Facing Doubts. And Encouragement.
Several of you have been so kind to me lately. You've allowed to me confide my fears and desires. You've let me tell you what's been heavy on my heart. You've been very encouraging and given me great insight into different situations.
But, I would be lying if I didn't admit that there are still moments of doubt in my head. And while I'm not dealing with transcontinental moves, children going in for cancer scans, nor marital issues that rock the family to the core, my insignificants are still significant in my eyes.
I worry about the details. I worry about the small things. I worry about the things that are trivial to most, but very precious to me. I worry that things I treasure will be snatched away from me. I hold them close to me and snarl at anyone or anything that comes too close for comfort.
This morning I sat down with my journal and sort of stared at the pages. I've written and written and written in my pink marbled notebook for the past few months about my worries, my desires, my stresses and quite honestly, haven't really had any response from above. No sense of direction, no sense of which steps to take, no hints from above. I stared at that blank page and didn't even know what to write anymore.
It's a helpless feeling for a blogger when she can't pour out her own heart's desires because she's run out of words to use.
After heaving a half-hearted sigh, I opened the small monthly devotional booklet my mom picked up for me a few weeks ago at her church. Lately I've felt rather detached during my reading because I finally completed my study on Psalms and now I'm a free agent in terms of committing to my next study.
The past few days the booklet has been talking about Revelation. While I find it fascinating, it's not been what I felt I needed and I didn't walk away from my morning reading feeling inspired. In some ways I almost felt like it was another silence that I would have to wrestle with. I've been slightly annoyed because I wanted some clarity on things heavy on my heart.
This morning, I was happily greeted by Philippians 4:4-9 (NIV):
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
(And I love the way it is phrased in the Message-and I know some of you are anti-Message, but I like the clarity of the words so
BACK OFF! let me just share what I found this morning.)
Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute! Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. (The Message)
And He met me there, in the reading. He met me when I just stared at the blank pages and had nothing left to say. I didn't have any more words. I didn't have any sense of direction nor prodding. I finally just handed it back to Him with a "Here. I don't know what I'm doing." and He gently encouraged me with these words.
I don't have to worry about it. He's the God of the details. He's the God of the timetables. He's the God of the future. He's God and I'm just a person. I'm not in charge. I don't hold the keys. I just need to trust Him, the One who made it all, to make it work for my good.
So for this morning, for this moment, for this time, these words will have to be enough.