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Archive for the ‘fret’ Category

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:25-27 

Sometimes I get lost in the busyness of life and forget just how big  God really is, and how much He is with us in even the smallest details, as well as the times of adversity. I was reminded of just how much the Holy Spirit guides us, warns us, and prepares us, if we are sensitive to the still small voice within.

On Monday, I awoke in the morning with one of those feelings that mothers know so well. I sat up in bed and recalled the poem that little Sarah used to love to recite when we read the book Madeline. I could hear Sarah at three reciting with me… “In an old house in Paris, that was covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines, they left the house at half past nine…the smallest one was Madeline.”

I always loved it when the nun, Miss Clavel, who took care of Madeline sensed something was wrong. That evening, the girls are tucked into bed for the evening. Miss Clavel goes to bed too, but she wakes up with a fright, “something’s not right”.  In the story, as Miss Clavel runs to the bedroom where the orphans are asleep, she discovered that Madeline has had an Appendicitis attack.  It seems her feelings were accurate, something was wrong.  I had been feeling like that since the night before.

I sat up in bed and read the Bible to comfort my soul. I said “Lord, I feel so anxious today, like something is wrong, but I trust that you will keep us safe.” In my prayer I prayed for my family and I knew in my spirit that I should rest. I stayed home all day and just rested for a change. No crafts, no art, no telephone, no computer, no rides in the country or form of busyness, I just rested. 

Then at exactly 6 o’clock the telephone rang, “Mom, there was a terrible car accident”. It was Sarah, my nineteen year old daughter who attends college just an hour away. As she explained how much damage was on her car, all I wanted to know was that she was okay. She has not a bump, scratch or hurt, even though her car looks like a truck hit it and she is terribly upset about her car. 

I quickly phoned my other daughter to tell her I was on my way to Sarah. Ashley said “Mom I was in a car accident too, I was just going to call you. I’m okay and my car only has a scratch, the policeman was nice and the guy who hit me too. I got all the information, Mom”. Just sixteen and so mature. Sarah called back to say that the tow truck had arrived and I waited for her to phone back with directions. When the phone rang again it was Ashley, “Mom, I am on my way to pick up Sarah, you don’t have to worry”. They came home, we ate, we talked and I was so thankful.

I got down on my knees and praised God for keeping my girls safe. I didn’t even want to think about what could have been. Prayer is a might covering, it doesn’t always mean that adversity will be magically brushed away.  Rather, prayer helps us to be bathed in the protection of the Lord.  It opens the window for His peace, so that we can be still in the middle of adversity, and have faith that He will see us through.

As I relived the day and the night before, I was so aware of the promptings of the Holy Sprit.  My husband was away on a business trip, and usually I go on a day trip while he is away.  Yet, I felt so led to just stay home and rest, and therefore I was available for my girls when they called.  That feeling inside that something was wrong prompted me to stay in prayer and on put my armor of mindfulness.  That feeling I just used to think was fret, was actually a warning that I must stay close to the Lord.  I always find such peace when I read the Bible, and often I am able to recognize a scripture that meets my current needs.

Tuesday morning I awoke with such a peace and a spirit of thankfulness. All that I can say is Thank you. Thank you Lord, every now and then I sing His praise for always being there, but today I want to shout it from the top of the mountains.

 

“O come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.”
Psalm 95:1

 

 

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“What grace it requires when we are misunderstood yet handle it correctly, or when we are judged unkindly yet receive it in holy sweetness! Nothing tests our character as a Christian more than having something evil said about us. This kind of grinding test is what exposes whether we are solid gold or siimply gold-plated metal. If we could only see the blessings that lie hidden in our trials, we would say like David, when Shimei cursed him, “Let him curse…it may be that the Lord will repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today” 2 Samuel 16:11-12

This was taken from The Streams In The Desert devotional, a writing for today October 6th. In it A. B. Simpson writes “Some Christians are easily turned away from the greatness of their life’s calling by pursuing instead their own grievances and enemies. They ultimately turn their lives into one petty whirlwind of warfare. It reminds me of trying to deal with a hornet’s nest. You may be able to disperse the hornets, but you will probably be terribly stung and receive nothing for your pain, for even their honey has no value.”

