Little annoyances were starting to accumulate, and I had started to compose a blog post:
Negativity, get thee away from me!
I'm wrestling with some less than positive feelings. Among them:
-- about some issues with choir and singing at church. I resent that I have to make a special trip to church to practice if I want/need to sing with a cd. It's not my fault the pianist isn't available! No willing spirit avoids challenges, it seems. I know God is going to take away the negative feelings and show me His will and glory. It hasn't happened yet.
-- about my hair and hairstylist. Something is not working with my hair, and we are somewhat at odds as to the solution. He tells me not to snip those parts that won't behave as they grow out. I won't leave them alone.
A BUNCH OF STUFF I DON'T KNOW HOW TO CATEGORIZE
-- Feelings about work. Frustration? Being overwhelmed? These don't feel like resentment. I just know I like my job and what I do, but that some of the circumstances feel impossible. I guess fear is the feeling. If things doen't change or get better, I fear it will become unbearable. And then what?
-- Health issues. Will these allergies/sinus/congestion symptoms ever go away? It seems like everyone at church yesterday was dealing with them. This morning, I just wanted to crawl back into bed, and did for about five minutes. And that was after 9 hours of regular pillow time!
-- Nutrition issues. I read an article about aspartame that was pretty scary for someone who consumes as much as I do. I admit I use artificial sweeteners to help me deal with stress of work, etc., without getting into the problems that sugar causes me. But as with everything, I go way overboard. And this particular report included the part that I just can't ignore: Some of this stuff hasn't been proven to be bad, but it also hasn't been proven not to cause the problems some allege. Do I want to be safe or sorry?
-- Various things feeling like frustration; could there be some anger? (that's a hard one for me to admit, and I still don't right now); and nonclinical depression.
And then, finally, I sat down to give my focus and thoughts to God. I don't really even know why I'm surprised by the results. But once again, I am amazed and grateful.
Among the things I read:
-- "Make friends with the problems in your life." Remember that God is sovereign over them. God can fit everything into a pattern for good, but only to the extent that I trust Him. Thank God even for problems. (Excerpts and reflections from "Jesus Calling," Romans 8:28)
-- "When troubles seem overwhelming, it's a great time to pull out the prayer warrior's secret: praise. As you focus on God's goodness and greatness, everything seems to fall into place." Part of what's interesting about this one, from "A Praying Heart," a daily journal I got for Christmas, is that this was the reading for March 3, but I skipped a page without realizing it, so I read March 5-6 on Saturday and Sunday, and so I was catching up today. And these words were exactly what I needed today. In the journal, I wrote that I didn't really feel like praising, but that I would anyway. I started singing "I love You, Lord, and I lift my voice, to worship You ... (may my worship and praise be a sweet sound to You, Lord), "Holy! Holy! Holy! Lord God Almighty ...," then others, ending with "Great Is Thy Faithfulness." And the corner was turned. The Scripture is Revelation 19:5 - "From the throne came a voice saying, 'Praise our God, all you His servants, and all who fear Him, small and great.'"
Great is God's faithfulness. May I never, ever forget to seek Him and to trust Him and to thank Him and to give him all the honor, glory and praise, in all things, good and bad, large and small as these things today were.