Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lessons from sweating and fretting

Miracles. Choices. Decisions. Sweating the small stuff. You mean I could just flip a coin? These were some of the themes of my prayer,  meditation and journaling since Sunday. They are rich in meaning. But I'm having trouble with application.
I'm still stuck on reminders from the days before Sunday: "Do not fear ..."  "I will not be afraid ..."  "Be strong, do not fear ..." I still feel as if I'm running away from God, resisting His guidance, letting fear rule. And I don't even know what the scary thing is. Maybe I'm just afraid of the uncertain and unknown. 
I continue to pray for willingness and ability to know and do God's will, but the answers remain elusive. And so I wait: "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope" (Psalm 130:5).
But as I wait, I also have general guidance, even if it doesn't seem to answer my specific concerns: "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God" (Micah 6:8). And I have hope: " 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future' " (Jeremiah 29:11).
I"m still having trouble with these, but I won't give up:
-- "Learn to laugh at yourself more freely. ... Relax and know that I am God with you. ... Just as parents delight in the laughter of their children, so I delight in hearing my children laugh." From Jesus Calling on June 17,  with scriptural reminders from Proverbs 17:22 (a cheerful heart is good medicine ...) and Proverbs 21:25 (she can laugh at the days to come).
--  "But let all who take refuge in You be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love Your name may rejoice in You" (Psalm 5:11). 
How I long for my joy and peace and confidence and faith in the Lord to outshine my fears and doubts, not just occasionally but on a consistent basis? And yet, even today, I was guided to the Scriptures in 1 Kings 18 and 19 about Elijah, who one moment was confidently proclaiming that God would send fire from heaven, which He did, and the very next week, Elijah was running for his life, exhausted, depressed and praying that he might die. And how did God respond to that prayer? With a still, small voice -- a whisper -- and then clear directions. 
And so, yes, thank You, God, for being with me, even when I sweat and fret needlessly. I know You continue to work with me and mold me into what You would have me be. And I continue to pray to be willing to let You have Your way, to Your glory.  

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