit planted deep within my soul – one that cannot be extinguished.
“…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength…” (Isaiah 40:31).
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
God sustains me because of who He is - not because of what I can and cannot control with any measure of success. What may appear as chaos to me is a design of purpose – the purpose being to glorify God.
I must choose to respond to life according to His promises. I must evaluate my behavior and ask myself, “Does this thought fit into who God says I am?” And, “Do I trust God today or simply believe in God?”
Last night my daughter invited me to her room to listen to her play a piece she has been practicing on her flute. I was tired and on my way to bed but didn’t want to miss the opportunity to accept an invitation from my teenager. (Those with teens know that invitations often go through dry spells depending upon moods and schedules.)
Earlier in the week, I took my daughter to a doctor’s appointment after school. She was hungry and tired but had the self-discipline to take out her sheet music and study it as she ate a snack in the car.
As I glanced over at the music, it looked as if my daughter was staring at a crammed chaotic string of rises and falls. I became stressed just looking at the page. I couldn’t understand her calm as she tapped her finger against her thigh, playing the notes in her head.
And here I find myself once again looking at this same page, now propped up on her school books as she waits for me to take a seat at the end of her bed. Her bed is as messy as the page, and I must push things aside to find room to sit.
Then she plays.
She closes her eyes throughout most of the piece, absorbing the gift of each note. And I am left with a renewing – no longer seeing the chaos but hearing the beauty of the song.
“Are you crying, Mama?” she asks.
“Yes, I think I am,” not noticing the tears upon my face.
Like sheet music, I often see what I do not understand rather than trust what God is orchestrating in my life.
When I doubt God and trust my fears, I see chaos entangling me, feel anxious, and hear defeating thoughts.
When I trust God and doubt my fears, I see God’s hand supporting me, feel loved, and hear the song of hope.
God calls us near to Him - to trust beyond what is seen; to believe in the gift of each note.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
May we accept God’s invitation and be renewed today.
SGLY, dear readers.
(Smile, God Loves You.)