Worship

One of the attributes of modern society that puzzles me most is the habit of denying the value of an action or attitude whilst simultaneously engaging in the same characteristics in a modified form. I know the simple nine letter noun that sums the habit up succinctly. Since i have always been a woman of more words rather than less, i will allow Miss Bates to run rampant for a minute, but only one, i can afford no more.

Worship is often relegated to the storage-rooms of history.

It is wrapped in archival paper and shut away in boxes by those who labourously toil behind a screen always scrambling to stay ahead of the market. The one thing that is valued most and occupies more of our time than any other pursuit; that which we treasure more than any other-this is what we worship.

We all worship something or someone.

Twenty centuries ago the Apostle Matthew told us that what we treasure most is where our heart will be. He did not tell us that where our heart is our treasuer will follow. We often think that our heart decides what is most dear to us. St. Matthew said that our money or treasure determines where our heart will be. We worship what motivates our spending or giving.

Where do your time and money go?

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Write31Days

This will be a challenging October. This blog will hopefully come to life again! For 2017 i am joining the Write31Days power group for the third year. In October 2016 i was about to get married and the last six weeks of a wedding is insane enough on its own, so i skipped the October mayhem. If you are unfamiliar with Write 31 Days 2017 it is a LARGE group of bloggers who all commit to posting every day for the entire month of October. Who needs scary costumes or candy when you are trying to accomplish that?

Since i am restarting this blog i am keeping it simple for this year. After all, what is writing and posting each day for thirty-one days in a row, with the deadline of midnight ticking away to get the lead out of your fingers and get a writer going again? Are we not a group who are infamous for needing deadlines and imminent peril to force us out of our comfort-zones and requiring us to share our writing?

Grammarly and i are entirely aware of the peculiar capitalization rule that i have suddenly forgotten. As i mature in years, faith and marriage (almost 11 months) i have come to realize that i am not the only one who is always sure that they know best. Following the example of Mother Gavrilia, i have begun a practice of keeping my i humble and not capitalizing myself. If i say anything that is any value it will not be because of my brilliance anyway. The practice of making the self the center of one’s thought requires no assistance and the remedy necessitates of extraordinary effort.

i will be joining the FMF team also this year. Check them out here.Five Minute Friday

31 Days themes are thanks to Kate Motaung! For simplicity check them out right here…

  1. worship
  2. tell
  3. create
  4. hope
  5. trust
  6. story
  7. hold
  8. truth
  9. plan
  10. listen
  11. remember
  12. write
  13. invite
  14. try
  15. remain
  16. read
  17. grow
  18. share
  19. brave
  20. discover
  21. give
  22. light
  23. work
  24. revise
  25. because
  26. change
  27. ? (FMF prompt)
  28. connect
  29. follow
  30. refine
  31. rest

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Hearts and Flowers

Dear Reader,

Thank you for your patience during the recent lull in my blogging. To explain in the fewest possible words,

I met the man of my dreams and fell in love.

There is nothing like meeting your soul-mate at long last to hijack all your attention and derail all your work plans.

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You are not forgotten readers. I intend to get back on track and begin to post regularly once more.

As we roll into February and everyone else talks roses and chocolates I will attempt to temper all my romantic hopes and thoughts with words of rest and reassurance found in Christ.

That is my plan, my mind may be distracted by thoughts of my Beloved and wedding plans, but I will attempt to share words of inspiration and reflection that will be meaningful for those in all relationship statuses.IMG_2739

I will begin by reflecting on the nature of wisdom.

I wrote before about defining success. Wisdom is often viewed as the quality of having good judgement. In James chapter three wisdom is described as being of two kinds. He refers to one kind of “wisdom” as being, earthly, unspiritual and devilish. This is said to come from envy and selfish ambition. He said that this type of wisdom leads to every kind of wickedness.

James is right in pointing out to us that why we are looking for wisdom will often affect what type of wisdom we acquire.

If we merely want to prove a point we look only for the facts that substantiate our opinion. We may not even consider or notice factors that work against our preconceived notions. Our ambitions can easily blind us.

The other type of wisdom that James mentions is A Gentle Wisdom described in James 3:17,

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.”

In my opinion this is the wisdom I value the most. I don’t want to be blinded by an agenda. I do not appreciate ideas that are driven by someone’s ulterior motives.

