Sunday, November 15, 2009
It's time to remind myself of what I've learned the last couple years of my journey.
Namely, that God is not my enemy. He is not doing bad things to me, but wants to deliver me- to help and to heal me. God is good. This seems simple enough to understand, but you must know that when thoughts enter a person's mind like: "God won't help you, He doesn't care." and, "God isn't answering your prayers- He isn't going to either." then a greater answer is needed than just "oh yes, He does." Truth is needed! I've learned that I must store up the word in my heart, until it overflows out of my mouth in faith, and then it will come to pass in my life. I've learned that I can have whatever I believe, not just what I know mentally. When it's in me in abundance, and I can speak it out of my mouth, totally believing that it will come to pass, then I am using my faith. But if I don't believe it in my heart (if I only believe it mentally), then the only answer is to go back to the word, and keep feeding it in: to keep putting it into my eyes, into my ears, and into my heart.
When I focus on the physical problem, I magnify it; I am sensitized to it, and become more aware of it. However, when I focus in on God, I become aware of His greatness, and His goodness- then I give Him place to move in My life. My attention is less on the problem, and more on the love that God has for me. When I focus in on what is hurting me, and what's going wrong, I perpetuate it! I create at least a mental habit that keeps going over its wounds again and again! But when I focus on the love of God (in worship), and focus on others (in serving them in thinking about how they feel), I find I do have just a bit more strength that I can offer Him. I find that I do have enough love to love someone other than myself.
When something has come against our physical bodies, or our minds, it is tempting to despair, or to be selfish- to think only on what's wrong in our lives, and how to fix it. It can even seem like the right thing to do: like a person who discovers that they have celiac disease, who begins to focus on how to bake gluten free. This can seem like the right thing to do, right? Because it is best for that person's health; and they are doing it to heal, so they can be there for their family, right? But I think what can happen is that the focus is also on all those words like: "celiac, gluten free, disease, diahrea, sick," etc. etc. So if the focus is not on Christ, and His healing word, then we don't make progress! We just stay in a habit of researching: always trying to find a cure; always seeking an answer! The search for natural treatments is inexaustible- seemingly. But the word of God is inexaustible, truly!
And I know now that I can change my expectations. I don't have to let my mind go down every little bunny trail of what can go wrong, or what it is afraid of. I can speak God's word; I can pray; I can on purpose decide to expect something good. I can hope! This may seem out of reach to someone who is deeply depressed, but we are never beyond the reach of God's word, and we are never too sick to be affected by it! Even if a person can't read the bible, they can still play it on cd. Their spirit can hear it- it is the Seed, and it will Produce! The word of God itself contains the power to bring itself to pass, just like a cucumber seed has the power to bring forth a cucumber. But someone has to plant it! We must expose ourselves continually to God's word, in order to renew our mind! When we reach the place where God's word is changing what we think, then it will transform our lives! I've learned that when I focus on the little lying thoughts that come against my mind, and try to answer them with reasoning, then I exaust myself, and feel defeated. But when I answer them with God's word, I don't need to fight the battle- the word itself is doing the work.
Again, and again, I've learned that I can't sleep in and hope that some extra rest will do me good- I have to get out of bed and seek God through His word; I need Him. Even more than sleep.
I've learned that I am happier, more peaceful, and more content when I yield to Him (obey Him, submit to His Holy Spirit), even when it doesn't seem right, or fair, or as if anyone appreciates my sacrifice. He sees, He alone truly appreciates. He made a Sacrifice too.
I've learned that I can comfort myself with the psalms. I've learned that when this world seems overwhelming, that there is a Place I can go to be reassured, to be strengthened. I've learned that He is the ultimate Teacher; Lover; Provider; Healer; Forgiver; Strengthener; Standby; and Grace. I can't do without Him, and He doesn't expect me to. He will meet me. He will answer when I call.
Psalm 56: 8-11
You have kept count of my tossings, and put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book? Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise (in the Lord, whose word I praise), in God I trust, I shall not be afraid.