I have experienced this in my own life, I have gotten angry when injustice arrived on my doorstep and took a very long time recovering from fret, anger and upset. Some years ago there was someone in my life who was so unfair, verbally abusive and frankly just an old fashioned bully. It felt like I was continuously fretting over something that she did or said. I was reacting to the sting of her words daily and every time I had to see her I would dread the meeting. Unfortunatley at the time she was in my life not by my choice, but I had to endure her haughty behavior. The sting of an incident became heightened everytime I would think about the injustice over and over again. Just like that hornet’s nest mentioned in today’s devotional, I was stung countless times by my own inability to let go. I was stung repeatedly by thinking about what had happened and allowing myself to be angry.

Never in a million years would I think that someday I would consider this encounter the greatest blessing of my life. She made me so angry, and I would spend hours and hours fretting over what she had said, how unfair life was and asking myself over and over why…”why Lord, I have been good to this woman and now how does she repay me? She repays me by saying untruths about me.” I sounded just like those whining people in the old testament always saying long speeches to the Lord and saying “Why.” Meanwhile, I truly believe that I suffered so much by being angry and trying to restle with the injustice in my mind and not being able to just let it go. I don’t think that this person ever thought a minute about what she had said or even cared. She was like this to everyone in her life and still is to this day.

“Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Hebrews 12:3

One day the Lord showed me an image, He showed me a little girl sitting on a bench barefoot with tattered clothes and looking so sad. Then He gave me an image of myself wearing a party dress with lots of beautiful gifts at my feet. He said “love her”, it is only by God’s grace that you have the spiritual gifts and feel the love of God.” Suddenly I understood that when someone hurts me, lashes out, says mean and unkind things about me, as hard as it is, I must remember that if they were blessed they wouldn’t be doing this. Instead God asks that we pray for them, bless them and most of all trust that God will always fight our battles.

Much later and after much praying for months I began to witness that my relationships with others were improving. I had always taken things so personally when anyone behaved badly. Suddenly, I started seeing that their behavior had little or nothing to do with me, and I started detaching from the emotions and started focussing on letting go. I knew that if it had not been for that woman who had brought me so much pain that I would never have been healed from taking things so personally. The truth is that her exaggerated behavior gave me little or no choice but to restle with the profile of the behavior and not the person. I recovered from thinking that someone was deliberately trying to hurt me, and saw that people who are hurting are full of hurt. They need prayer, not condemnation and certainly not more anger directed at them.

It seems that everytime I have prayed for someone who has been hurtful a wonderful thing happens. While the Lord is dealing with that person, He allows me to understand the reasons behind their behavior, He gives me His sweet balm of compassion.

And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”Ephesians 4:32

I love that reminder, how in the world could I have forgotten what I used to be like before I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior? After all, hadn’t I been bitter and angry and often irritable from the hurt of the world and hadn’t I been saved by the grace of God? I did nothing to deserve these spirtitual gifts, nor am I smart enough to understand the word of God without God’s grace. Jesus died for me and He died for that person that irritates us, is rude, difficult and irritable. The only difference is that they have not met the Savior, Jesus Christ yet. They are just like that child sitting on a bench barefoot with tattered clothes lacking in the very grace that they hunger for, which would provide all the wonderful gifts of the Holy Spirit.

“Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also forgive.”
Colossians 3:13

One of the hindrances I have faced in my life has been my inability to discern bad behavior from a personal attack. This lack of wisdom has caused me great suffering and unnecessary pain. The woman who was dreadful, well she doesn’t seem dreadful to me today, she seems hurt and hungry for God. I pray for her because she has been the greatest blessing of my life. She freed me from taking hurt from a hurting person personally. I pray that she receive Jesus as her personal Savior and that she is comforted in her hurt the way I was comforted. Why did God allow someone so hurtful in my life, I know the why…so that I might be healed and so that my prayer might be heard and then she will be healed.

“If we could only see the blessings that lie hidden in our trials, we would say like David, when Shimei cursed him, “Let him curse…it may be that the Lord will repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today”
2 Samuel 16:11-12

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