The quest to find Gentle Wisdom is long and arduous.

The journey has a variety of challenges and the landscape changes and we are refashioned by the adventure. This is the pilgrimage of life. If we are not shaped and refined by the process we are not really engaged in the journey.

When we encounter life fully and skirmish with the truth we learn more of Gentle Wisdom.

In some respects it is only possible to see this wisdom after we are wounded and battle-hardened by the struggle of life. Wisdom is the reward of those who grapple with Truth and Life. Those looking for the easy way inevitably end up seduced by the worldly wisdom that leads to despair. For those who undertake the campaign for Truth the victory is not the cessation of all difficulty, but the blessing of Gentle Wisdom.

Endeavor to hold fast to the Truth and Gentle Wisdom will be the crown that is placed upon the head of the righteous.

If we fight for a crown of our own making we will drive ourselves to defeat. Abide in Christ-the Truth and victory is assured.

Grace and Blessings on you all in 2016!

A Tangled Life

child-562297__180 When I was a little girl I loved reading the “Little House” books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I think that is where it actually began. She described the rag doll that Ma made her for Christmas in The Little House in the Big Woods. I’m pretty sure she had knitted garters and stockings.

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Sewing, cooking and knitting occurred in various degrees in all the books. My mother taught me to sew and cook. I wanted to learn to knit and crochet like a well-rounded Victorian little girl. My mother didn’t know how to work with yarn. She tried to get me in a class at the local yarn purveyor, but they didn’t want to teach a child. I eventually got in a class at the local creative arts center.

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You wouldn’t expect it to become that important, but in a way my life has been a steady stream of yarn knitted into a whole.

I’m not sure I remember everything that I have knit. I was taught to knit a rectangle that was made into a simple slipper. One was so badly done as to be unwearable.

Somewhere in that second slipper my fingers learned the process. It quickly worked it’s was into muscle memory and my hands know how to knit and pearl without looking, or even much thinking about what I am doing.

Knitting has become ingrained into me.

I find knitting very relaxing. Some people talk about running and reaching a state of peace and pleasure from the experience. I think they call it a, “runners high.” For me that is the feel of the yarn flowing through my hand and the twists and turns of my hands.

The extra blessing of knitting is that useful garments ooze out of the process. I bore easily, so I always knit something new each time. One year I made all my friends mufflers for Christmas. I began in June. The interesting part is that each scarf was different. A different pattern and new type of yarn. It was a fun way to experiment with novelty yarns.

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When I don’t have a project on my needles I feel like something is missing. Honestly, I find myself looking at my knitting basket, then remembering I don’t have anything to knit, and feeling empty.

I knit continental. The fact that I always have the working yarn running toward the needles makes me a fast knitter. My fingers start to fly as soon as I start to learn the pattern. Being a fast knitter means that I run out of projects ready too quickly.

I just knit a new fall hat last month. I bought two balls of a merino-silk worsted weight blend. I knew I probably needed only one ball, but it would be close and I buy most of my yarn mail-order. Now I have a finished hat and a second untouched ball. I thought about mitts and looked through my patterns, but nothing really spoke to me. I already have a matching caplet I knit a few years ago.

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The merino-silk blend has a wonderful feel as it slide through my fingers. I think it is the feel of the yarn that I find most pleasurable in knitting. I don’t like knitting rough or synthetic yarn. Wool is my favorite due to it’s stretch. Fighting my yarn is not enjoyable.

The absolute most important feature of yarn is the idea of one long continuous piece of fiber. The concept represented in knitting is the best characteristic. If there were no other reason to knit I would knit to remind myself that it can all be unraveled.

No matter how tangled, confused, unworkable the piece becomes it can always be fixed.

Because it is one long, uncut piece of yarn it can be “unknit.” If it tangles it can be untangled.

Life can feel too much like a messy piece of knitted work.

There are moments when you think that you cannot go on. It can never be made right. Life leaves scars. Knitting does not. Knitting can be undone and remade exactly right.

As a recovering perfectionist I do not remove all my mistakes.

Unless it will alter the usability of the item, or leave a hole, I leave my mistakes in and simply correct the row in which I found the error.

