Tuesday, March 25, 2014

And what part isn't included?

One of the joys of hiking to me is the time to listen -- to hear every bird sing its own special music, absorb the refreshing sound of the stream running over rocks beside me, and to listen to how God is moving my heart.

On a hike last week, I brought with me what felt like a heavy backpack of anxieties, all of course were things over which I have no control.  I prayed as I walked.  But then God laid on my heart what HE says about anxiety in His Word.  I began to recite Philippians 4. 6-7:

Have no anxiety about anything,
but in everything
by prayer and supplication
          with thanksgiving,
let your requests
          be made known to God.
And the peace of God
   which passes all understanding,
will keep your hearts and your minds
                      in Christ Jesus.

I no sooner recited the first phrase
    "Have no anxiety about anything,"
when it was as if God nudged me and said,
"What exactly does that NOT include?"
No anxiety about anything
     EXCEPT for _______ (fill in the blank).
It was not that God was excluding anything,
                                but I was,
and of course,
   it was all these things that are wearing me out.

But LORD, what can I do about these situations?
And there is the next part of the verse,
      "but in everything,
       with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving..."

The verse does not say,
        "but in everything, worry."
 That urge to worry
                 is just a reminder to pray.

And God impressed upon me,
           "Let Me."
Are you willing to let Me handle it?
And I was quick to respond,
Well, what if I manipulated this,
or changed that,
or asked my friend to tell her...
      "Let Me."

Pray not out of fear,
          but in trust.

I can assure you that anxiety
      has not done a thing for me yet,
except fill up my heart with even more fear,
      rob me of sleep at night
           as I compose scenes and dialogue
                       of a totally awful screenplay,
and distract me
                from what God can do.

My job is not just to ignore anxiety,
    but pray through it.
And when I pray,
          when I let God,
that is when God
    reveals not just what He can do,
but what I need to do.
                  Pray through it
                   and trust Him into it.

There may very well be something I can do,
but not when my ears are plugged up
with fear, worries and dismay.

Waiting on God
    is not the passive boredom of a doctor's office
but the active expectation
                     of listening not to fear
                     but to God.

No exceptions.

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