Tonight concludes the bible study that I have been doing these past eight weeks. This week's homework has been on worrying. At first, I'll admit, I thought to myself, 'oh, that is something that I used to really deal with, but I don't really struggle with that anymore.' HA! I should realize that anytime I arrogantly think or make a statement like that, God is going to come along and set me straight. Of course, He did just that through my homework this week. With His sweet grace and gentleness, He showed me that worry is still indeed an area of struggle in my life. While, yes, the Lord has done a great work in me since the time I became a believer thirteen years ago, I still have areas of my life that I am more prone to worry through rather than giving over to God.
Just to name a few: I worry about my children's salvation. I worry about Eric's health. I worry about my children's health. I worry about my health. I worry that we will be in a terrible car accident. I worry when we have to drive in bad weather. I worry that my parenting is messing up my kids. I worry about Eric losing his job. I worry about teaching my kids everything that they need to know for school. I worry about finances... and mind you, I am just getting warmed up!
Oh my--and I thought that I didn't have a problem with worrying???
When I first became a believer, worry was such a stronghold for me that the first verse I memorized was: 'do not be anxious about anything, but everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, submit your requests to God. And the peace of God that transcends all understanding will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7'' This verse gave me so much comfort and it still does. When I say this verse outloud when I feel myself start to fret, I can tangibly feel His peace begin to wash over my being. Oh, how I love that about God's Word! It REALLY IS living and breathing and able to transform us from within!
While worry is still a weakness for me (I can spiral down the 'worry tube' in a heartbeat!), I do feel like I have a better grip than I used to on this area--that God is sanctifying me. I have learned (and am learning!) to not fret and to take all of my worries immediately to the Lord. As I pray and even thank Him for life's difficult circumstances, my worries begin to turn to worship. Oh, how I praise Him for this!
This poem was in my morning devotional. I must share it as it is so fitting for this topic. And it is absolutely beautiful:
Pressed beyond measure; yes, pressed to great length;
Pressed so intensely, beyond my own strength;
Pressed in my body and pressed in my soul,
Pressed in my mind till the dark surges roll.
Pressure from foes, and pressure from dear friends.
Pressoure on pressure, till life nearly ends.
Pressed into knowing no helper but God;
Pressed into loving His staff and His rod.
Pressed into liberty where nothing clings;
Pressed into faith for impossible things.
Pressed into living my life for the Lord,
Pressed into living a Christ-life outpoured.