In quilting there is a concept of the “humility block” where if the piece would otherwise be prefect they add a mistake to remember that we are only human. I regard the slight imperfections in my work as signs of the fact that while I am flawed I am made and loved by a perfect God.

Nothing can happen to me that God cannot help me to redeem. In Romans 8:28, St. Paul reminds us that, “And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” In my tangles I feel confident in my ability as a knitter of many years experience that I can repair the problem and move on.

Both the repair and the moving on are important parts of the crisis redemption. In life the same process must be undertaken.

Sometimes I must unknit in order to create something new. Always I need to undertake the process of remaking in light of the pattern. What was the purpose in the first place? Look at the big picture. What does the finished garment look like? How can you get back to the appropriate pattern?

I have never had anyone else able to find my corrections when the garment is finished. Even the worst mistakes can be worked out with a ball of yarn. It can be twisted and pulled into an amazing array of items. The longer you work at it the easier it becomes to unravel mistakes.

The more time we spend in Bible study and prayer the better we understand how to unravel life. It is one, long story. We are just a strand in a magnificent whole. Sometimes what looks like a mistake turns out to be a new stitch. Those of us who think ourselves particularly flawed are just the ones adding “texture” to the fabric of life. It all come out in the end. Fix the problem and move on. And On…

What should I knit next? Do any of you readers have suggestions for something that could be made with one skein and might be of some use with a hat?

Today I am linking up with Holley Gerth and Coffee for Your Soul. What encourages you to keep going when things are rough? How can you use that experience to encourage others to hold on to Jesus when life unravels? Holley-Gerth-Button-250x250

<a href=”http://holleygerth.com&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”http://holleygerth.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Holley-Gerth-Button-250×250.jpg”></a&gt;

Clouds

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I live in a valley on the leading edge of a mountain range. Clouds are ubiquitous in my world. We learned the basic types in school and I never gave them much thought again. Clouds are so common as to pass my notice.

This summer my apathy began to change. The first alteration occurred when I began to learn to paint watercolors. I discovered that there is not really white paint. White is the absence of color in watercolor. I stopped and looked up one day and pondered. How would you paint a cloud if you cannot paint white? I admit my prior ignorance here. I did not realize until that moment that clouds are not simply white or grey. Each one is an array of delicate and complex coloration. Even the typical clouds are far more than white.

I must have been looking up in awe. It attracted the attention of all those who were standing beside me. They couldn’t understand what was surprising about the sky. I had to explain about the white being an absence of color. Soon we were all projecting ideas about the clouds. That was the second revelation to me about clouds. Everyone has ideas about clouds. They are universally intriguing.

I used to view clouds as a negative. Clouds were a hinderance to sunlight. Clouds were the reason that my area experiences only a couple dozen sunny days a year. It takes my breath away when I hear about locales that have three-hundred sunny days a year!

Along with the clouds I regarded traffic as a nuisance. The clouds and traffic came together for me one day. It was a “mostly sunny” day for my area. The only clouds were cumulus and decidedly pretty. Not that I was looking up. I was driving around town on errands, running late. Red lights were not desirable, when every traffic light turned red, tension mounted in the car. In a spark of Divine inspiration, I turned my eyes off the red light during the wait for green. I looked up through the windshield so I would not need to stare at the annoying red. All that I could see was blue sky and a pretty cloud. I was momentarily arrested by the beauty of the cloud. My eyes darted back to the light several times in the course of that red light. I saw beauty and remembered God’s grace and providence. The fact that California is enduring a much publicized drought caused me to recognize how the unfailing clouds provide plenty of rain to my location. It was the first time I consciously remember thanking God for clouds.image

I began a new tradition that busy afternoon. Whenever I hit a red light I take time to admire the clouds while I wait for the light to change. Since the clouds are plentiful I simply look up through the windshield of my car on the lights and inevitably see at least one cloud. These momentary pauses are a welcome relief from the pressure of daily life. I am amazed by how many colors are present in even a cursory glance at a cloud. I am discovering that clouds are full of color. They are not basically white! No one has honked a car horn at me for dawdling over the clouds. It doesn’t take any time to notice beauty. What it requires is an intentionality. Clouds are no longer a negative fact. They are becoming welcome friends. They are friends with an infinite gallimaufry of colorful clothing.

