Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Belief

You know what's hard? Living what you say you believe. I'm not talking about living to the interpretations someone else presents of your beliefs. I mean just the things you say you believe. Exactly as you say you believe them. When the sun has dropped behind gray clouds, it's hard.

Last summer I won a big battle with fear. I believe that "God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind."(2Tim. 1:7) Recognizing my compliance with the spirit of fear, helped me realize I could choose not to participate. When I firmly rejected fear's whisper in my ear, I slept without the torture of the irrational imagination. All was good.

I still believe that. I also know that the Bible says not to fear, not to worry, many, many times. I read "Do not worry about your life... Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?... Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matt. 6:25-34) "Do not be anxious about anything..."(Philippians 4:6) Anything. That probably includes what I see ahead.

So why am I struggling so hard with the perfect storm I see forming? And having just used that metaphor, do I not know that God can calm the storm with a word? (Mark 4:39) There might not even be a storm. I know in my head, but my heart is still troubled. And what comes to mind is "Let not your heart be troubled...". (John 14:1) So the battle of head and heart continues. I am fighting hard to squash worry and stay in the protection of "his wing". (Ps. 91:4) I want that "peace that transcends understanding to guard my heart and my mind" (Phil. 4:7) and I want it to be real through and through, not just words I speak. I don't want to "lean on my own understanding" (Prov. 3:5) either - because what I know about what I see is actually very little and that probably means I'm creating a worst case scenario.

The Bible says I am "pressed but not crushed". (2Cor. 4:8) I feel crushed. Not flat, but something more than pressed. I know that God's timing is perfect and I'd like to rest easy in that. But the truth is - I'm not resting easy. And with that, I'm not living out what I say I believe. That bothers me.

This tension. It goes away when I give thanks. When I hold myself to today and thank God for Carrie's adorable palms and her excitement to eat a banana. When I stop long enough to take in the green centers of the yellow flowers on the dining room table or the calming sounds of the birds singing outside. Even now, as I write these words the tension in my heart is easing. My shoulders are relaxing. Those bird songs are getting cuter and I find myself in a much better place. Perhaps that's why Philippians 4 says that thanksgiving comes before peace.

There's something in thanksgiving that works wonders. It forces me to be here in this house at this time - and not ahead two or three months in what is the absolute unknown, making up situations that may not be. Today, I will be thankful. Out loud. And I believe that what will follow is peace. trust. a tear-less night. joy. smiles. love. patience. perspective. and solid belief.

4 comments:

Ginger said...

I'm right there with you!!! Our job here is up at the end of the Summer, then it's back to town and the real world and a really slow economy with construction workers losing jobs left and right....I feel the tension creeping in. But looking back in thanks - God provided here and there, and He's taken care of us every.step.along.the.way. it builds that trust and I can tell the fear to 'get!'. I want to be here. present. now. Praying for you too. "Trust is the bridge from yesterday to tomorrow and thanks builds the planks to lay down across the bridge." or something like that... from Ann's book. Hugs dear friend.

Anonymous said...

Hi Julie,
I am back.... LOL
I have had problems with virus attacks on my computer and unable to respond to your posts. I had been reading them via my phone. Also my e-mails to you have been getting returned... new address?

I appreciate your words today very much. I am prayerfully considering retirement from teaching this year. I feel God asking me to go out on faith. The possibilities are endless for what I could do after teaching. At the moment the unknown is a little much to take. Thanks for today's post and encouragement through your words.

Much Love,
Suz

Jennifer said...

You have no idea how much I needed to read this post at this very moment. Thank you. :)

MomBrose said...

Standing in agreement with you. Worry does not empty tomorrow of it's troubles, it empties today of it's strength. I say those words on a daily basis to myself.