Last week, I mentioned a very real hope-choker: anxiety/worry.
It springs up in my metaphorical garden of faith, like the clover or dandelions that try to take over my flower and vegetable beds.
This truth has resonated with me all this week:
NOTHING COMES OF A SEED CHOKED BY WORRY.
As I stepped into the Apostle Peter's counseling office (by the way, he takes a direct approach; don't step into his practice hoping for pity...), he assured me he had the perfect weed-killer.
I had to gather the ingredients and mix it all up.
First ingredient: cupfuls of honesty.
It's easy for me to deny worry.
I disguise it under the word "concerned."
Sometimes it wears the mask of "mulling over."
My favorite is the one where I tell people I'm "seeking perspective."
I've found a lot of ways to beat around the bush.
Some of you do the same, and I often hear the word "overwhelmed."
No matter the crayon we use to color what's happening up there in our heads, in the end, it's all "clover and dandelions" (!!!!!)...
I have reasons/excuses to be nervous.
They are good ones in that they are...
Yet, anxiety does nothing, except rob me of my hope!
I've had opportunity, to put the things Peter has taught me into practice this week.
Hubby has been having heart issues.
He needs a surgery to help.
This week, we took the first step to seeing just how extensive that surgery would need to be -
One and done?
Two or more?
Open-heart or a simple corrective procedure that goes up through blood vessels?
I have the fullest two months of upcoming speaking events on my schedule - will I have to cancel any of it? I'm willing to do so, BUT...well...I'm excited about these opportunities...
Hence, my "concern," my "musing," my.......anxiety.
Good news is that the testing has helped us eliminate one surgery, open-heart will not be necessary, and the timing of the one surgery needed could possibly be an absolute miracle.
In the meantime, I'm mixing up my weed-killer.
Like most counselors, Peter doesn't just spell it all out.
He expects me to sift through his suggestions and take to heart what I need.
It's different for all of us.
This is what he suggested:
Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world (1 Peter 5:5-9, emphasis mine).
The obvious verb in Peter's dialogue is the word CAST...
However, before I can cast any of my anxieties, I have to back up, and add one critical ingredient:
The problem with my anxiety is that my PRIDE stands in the way.
I want to control the outcome.
My desire is to fix everything MY WAY.
In fact, I frequently want MY WAY or the HIGHWAY...
I leave out of the equation two very important phrases -
GOD's MIGHTY HAND
GOD's CARE FOR ME
Because of God's great love, I can surrender to the safety found under His mighty hand.
I can abide under the shadow of the ALMIGHTY.
I can rest in His plan for me... It's a good, good plan...because He is a GOOD, GOOD FATHER!
In retrospect, whenever I've forced my plans, and the Lord has stepped back, I have mucked up my life...EVERY! SINGLE! TIME!
Pride is the root of anxiety all the time.
The first ingredient to add to honesty are THREE TABLESPOONS OF HUMILITY.
1. I confess my pride.
2. I step back under the authority of my Heavenly Father, who knows me best, loves me most, and has a plan that beats none-other for my life!
3. I rest again in the shadow of the Almighty's Providential care for me. This is called "submission."
Don't let that word raise hackles on your back...submission under God's Mighty Hand is the safest place to abide. After all, He is omniscient, and knows what is BEST! He'll do nothing in our lives that is not out of His GREAT LOVE.
Next week, we'll practice casting...