Where Are You Looking?

Overwhelmed.

That’s how I felt last week. To be honest, I’ve felt that way numerous days since the new year began. For someone who doesn’t have an identic mind (like Sheldon Cooper on TBBT), I’ve been doing a significantly accurate job of remembering every problem and concern in my mind. Frankly, it has consumed me.

It all boils down to a conglomeration of worry about friends and family, relationships, finances, and fear of the unknown. I’ve been researching on Google and speaking with other people in similar circumstances. Wrapping my head around it has been nearly impossible.

I’m back in the ninth grade, standing at the chalkboard during Algebra 1, stuck in an equation. My stomach hurts. I’m having performance anxiety. The fear of failure is pervasive. Every time I try to solve, it is clear that I am just not equipped to do so. Then Mrs. Randleman gently takes the chalk from my hand, looks me in the eye and smiles. AT THAT MOMENT, I know that she KNOWS the answer and is going to help me find the answer. And she does.

God is waiting for me to “turn over the chalk.”

“I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will never be shaken.” Psalm 16:8

I HAVE TAKEN MY EYES OFF GOD!

I’ve trusted in myself and forgotten to trust in the One who is always trustworthy. I’ve convinced myself that I’m smart enough to figure these things out and ignored the One who is Omnipotent. I’ve chosen to stomp through the high grass, hacking away at the underbrush, and crawling through uncharted territory, even though God can make a way when there seems to be no way (Philippians 2:13-14).

If you’re there with me in that “I can do it myself” mentality, let me ask you to just lay the burden down. You don’t even realize how heavy it is. If it helps, you can cry all the frustration out. I did, and when that was over, I cried out to God and confessed my sin to Him.

Don’t be surprised if you get tempted to pick it all up and try it your way again. That’s the urging of the devil. He will come to you in your weakest moments and say that you can handle this all on your own. Remember that the devil is a liar and the father of all lies. (John 8:44).

I am praying the promises of Psalm 121 and claiming them. For everyone who has lost sight of the Source of our strength, I’m praying for you and I ask that you pray for me.

Psalm 121:
1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.

6 The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

shr

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Music Monday: Trust His Heart

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It is my pleasure to help my friends when I can.  My friend, Laurie, is away this week and I’m animal-sitting for her.  She entrusted me with a key to her home so that I can go twice a day to feed Oz, her dog, and the five white Peking ducks that call the water hazard in her back yard home.  Over the weekend, I gave the key to her daughter, Kate, to use while she was visiting and retrieved it last night as I resumed “animal patrol.”

This morning, I could not find the key.  I dumped out the contents of my purse — nothing.  I swept the kitchen floor (and thought “Heavens!  What a dusty mess I’ve been overlooking!”) — nada.  I pulled out the cushions from the chair and couch — no luck.  I walked through my steps from the time I got home last night until the time I went to bed.  I found zip — except for a growing sense of panic.

After an hour, I gave up and called Laurie, in Michigan, who brainstormed with me.  Short of bringing me an extra key — which was impossible since she is, after all, in Michigan, we were left with the ideas of breaking a glass pane in the door, climbing in an open window (if I could find one), and calling a locksmith.  There was no immediate answer, but the one thing she did do for me is calm me down.  She was willing to call a locksmith at her expense to correct my mistake.  I asked her to let me go over and check all the doors and windows before she did that and she agreed.

“One way, or the other,” she assured me.  “I’ve got you covered.  Please don’t let it worry you.  It’s just a key.  We’ll find a solution.”

As I walked out the door to make the drive to her house, I stopped in my yard and thought about what exactly what I did from the car to the house last night.  I remembered that the dress I wore had no pocket, so maybe the key was in the car.  And again, my hope was dashed because there was no key in the car.  (The car is, however, now void of all trash and bottles that had accumulated last week.)

“Please, dear Lord, ” I said quietly.  “You know where that key is.  I, in my limited mind, do not remember what I did with it.  So please help me find it so that Laurie doesn’t have to call a locksmith…and I don’t have to shimmy up the side of her house and into her bedroom window, if I can even find one that’s open.”

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Almost immediately, this thought came to me:  trace your steps from the car to the back steps.  There, on the ground, was that beautiful key.  I had placed it in my lap on the ride home and when I stood to exit the car, it had fallen out of the folds of my dress.  I bent down to pick it up and got on my knees on the very spot it lay and said a thank you prayer.

This isn’t the first time that God has saved me from my reckless, forgetful self.  And it won’t be the last time, either.  But Laurie’s words to me have just played over and over in my mind all afternoon:

“One way or the other…I’ve got you covered… we’ll find a solution.”

Isn’t that just like God?  We worry and fret.  We want to give up.  We want to beat ourselves up over our mistakes.  We want to get angry or depressed or obsessed with finding a solution that may not even be in our hands!  It’s in our nature to freak out and it’s God nature to be calm and offer us His solution.  Jesus was the ultimate solution to our sin.  Just like Laurie’s offer to call a locksmith, God offered us the Solution to our mistakes (sins) at His expense.  Literally, with the blood of Jesus, He’s got us coveredI

The only temptation that has come to you is that which everyone has. But you can trust God, who will not permit you to be tempted more than you can stand. But when you are tempted, he will also give you a way to escape so that you will be able to stand it. (1 Corinthians 10:13, NCV)

I trusted Laurie when she said that we’d solve our dilemma this morning.   I trusted God, who all-powerful and all-knowing, to help me find that key.  I trust Him for everything and with everything.

Is there something or someone with whom you need to trust Him?

shr

Trust His Heart” (Maranatha Singers)