Early morning darkness…..

pexels-photo-813269.jpegI often awaken in the very early morning hours. As the darkness tries unsuccessfully to lull me back to sleep, I find another kind of darkness overwhelming me–the darkness of worry. My mind races from one worry to another–family, finances, approaching retirement, success or failure as a writer. Jesus told us not to worry about tomorrow, for today has enough for us to bear. I get that. But, I’m still a worrier.

My early morning reading has been in the book of Hebrews for the past several days. Yesterday I read the chapter listing the heroes of faith. Today I read the chapter on discipline. How much of my worry might have been avoided if I had made better decisions in the past? Are some of my troubles God’s way of getting my attention focused back on Him?

My husband says I am a really busy person. He’s right. And, a lot of my busy-ness involves activities at church. But how much of me is just busy and not truly obedient to and focused on God?Am I going through the motions without true spiritual investment?  It’s something to think about.

I just know that every day I pray for relief from the constant worry. I pray for the discipline and strength to turn off the negative thoughts. Some of you may share my tendency to ruminate over past decisions and anticipate future misfortunes and just generally worry. Be assured that you’re not alone in the struggle. This passage in Jeremiah is one of my favorites.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Thank you, Lord. I needed that.

 

A new perspective. . . . .

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A few blogs ago my writing was full of angst as I talked about feeling like I was, figuratively, at the “end of my rope”. I wrote about a good friend’s advice that one should just “tie and knot and hang on” when finding oneself in that predicament. However, as I read from my favorite devotional Daily Strength for Daily Needs (compiled by Mary Tileston with original copyright 1997), I came across a sentence that changed my perspective.

Let us fall into the hand of the Lord. Amen.

Suddenly I could imagine letting go of that knot and drifting into the strong yet gentle hand of God as I fell. Is that not where we all need to be? Letting go of the need to control current events. Letting go of the worry about what might go wrong in the future. Letting go of the perceived need to be all things to all people. Letting go of the desire for the unattainable–perfection in this life.

And, instead of holding on for dear life as that rope burns our hands and our sweaty palms begin to slip, just trusting that our Lord and Savior is there to catch us as we fall, and letting go. He is, after all, our Savior.

The psalmist wrote about God’s hand:

Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O Lord, the God of truth. Psalm 31:5

and

But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God. My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me. Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love. Psalm 31:14-16

And Peter spoke in the New Testament about “letting go and letting God”, when he wrote:

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

For several years I had this message posted on my refrigerator:

Good morning. This is God. I will be handling all your problems today. I will not need your help. Have a nice day.

I think I need to post it there again, to remind me that the rope of my life with all its difficulties and dilemmas and perceived disasters is poised right over God’s hand. I may just need to let go of that knot and rest in God’s strong, gentle, loving, open hand.

Thank you, Lord, for this reminder. I pray that it may speak to another’s heart. Amen.

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