Tag Archive | worry

Wait For It

I tried an exercise recently that involved writing every day on a random subject for 12 minutes. I called it my Daily Dozen. I asked my Facebook friends to give me a one-word prompt that I would use, in the order I received them. I was overwhelmed with 88 responses.

IMG_5878So I spent nearly 3 months writing every day. I loved the process as it really stretched me to talk about words as diverse as “abide” and “zombies,” from “chihuahuas” to “cats.” It was amazing to me how often the word for the day aligned with the calendar. As my 3 months of daily posts came to an end at the beginning of January, it was very appropriate that the word would be “waiting.”

We had been waiting for our first grandchild to be born. And wouldn’t you know it, he was a week late.

We don’t like waiting for things.

Waiting to hear news of whether our kid got into the college of their choice.

Waiting for tests results from a biopsy.

Waiting for a job.

Waiting for God to provide a spouse.

Waiting can cause unease and anxiety. Especially when we’re not sure what the outcome will be. Our minds usually go to the worst-case scenario. It’s easy for us to jump to conclusions and then let worry take over.

But worry gets us nowhere.

“They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they will walk and not faint” (Is. 40:31).

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Ps. 27:14).

It seems that if the Bible encourages us to wait, then maybe it’s not such a bad thing. We’re not used to delayed gratification. We have microwaves and Instapots and Amazon Now. We want things when we want them.

But God doesn’t work that way.

Micah 7:7 says, “But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my FullSizeRender 2salvation; my God will hear me.”

I haven’t come across any Scripture that encourages us to be impatient. In fact, the fruit of the Spirit includes patience.

Whaaat?

Amazing, isn’t it?

There must be something to that. God would not promote it if He didn’t consider it a good thing.

Romans 8:25 says, “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”

If we are focused on the Lord, then we have hope rather than fear when we are waiting for something, because we see that the Lord is good. We see that all His ways are good. We see that He does not let us down.

IMG_8908When I was anxious after a late-term ultrasound showed a dilation in our grandson’s bowels, I was not focusing on who the Lord is. I wanted the baby to come quickly so that we could find out what this dilation was. But that wasn’t trusting, that was fearing.

If God is good, and He is, then our waiting will never be in vain.

 

 

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Rest

Rest

A few days ago I wrote a post about relaxation on my Facebook author page and how that isn’t the same thing as rest. On Sunday I was sitting in my family room watching football, which can be relaxing, if your team wasn’t in the process of losing mostly because they gave up 4 turnovers.

Sigh

But I digress. It was a relaxing afternoon, but I must admit, that my mind was still running and therefore I’m not sure I was really experiencing rest.

Jesus said, “Come to Me all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

He’s not saying, “I’ll give you a break for a little while so you can catch your breath.” He’s talking about true rest, where our burdens are not our burdens anymore. We have laid them on the deep, strong shoulders of Jesus, and He takes them. Forever.

Sunday is called a day of rest, but in this time, there is still a lot of controversy about that. Some people say you can’t do any work at all. You can’t mow your lawn, you can’t do your laundry, you can’t cook.

Some take it to mean you shouldn’t go shopping or out to eat, because then you’re making someone else work.

I think I can make dinner and be totally at rest because my mind is stayed on Him.

Or I can be sitting and reading a book and be burdened by things that are not mine to carry, and be very much not at rest.

So rest for me means a lifestyle. Sabbath rest means I am trusting in Jesus to always carry my burdens. I am fixing my eyes on Him. I am filling my mind with praise music and talking about Him with those I spend time with.

This is not just on Sundays.

I can’t go to church and not do all those things that people say I should not do on Sundays, and then turn around on Monday morning with a knot in my stomach because of all the cares I am hauling around.

Some versions of the Bible use “rest” when they’re talking about death. Maybe that can look like dying to yourself over those things you want to carry but shouldn’t. Maybe that’s taking an analogy too far, but it makes sense.

Rest. Don’t pick up that thing that’s not yours to carry. Don’t take on that task that’s not yours to do. Don’t worry about that situation over which you have no control.

IMG_3895Psalm 62:1: “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.”

 

Barking Up The Wrong Tree

My black lab, Berkeley, is a barker. In fact, one of his nicknames with people is “Barkley.” He’s the sweetest dog and not the least bit dominant, but he has a ferocious bark. We like that for the burglar-proofing it does for our house, but really, does he have to bark at every movement?

He’s what I would call an alarmist if he were a person. Every little sound, every little movement, every car door that shuts five houses away, he lets us know about it.

I feel that way sometimes with things I read online, especially on Facebook. Obama is trying to take over the world! The Republicans are out to steal your money! The next phone call you receive could be your last!!!!!!

If I foolishly believed everything I read, I would be in a constant state of panic. Thanks be to God that my future is not in the hands of either political party. I would surely be doomed.

As I’m always telling my dog, why don’t you get all the facts before you sound the alarm? Is that car that’s driving down the road turning and stopping in front of the house? Is there actually someone coming to our door, or is that the neighbor in their own driveway? Did the unemployment rate under the Obama administration really quadruple? Is Romney going to call in that alien army to suck out your brains and leave you helpless and in their hands? Is eating potato chips going to give you cancer?

Being rightly informed takes work, and I know that I’m not up for spending hours and hours researching things that, in the end, don’t affect my eternal destiny. Use your brain, but don’t get carried away. Balance is everything.

In Matthew 6, Jesus is quoted as saying, “‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

“‘And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But 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'” (Matthew 6: 25-34).

Bobby McFerrin understood that. See what he has to say about that in his funky song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

My favorite saying these days is: “It is what it is.” Sometimes, you just can’t change things. Like a rainstorm during a picnic. Or a favorite dish getting broken. There’s really no use getting upset. Look at the weather forecast; move dishes away from the edge of the counters and be careful. Other than that, there’s nothing you can do.

And I really don’t think the world is going to end on December 21st.

Thankful today for:

549. bird song

550. a good school schedule for my eldest

551. a new computer for a good price

552. pressure washing

553. training

554. the excitement of a new school year

555. dishwashers

556. helping hands

557. weekly trash pick up

558. yummy food

559. peaceful negotiations

560. a job well done

Fear Itself

Worry. Fear. Anxiety. Call it what you want. None of it is good.

God gives us so much reassurance in His Word that we really have nothing to fear and that, in fact, perfect love casts out fear (There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” 1 John 4:18).

Jesus told us that there was no use in worrying about tomorrow; today has enough trouble of its own (“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” Matt. 6:34).

In Psalm 27, verse 1, King David encourages us: The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?”

There are many, many more verses I could list with the uselessness of worrying or being afraid. God gives us an abundance of promises that He will always be with us. We don’t need to fear those who can kill our bodies but cannot touch our immortal souls.

I used to fear disease and serious illness. God has given me a measure of victory over that. Do I still get anxious about things? Yes. I don’t feel comfortable going to new places by myself. I don’t like it when my kids or husband are sick. But I don’t live in fear. I life in faith.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his inaugural address in 1932, said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” At the height of the Great Depression, the president was attempting to communicate to the people that their fear of the future was causing panic and irrational decisions. If they would remain calm, believe in themselves, they’d be all right.

A healthy dose of faith in the Living God would have helped many of them also, but FDR’s heart was in the right place. If we let fear overtake us, then we’re bound to go down the wrong road. Hand in hand with the Prince of Peace, we will live healthier and happier lives.

Thankful today for:

84. the happy heart my daughter has that causes her to sing, whistle and hum ALL THE TIME

85. new challenges

86. forgiveness