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Someone asked me a question this afternoon and I’m not sure I addressed it properly.  The question was “Is all this change scary?”

And the answer is, “Yes and No.”  

Change is always scary because it’s an unknown, it’s not at first comfortable, it may come with surprises, sometimes unexpected and unpleasant, and often it requires something more of us than we think we are capable of giving or doing or being.  On the other hand, every day we greet change.  Every day is a change from the day before in some way, even a small way, and sometimes big ways.  A moment can bring change, good or bad or sad or joyful, so change impacts us all the time whether we realize it or not.  Our lives are always changing in some ways, and with incremental change we seem to adjust and go with the flow.  Big changes, however, require more of us, more fuss and notice and consternation and worry and fear.  I think fear is the leader when it comes to change.  We seem to naturally fear something different.  Sometimes we should fear it, other times we just do for no good reason.  So, yes, the big change comes with a set of scares that will eventually become the norms and give way to the incremental flow of day to day life with its usual flux of changes.  Thinking of change in these terms helps me to be able to go forward.  It’s iffy for now, but it won’t be iffy forever.  There will be new iffy in time.

Overall, however, my answer is No.  It’s not so scary when I rely on the Lord to see me through the changes.  How do I do that, one might ask?  My trust in God is based on my experience, my relationship, and my desire to love my Lord with all my heart, putting Him first and foremost in whatever happens in my life.  Can it be disappointing at times?  Yes.  Can it hurt and ache and knock the breath out of me so that I wonder if the tears will ever end and I will learn to breathe normally again?  Yes.  Can I start to doubt myself, and wonder if everything I am doing is so out of tune that I’ll never get back in tune to who is truly me?  Yes.  And those are very real, very human feelings.  Some of us don’t like to admit we have them.  And can fear sometimes be stronger than reason and logic and allow our emotions to take a giant roller coaster ride?  Yes, of course.  But through those thoughts and feelings, in spite of them, there is a deep seated, tried and true, ever-abiding and hopeful faith that God will walk with me, stand with me, hold me up and even carry me.  He will see to my needs.  He will provide more than I can imagine.  It doesn’t entirely banish the fears, but it does allow me to go forward with confidence, with some sort of indescribable peace, that my next steps are, indeed, the right steps.  

I trust that the Lord who has an eye on the sparrow, also turns that eye upon me, and you, and every person He created and breathed into life.  That love, that care and concern, tops it all.  Scared and secure at the same time.  I wonder if God smiles at that.  I kind of think He does.  

 

 

 

 

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Thursday 10/11/2012

Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.

~ Psalm 37:7, NLT

Are you ever restless?  Anxious?  Antsy?  There’s something occupying your thoughts and though you suppress it and go through your day doing the things that have to be done like going to work and functioning effectively, it sits there, heavily, in your heart and mind.  If you’re like me, you pray and give it to the Lord, but that doesn’t mean it goes out of your thoughts.  If you’re like me, your day is filled with prayers about whatever it is that’s in your heart and mind.  You’re trusting God, but you’re still thinking about it, still worrying a bit, and so you keep on praying because that’s what God says to do. 

It had been over a week and I hadn’t heard from him but he said he’d try to call every week, and I’m a bit OCD so I expect a call when someone says they will call.  Even though I know it might not be possible.  But that call, that voice, is so important to me and I need to hear it.  I mentioned to my daughter that it had me fidgety and she reminded me that sometimes no news is good news and I needed to trust God.  Boom – right smack in the middle of the head by my own child!  I am so blessed!  Of course, of course! 

Still, throughout the next few days I prayed.  I prayed for him to have God’s armor on, to be surrounded by the angels of the Lord to protect him and his unit.  I prayed for them to walk in the safety of God’s presence with them every step.  I prayed for the Lord to bind the enemy and deflect all harm.  And I prayed and prayed…just let me hear he’s okay.  And I also prayed…in your will, Lord, in your time, I know, I know.  Help me to feel it, Lord. 

Feelings are sometimes our worst enemy and Satan uses them to deflect our thoughts, our trust, and our faith in the One we call Lord.  We have so many of them from joy to grief to pain to worry to love to hate and a plethora in between. When our feelings override what we know, they can hijack our thoughts, our actions.   Sometimes it’s hard to separate feelings from truth, and when we are there, we have God’s word to help us do the sifting.  Of course, we read have to read our Bible to know what He says.  Sometimes people are sent our way to help us sort it out, sometimes it’s the words to a song, sometimes it’s a dream or thought that persists, and sometimes we seem to hear God’s voice loud and clear.  When feelings pull us further from Jesus, our response should be to consider the source of those feelings, and if those feelings are yanking us, we need to yank back, and run like crazy to God.   

My life verse, given to me years ago, is Psalm 37:7 and I learned it from the American King James version “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently upon Him…”  The NIV version says “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him…”  I have to remind myself of this over and over and over in my life.  And each time I do, I move closer to the Lord, and grow stronger in His strength.

I went to bed praying, literally speaking God’s word in my prayer, reciting Scripture, His promises, and while doing this I fell asleep.  I had charged my phone earlier and had it beside my pillow, just in case.  I didn’t want to miss that call if it came. 

I awakened to my phone chirping and saw that an email had come from K-LOVE’s Encouraging Word to which I subscribe for a daily Bible verse.  When I opened it and saw Psalm 37:7, I laughed out loud.  Okay, God, I get it!  You’ve got this…I’ll rest, I’ll wait, I’ll be patient, even it makes me crazy!   And because I was taking the day off, I slept well past my usual get up time, something rare for me.

So many times that verse, God’s promise, has been my stronghold.  It was especially so when I was trying to have babies and had given up and then it happened.  It was there through teenage boy issues that required more of us than we had, but God provided the other part.  It was there through job losses, when starting a new business that flourished in a recession.  It was there when we were looking for a house, the right house at the right price in the right area and we were led to this one.  It was there through buying, not renting, a privately owned U-haul truck one year and then selling it at the end for more than I’d bought it.  It was there when we had more needs than means, yet the provision came at just the right time.  It was there when my personal pain became beyond bearing yet I clearly heard “Be still”.  How can I not trust the God who has been with me, carried me, held me, and provided for me through so many different things in my life?   

When I woke up, it was the first thing on my mind and I checked my email to be certain I had read the daily verse correctly and hadn’t just thought it.  It was there.  I went about my day a little lighter.  I thanked God for the reminder. When I told my daughter about it, she hugged me and said, “Way to go, God!”

I got the call I’d been longing for shortly after and heard my son’s voice.  I love that voice with every fiber of my being and am so thankful for hearing it today.  Thank you, Lord! 

Lord, help me to rest, help me to be patient, help me to wait and trust that in your time and your way, you always answer.   

 

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