Happy are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5 (TEV/NIV)
During our second week of the Life’s Healing Choices study, I was confronted in several areas of my life where I must have control. When I don’t feel like I have the desired level of control, the world spins around me and anxiety reigns in an ugly way. Conflicts arise in my relationships with my kids & my husband, and the anxiety just grows and grows. And, gaining my perceived level of control doesn’t make anything better because those around me are already irritated and annoyed with my actions. So when I read the first page of Chapter 3, I knew this week is going be even more hard-hitting for me.
John Baker writes, “We take desperate measures, trying to keep our life’s hurts, hang-ups, and habits up in the air so they don’t come crashing down around us. We try so hard to keep up a good front- pretending that everything is okay – when in reality, we’re struggling with real pain and real issues that we desperately try to ignore.” He continues, “we start feeling guilty about our behavior … I should be able to change.” Yep, once again, I admit … that’s me. Juggling everything for everybody, hoping nothing comes crashing down, yet I’m crawling inside with anxiety, worry, and fear that my lack of control will be found out. I should be able to do it all! I should be able to change the world around me! I should … I should … I should.
Ah, but there’s where the problem lies. I was never designed to do it all, or be all. Especially not in my own power, strength, and energy. We saw last week how we must plug in to God’s power to overcome our past experiences, and daily strive to become closer to Him. This week’s lesson will be on letting go.
Choice 3: Consciously choosing to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.
We will learn the things that keep us from making this choice, how to move forward & toward Him more, and how God will be with us every step of the way.
Remember, God never told us that life would be easy. But He did promise that our load would be lighter and easier to bear if we allowed Him to walk alongside us. Matthew 11:28-30 reminds us…
When I read that verse, I think of my idea in 2011 to participate in the Flying Pig Half Marathon in Cincinnati. I’m not a runner, but I can walk. I walk every day … from the parking lot to my office building. I walk with the family … at fairs, festivals and activities on weekends. I can handle walking for 13.2 miles … without formal training … because I walk every day! Pretty crazy, isn’t it? Well, that was my thinking at the time. But I showed up, and started walking before dawn that gray, rainy May day. I saw friends at the 3 mile mark that had come to cheer for our group of walkers. By the time I saw mile 6, I was near tears. I did not expect the hills and inclines during the walk, and started doubting my ability to finish. I condemned myself … “What were you thinking? Whatever made you think you could do this? You’ll never finish!”
So, what did I do? I called a girlfriend in Virginia who had participated in long walking events and cried. She encouraged me, told me she was proud of me for trying, and said to keep going. I sent text messages to my mom, and received periodic messages asking where I was in the walk. I reached out to those who could help me move forward, and 4 hours 7 minutes after I started, I actually finished the half-marathon. I had blisters on one foot, pain in my hip & ankle from shifting my gait to avoid more blisters, but I finished. My sister, who had completed the route as a runner, met me at the finish line and told me she was proud of me. While my Encourager’s may not have been with me physically, they helped bear my burden of doubt, provided encouragement, and kept me moving forward … one step at a time.
God may not be physically visible & touchable in our lives. But He is still there giving us the encouragement, the strength, and the “YOU CAN DO IT” that we need. Will you turn to Him for whatever challenges you face this week?
Reading Assignment for Week 3: Chapter 3 of Life’s Healing Choices
Monday: Laurie will discuss Principle 2: The Commitment Choice
Tuesday: Leslie will discuss Beginning to Move Forward
Wednesday: Kim will discuss Stepping Across the Line
Thursday: Amy will discuss Make The Choice & Action Steps
Friday: Laurie will bring it all back home with a recap of our week
Lord, we have all tried to manage our lives on our own, and we’ve failed to do it in ways that fully honor You. Show us through the week’s study how we can fully turn over all areas of our lives to You. Your Word promises that we have already been given ALL blessings, so help us recognize daily where You have shown mercy on us. You will give us the power, strength and desire to do all that’s before us, but we need to surrender to You first. Thank you for loving us with a love that knows no end. Amen.
Power Verses for Chapter 3:
2 Corinthians 1:9
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