How Fast is Time Flying?

imageWhat make time fly swiftly at some periods of life and crawl at others? This is one of the enigmas of time that we all recognize and ponder on some level. As a young lady I was fascinated by time and eternity. In my twenties I wondered why forty-year-olds didn’t know twice as much as twenty-year-olds. I concluded that it was a matter of constantly learning. I defined it as, “falling into a rut of sameness.” I vowed to keep my spirit hungry for learning and thereby to ensure a life well-lived.

My goal became to always keep growing and learning. I promised to never stay static. I recognized that life challenges us and encourages those who fall into being busy to the point of barely holding-on. Through the last decade I have witnessed an extraordinary push in our culture for people to overschedule themselves to the point of exhaustion. I am not sure if it is really more prevalent in our society or if it is a matter of the demographic that I am part of. Are we actually more stressed and overcommitted or is it generation-x coming into middle age? I suspect that both factors prevail. I know that I have been stretched so thin that I collapse exhausted into bed at the end of the day and rise eight hours later to start the whole run-until-you-drop all over again the next day. What I think may be new is that I consider myself lucky that I actually have the privilege of eight hours in bed. Notice, I did not say that I get eight hours of sleep a night. Like most of my contemporaries I battle insomnia.

We have lost our connection to the natural world. I managed to take my dog to the park three times this spring and summer. I did not go to the park without her. I do not have useable outdoor space at home. Three times I went out into nature! Perhaps this is part of the struggle to sleep. Our activity has nothing to do with the seasons, the sun, the wind, growing things.
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If I am going to be true to my youthful promises to myself I need to consciously re-orient myself to the fact that the possibilities are indeed endless. I love to learn. Learning something new has always been refreshing and restorative for me. This summer I am learning to paint watercolors. It has been something I have wanted for longer than I remember. I never painted. Well, not on paper or canvas and painting a room isn’t nearly as enjoyable. No matter how much I want to paint it takes careful planning to achieve time. Time that we do not view as productive is the rarest commodity in our culture. I cannot help but believe that this is one of the reasons that all community groups and church groups are desperate for volunteers. We have become a culture that views anything that doesn’t produce an income as a time-waster. We all have a bucket-list of activities that we are going to pursue, “when we have time.” The reality that we do not allow ourselves time to continue learning doesn’t dawn upon us until it is too late.

My mother was going to write a couple of books. All my life I knew this fact. Someday. She was healthy until she was in her sixties and then developed cancer and went home to the Lord fast. When she turned sixty-five I asked her if she was going to write. She told me she was too tired. She never wrote her books. We have all lost out on her words. I cannot write her words. God gave them to her alone. It is ever thus for each of us.

What gifts has God given you? What have you always longed to learn? Why are you too busy to become a full person? In my early journal I vowed to never stop growing up. I have learned many things in my life. One of the more important is that God wants us to use our time here well. A life well-lived that makes the most of our God-given talents and dreams and is within reach of each of us. It is assuredly a matter of priority. A half-an-hour here and there really does make a difference.

I had a dear friend who was active well into her nineties. She always introduced me as her “youth leader” and I told everyone I wanted to “grow-up” to be like her. She never lost her love of learning and shared my enthusiasm for technology even though she did not personally have a computer. When I bought a new computer with a touch-screen I took it with me on a visit and she happily played along with me, writing with a stylus, taking and editing digital photos, etc. She entered into other people’s joy and love of learning. Need I say that she was a teacher and wherever she went, people would come up to her and say, ”You were my favorite teacher.” Each one of us is demonstrating what we regard as important everyday with our actions. What do your priorities teach? Is your bank account your value as a person? How important are your relationships? Are you growing or are you withering?

The Sweet Stuff

I like a good salad in the summer. June strawberries are unlike strawberries of any other season. There are and endless variety of tasty garden treats available in the summer. I change my salads with the season choosing whatever is fresh and well-priced at the market. A salad in our household can take on an amazing variety of dishes. The primary request to have a salad enjoyed is homemade dressing. I once ate a salad without dressing. It was at a church function and those who were working in the kitchen were somehow under the false impression that everyone like Italian bottled dressing. Well, it actually tasted good. I had consumed the above mentioned bottled dressing at a previous event. It left me hard. It didn’t leave me, would be more accurate. I endured two days heartburn from that encounter and promised myself not to make the mistake twice. I ate a salad without dressing. Once. So that totals two times I ate a salad made a particular way at church before I decided to skip the tossed salad. A more prudent decision would have been to buy a reasonable bottle of salad dressing and keep it in the church refrigerator. I wonder how long it will last? I noticed there are a fair number of people not eating the tossed salad at church suppers.

