We have had such an interesting opportunity to observe nature over the last month or so. Have you?
I know not all of us are in this position, and this certainly isn’t a position I have picked, but I am trying to make the most of it.
Even though we have a small business and this pandemic is really impacting us…
Even though we live within 5 and 15 minutes of our grandchildren but cannot hang out with them…
Even though we have a lot of unknowns in our lives…
We have been entertained from our window and porch with the antics of the robins, building their nest in the red bud in the front yard. The beautiful red cardinal that likes to sit on the branches of that same red bud whose lovely pink buds are giving way to the fresh green leaves. We enjoy the antics of our resident woodchuck — we call him “Karcsi” which is a Hungarian nickname for Charles (Chuck —Charles, get it??) And, then we have Rocky, the racoon. He leaves his tree each night between 6 and 7pm to prowl around the neighbors. It’s fun to watch him negotiate the tree and waddle down to the fence and climb over in search of goodies.
In the midst of this all, the lives of our animal friends have not really changed.
Scripture Memory Songs ~ Philippians 4:6-7
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:25-34
It’s nice to feel situated. It is a relief to know things are settled – an old bill, the future (at least in theory), and our hearts.
When I am unsettled and stressed about something, I can get anxious.
- How will this play out?
- Have I covered all the bases?
- What have I forgotten?
- What if all my efforts are in vain?
- Am I doing enough?
- Am I enough?
Have you ever had your mind entertain those types of questions? It can be in human relationships or jobs or even in my relationship with God. Sometimes things “feel” unsettled even though God assures me that they are.
It is important for me to know and remember that God, through Jesus, worked out my salvation. The “bill” there is settled.
“‘the stone you builders rejected,
which has become the cornerstone.’
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” [Acts 4:11-12 NIV]
Check out Psalm 118.
On the way,
Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 139
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Psalm 139:23
It’s interesting, I don’t recall that I have had a lot of anxious feelings during my life but I have experienced them more often in the last five years or so. I am not entirely sure what is behind them but I have noticed an increase. I also know a growing number of people who struggle with debilitating anxiety. You know, the kind of anxiety where one cannot get out of bed and enter into the day. That is some tough stuff.
I am sure people struggled with that level of anxiety in my earlier years but I don’t ever recall hearing much about it. I am so thankful that we are in a time where this can be discussed and treated. There is nothing like a good psychologist and psychiatrist, supportive family and friends, and God’s healing touch to help a weary traveler get back on their feet.
Once I did have a meltdown of epic proportions. I remember saying something like this to Don, my husband, “I wish I had a broken arm or leg because then you could see there is something wrong.” It was during a season of very young children mixed with some chronic sleep deprivation. There was illness mixed in with other things and I was overwhelmed at the thought of him going on a particular business trip. It felt very strange to ask him not to leave but I had to. He actually had a really bad cold too so it was better that he stayed home. Even if he wasn’t able to help with the kids, I knew he would be nearby and accessible. It made all the difference in the world to me.
Sleep deprivation makes a huge impact on the psyche and I believe it was at the root of my situation. But there are also so many crazy things happening in our lives and in our world that sometimes, sweet peace seems very elusive.
As I read through Psalm 139, I love the reassurance that God knows my thoughts, that He hems me in, and He created my innermost being.
Are there particular phrases that bring comfort to you?