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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Finding Peace

I'm scared.  Conflicted.  Stressed.  (There, the buzzword of society.)  Stressed.

The question is, why?

  I'm afraid that I don't have enough time for everything that I'm trying to get done.  I'm scared that I can't balance all of the plates that I have spinning.  I'm conflicted as to which plates I should maybe take down.  I'm stressed.  Tired.  Worn.  I'm ready to let it all fall.

God, what do you want from me?  I'm scared of making the wrong decisions.  I'm afraid to disappoint Him.  I'm scared of letting my parents down.  I'm afraid of living life, and then dying to find out that I was living it all wrong.   I'm afraid of wasting time.  I'm scared that if I stop spinning any one of these plates, that my world will come crashing down with all of them.
Where is my trust?  Is my heart so shallow?

Do I not believe?

As I ponder back on my life, what do I see?  All around me, testimonies of His faithfulness, His goodness, and His graciousness-- His strong and ever abiding Hand in my life.  

In the eyes of new life-- my beautiful new baby brother.

The ring on my finger, my daddy has my heart.

The brown sugar under my fingernails, remnants of last week's Farmer's Market baking.

The dented tuba leaning against the couch, the music that permeates my blood.

The golden gilded books lining the shelf.  
I can read, my heart ever yearning for the next story.

A blue leather Bible.
Notes and underlines from my momma in the margins.

The giggle of the two-year-old, hungry and passionate for life. Yet, so dependent.  

The golden grain in the 5-gallon bucket.

The ripening bananas on the buffet.

The upright grand piano, faithful and majestic at the center of our home.

The soft carpets that adorn the living room.

The creamy oaken dining room table that seats twelve.

They don't sounds like things of major grandeur.  Most of them even just sound like ordinary household items.  How can one find the cure to anxiety and stress within the recesses of such commonality and monotony?

It's being able to see, each of these things hold a story of God's faithfulness to me. As I gaze upon my surroundings, I'm reminded of His ever present Hand-- that He will never leave me or forsake me.  

When I have fallen, He reminds me that He is always ready to offer me grace-- as I gaze in the eyes of  my baby brother-- He whispers, "New life.  Mercies every morning."

When I grow discouraged, wondering and worrying about my time, I catch a glimpse of the ever-embarrassing brown sugar resting under my fingernails.  "I provided a way for you to work with your hands.  Glorify Me in it."

This anxiety spawns from one source-- a lack of belief in the Lord and His promises.  Do I not believe that God has the power to protect me from myself?  Do I not believe that He is enough to sustain my daily want, my daily needs?  Do I not believe that He will give me the strength to either continue spinning those plates day by day, or to give me the courage to lay some of them down-- no matter how precious or important they may seem to me?

Yes, Lord.  I will trust You.  You have been ever faithful to me, why should I doubt You?

I'm ready to let go, this death-grip I have maintained since childhood.  A restless fear, an ever present and all consuming desire to be in control.  I'm going to release my hold, and watch as I allow God to take control my fears, anxieties and stress resting in His hands.  He has asked us to let Him carry the burden.  

"Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me."
~John 14:1

If I believe, I trust.  
If I trust, I have to let go.

Before I can take His hand and allow Him to lead me, I must first surrender my control.
My fingers must loose themselves from their wild clutch on my desires
before they can tenderly entwine in those of my Jesus. 

It's not easy.  I don't like it.

But as I look for His ever-present mercies, as I search out His abundant blessings, I seek the outflow of His love even in the most monotonous pieces of life, I'm reminded,

"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful."
~John 14:26

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
~Philippians 4:6-7

The answer is thanksgiving. 
Remembering the things of God-- His faithfulness in the past gives me peace for the future.   

"Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she smiles at the future."
~Proverbs 31:25

My dear reader, are you struggling to find peace?  I encourage you-- count your blessings.  Literally.  Gaze upon the gifts which the Lord has bestowed upon your life and revel in the provision and love of your Maker.  Even in the most simple and monotonous things of life.  Like

a warm cup of coffee on a brisk morning.

The coolness of a clean kitchen counter freshly cleaned.

The crisp juiciness of a rosy apple.

The joyous chorus of birds.

The rising of the sun. To remind us that weeping my last for the night, but joy comes in the morning.

2 comments:

  1. Agreed, my sweet daughter, agreed....

    One more encouragement- seize the day...there's so much we can do for His glory even in he smallest moments...

    Daddy

    ReplyDelete