I like a good salad dressing.
I make my own at home. It is astoundingly simple. Some lemon juice, vinegar, oil, salt, sugar (or honey) are all that are needed. You can make a good dressing plenty of other ways, but those ingredients make a delightful sweet dressing.
The key to making salad dressing is that you must mix the vinegar and oil thoroughly. It is really simple. A wire whisk will mix a creamy dressing in no time. You can pour the ingredients in a jar with a good lid and shake to achieve the same results.
The reason the mixing is key lies in the fact that vinegar and oil do not like to mix. You shake a bottle of salad dressing before each use because the oil and vinegar separate, quickly, on their own.
You may think I have changed the focus of this blog.

  
Did she convert this to a cooking blog?
No, friends. I am just keen on analogies for talking about the things of the Spirit. Eternal things are hard for me to get my brain around without an analogy or as Jesus used a parable.
Salad is like the Word of God. There is much good fruit in the bowl. You get different good things the savor overtime you come to the table. My favorite part is the sweet stuff that binds it all together. God is like a sweet salad dressing. I fear I may have shocked some of my readers. The law bites like vinegar and the gospel soothes like oil.
I once served salads at t church dinner sprinkled only with balsamic vinegar. I read that you could do this. I did not make the idea up. It was in a cooking magazine. They must have anticipated a really good balsamic vinegar be used. It did not work very well for me. We cleaned quite a bit of uneaten salad off the plates at the end of that meal. It seemed like a good idea. It came from a fancy magazine. We were pressed for time and help. I’ve been to worship experiences that tried the same thing. The law and our sinfulness is important. But without the gospel mixed in it is also depressing. Some people think that you can scare people into religion by drawing attention to sin. You can frighten people into a religion, but not into a relationship with Christ.
Another group runs the opposite direction and fears the mention of sin. They hold that all we should talk about is Christ ‘s love. In this congregation you will never hear sin mention. Sin is viewed as too harsh and discouraging. As an enlightened group they postulate that right and wrong are to vague and variable to quantify. 
Yet another segment of Christians believe that the most effective message is focused on other people’s sin. This group focuses intently on specific sins, particularly those that the majority have no desire to commit. In this church you will never hear a word about selfishness, greed, gossip or over-consumption.

In my humble opinion the best salad dressing is well-mixed. A good blend of all our shortcomings along with a hearty dose of forgiveness through Jesus Christ. We need reminded that there is definitive truth and that it is Christ who should judge, not us. A summer fruit salad is best dressed in the “sweet stuff”, the loving, valid Word of God.

Listening For God

Look up 1

You feel the beat of my  heart, Lord.
You hear the sounds of my doubts.
You overhear the words of my mouth,
Before I say them out loud.

You know what I really feel
When I have buried it deep.
You see the show from the truth,
What I truly believe.

You know all that I want,
My secret hopes and dreams.
You read the depths of my doubts,
What things are not as they seem.

Look up 2

You say that I am enough.
You listen to my ardent dispute.
You have compassion for me,
Lord, you lived here too.

You sing soft songs to my heart.
You say, “Be still, my dear.”
I tell you, “I’ve  got a plan.”
You quietly hold me near.

You say, “I’ll fight for you.”
I beg for more strength.
You conquered death for me.
You’ll go to any length.

Look up 3

You won the battle with sin.
I fight my own way.
You plead, “Please, be still.”
You defeated the fears I can’t name.

I give us lists for each day.
You wait quiet for me.
I implore, “Lord, just speak!”
You whisper my name.

Look up 4

Like Mary, I’m stilled.
For a moment fear fades.
“My Savior, He lives!”
You won’t go away.

We sit in silence a time.
My attention, it fades.
I run off chasing the mist.
Why can’t I remain?

