Worry does not empty tomorrow
of its sorrow. It empties today of
- Corrie Ten Boom
Sometimes, at every corner, a message repeats itself...
God works that way sometimes, or so it seems to me. "You aren't getting this," He whispers. Then, and just a little louder, He says, "Here, let me send it to you another way."
"Oh, you have your fingers in your ears so you don't have to listen? Let's try a way you can't ignore." "Okay, you still refuse to pay attention, let me deluge you from six different people and everywhere you look you'll see it."
At times I am slow to get His message. Okay, very slow to get the message. Okay, truthfully, refuse to get His message. It's not the message I want. It hits too close to home. Or my absolute favorite...This isn't a good time for this message because I am so busy.
And even when I do get God's message, I may be reluctant or even stubborn to act on it. I'm not saying I am proud of those "dig your heels in and cover your ears moments." I'm sure God must almost laugh when He sees me, His creation, so ready to ditch what He has in store for me.
The message I needed to receive from God this week first came after an unusually intense time of worrying about my students. It's almost the end of the school year and some of them are overwhelmed and struggling not to quit. Yet that was only a symptom of a deeper issue. Like my students, I felt surrounded, almost engulfed, by problems and things to do. Everywhere. I was so worried about forgetting something on the double-whammy, stuffed to the core, unbelievably busy (and no time to breathe) schedule that my sleep was being impacted.
Then my youngest daughter Amy sent me a devotional...and guess what the topic was?
It was about worry and turning everything over to God. This Encouragement for Today article was by Traci Miles and was entitled. "When Worry is part of Your Personality." In it Traci reminds me that in Matthew 6:25-34 Jesus told His followers not to worry about food or clothes or for that matter anything, because God promised He would provide for our needs, just as he does for the birds of the air. That's a promise I want to believe! Amy knows me so well and somehow knew I needed this message.
She often reminds me about worrying by saying, "Mom, worry isn't prayer."
Okay, message number one received. CHECK.
The second message I needed to receive came when I read a student paper and she had read a book called The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Corrie Ten Boom was a Dutch Christian who, along with her father and other family members, hid many Jews during the Nazi Holocaust. Eventually the family was discovered and sent to a German prison camp. Corrie and her sister Betsy could have given up hope. Instead they relied on their faith. Corrie's famous quote, in my student's paper, was about worry and was my second reminder this week about God's message for me. In great, red typed letters on her paper, almost so I would know this was for me, the student wrote Corrie's quote...
Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow.
It empties today of its strength.
Yikes, is there a theme here? Message number two received. CHECK.
And then this morning as I went to read my devotional for June 7th...today...
in Sarah Young's Jesus Calling, there was another message. I bet you can guess what the third message was. Right?
Here it is....
"I am all around you, like a cocoon of light. My presence with you is a
promise, independent of your awareness of Me. Many things can block this awareness, but the major culprit is worry.
(May I insert here an "Are You kidding me?" response. THIS topic again.
Hear His whisper, "Yes, Linda. Again. You don't seem to be listening.")
My children tend to accept worry as an inescapable fact of life.
However, worry is a form of unbelief; it is anathema to me.
(May I respectfully insert here a HUGE gulp...God sees wory as unbelief ...yikes, and I need a moment to look up the word"anathema" to be sure I understand it?)
Okay, I'm back. Anathema is defined as a vehement denunciation. Meaning that God detests worry. Worry is abhorrent to Him. Now Jesus Calling continues to say...)
Who is in charge of your life? If it is you, then you have good reason to worry.
(Okay, Lord, You have my total, undivided attention now...)
But if it is I, then worry is both unnecessary and counterproductive.
When you start to feel anxious about something, relinquish the situation to Me. Back off a bit, redirecting your focus to Me.
(And here comes the promise...I can just feel it :) ...)
I will either take care of the problem Myself or show you how to handle it.
In this world you will have problems, but you need not lose sight of Me.
(Whew, He is really in control. There is hope for me about worrying).
Message number three received. CHECK!
So where does that leave me with all of the busy schedule ahead and all the things that are pressing and need to be done? The answer, plain and clear: Turn my focus away from worry and toward Him. Relax in His reassurance that either He will solve these dilemmas or will show me how to handle them. I need to keep my sights on Him and All is Well. The Lord God Almighty loves me, and He has got this!
Message number four received. I get it, Lord. Thanks for Your patience and Love. CHECK!!
Love you to the moon and back,
"If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old." ...