In recent months as God is prone to do in my life He has been teaching me that I can hold good and hard, wholeness and woundedness, joy and sorrow, or any other opposing emotions at the same time.
So much of my life has been one or the other: either it’s a good day or season of life or bad, either I am hurting, or joy filled, I am feeling whole emotionally, or I am struggling. This has led me to live a life of emotional ups and downs.
As a passionate woman who loves and feels deeply and one who is empathetic to a fault, those emotions have caused me to live on high and low extremes and left me wondering where the abundance and peace of God were in my life.
John 10:10 tells us that the thief comes to kill and destroy ~ in my life, that has translated to living by whatever the circumstances of my life were dictating. But in that same verse Jesus says that He has come to give us life and give it abundantly.
Proverbs 28:26 whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
As I have learned to hold both (or more) emotions simultaneously, I am finding that instead of my life looking like steep mountaintops and deep valleys, it is now rolling hills. I am not desperately striving or clamoring anymore for circumstances to unfold the way that I want them to. Rather, I am placing them in Jesus’ capable hands.
The thing is, I always have placed my hearts desires in His hands. I’ve always frantically wanted Him to lead, but I kept the outcome that I desired, or thought that I needed before Him constantly praying in that vain: repeatedly, repetitiously as in Matthew 6:7. I didn’t truly give Him full control because I was so busy bringing my longings before Him that I wasn’t listening ~ only striving for what I had set my heart on.
Because of circumstances in my life since I was a little girl, I have lived my life by those words: desperate, frantic, striving, clamoring. These are harsh words, words that connotate always being on high alert, being one step ahead so that I am not blindsided. Living this way has led to not being kind to myself in any area of my life. I have learned in the last several months of my life that I do not want to live that way anymore, it’s exhausting on every level.
I love the “But God” statements in the bible. They usually point to a hard circumstance that turns around because “But God was there, But God was leading, But God knew their hearts…
One of my favorite of these is: Psalm 73:26 My flesh and heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
I do not need to live my life as a bulldozer ~ bulldozing God (or rather trying to), and circumstances in my life while I am waiting on His answer to any one of my many prayer requests. I can lay my requests before Him, placing them at the foot of the cross and know that Jesus will guide my circumstances and lead my life the way that He sees fit. And I can rest easy knowing that He loves me (1 John 3:1), has the best in mind for me (Esther 4:14) and that He is sovereign over every single desire of my heart (Job 42:2).
In a devotion recently it described how the author wanted to “wait well” for the things she hoped for. That resonated deeply with me: I do not want to be content, at peace and living an abundant life only when things are going my way. I want to trust Him on a daily basis and find contentment and joy in the trusting, not in the outcome.
I can live my life knowing that God is good and in that I can pray as Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6:9-13: (The Message)
7-13 “The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:
Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. Set the world right; Do what’s best— as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.