#anythingproject

You Are Safe

Psalms 91:1-10


Assurance of God’s Protection

  

​You who live in the shelter of the Most High,
who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress;
my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence;
he will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
or the arrow that flies by day,
or the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
or the destruction that wastes at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord your refuge,
the Most High your dwelling place,
no evil shall befall you,
no scourge come near your tent.

I never tried to paint before. I have always been a seeker of beauty, a lover or art and a wondered at God’s glorious creation. I look at a tree or the sky and think about all the colors it would take to paint the scene, but I have never lifted paint to brush. 

In the book study on Spiritual Whitespace, author Bonnie Gray encouraged followers to pick a favorite verse write it on the page and illustrate it with watercolor. To be daring I tried this. I was inspired by the image of an eagle protecting it’s young. There was a now famous pair of eagles in Pennsylvania who valiantly protected their young through the winter snows. 

With no experience I did not consider that the paint of the eagle would cover over the verse beneath it. When I copied back over I transposed the terms Most High and Almighty. 

Anyway, I am sharing this because for me trying to paint was similar to other people jumping out of airplanes, or BASE jumping. I survived! I am using the fun of painting as a witness to God’s grace and goodness. What daring thing can you try to proclaim the glory of The Lord?

Worry

Worry is one of the most fundamental human emotions. From the beginning of time people have  resorted to worry about what we cannot control. Too much of human history has been damaged by the ugly culprit of worry. If we were not worried about our neighbors or enemies we would never go to war. I believe worry is one of the most effective tools in the enemy’s arsenal. Jesus repeatedly cautions His followers to avoid worry. 
In the Sermon on the Mount, His most famous sermon, Jesus specifically warns us not to worry. The New Testament Greek word used is merimnao. This is translated as worry, anxious or take no thought of in English.  
Matthew 6:25-34

Do Not Worry

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. 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 can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry 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 clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

I read this passage and I am very convicted. I worry. Frequently. Daily. I worry about things like: what can I make for dinner, what do I wear tomorrow, how do I regain some of my lost stamina? Jesus said to seek first His kingdom. There have been more mornings where I began with my To Do list and followed it with prayer that God would bless my endeavors. I recognize that this is backward, just as so much of what He taught is counter-intuitive. First I pray. Second I prioritize while considering the Gospels as my filter. For years I have felt the need to triage my agenda, as I learned that I can never accomplish all I wished. Jesus gives us the primary focus in this passage. Seek His kingdom. First serve the needy, the left-out, the lowly. Feed them food and the Word. Love His people. Do not worry about yourself. Trust God to care for you. Do I trust God to care for me? Or, do I seek first to maintain control myself? If I trust God I can take no thought for myself. If I really trust Him I am free to serve. He doesn’t tell me that I will have no trouble. Jesus tells me repeatedly that I will have trouble. Everyday I will have trouble. Trust is bigger than trouble.
Merimnao is used nineteen times in the New Testament. In Matthew’s gospel it is used again in 10:19 when Jesus instructs His disciples not to worry about what they will say when they are brought up on charges before the authorities. “Don’t worry, friends. You will be arrested.” Luke uses this word when Jesus tells Martha that she is distracted by merimnao/worrry about many things, while her sister, Mary has chosen the better part in sitting and listening to Him. Paul uses this word several times in his letters. In Philippians 4:6-7 he writes, “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
We are called to love and listen. Trust in God’s goodness to triumph in all situations. We all suffer, but worry need not cause us pain. Jesus said that there is enough trouble and pain in each day without our adding to the difficulty. The fact that something so logical and simple is so profoundly complex and difficult is I believe directly tied to our extraordinary difficulty in letting God be God. Human beings instinctively try to maintain control over our own circumstances. Life is a long process of learning to let go of control. If God, who is all goodness, is really in control of my life then I have nothing to worry about. Though trials assail me, He is for me. I do not fear, because He is near. This is why the peace of God is so elusive and hard to maintain. Peace only comes from letting go of control.
Do you struggle with worry? Do you think that worry is a waste of time? If you released control of your life and let God be in charge do you think you would find more peace? What have you learned about letting God be God? How have  you grown in your spiritual life by putting God first? Share what you have learned with us, as we all struggle to grow-up  into the people God created us to be, people of faith-people of peace.