Monday, September 19, 2011

Restless, Worried, Anxious, Unsettled?

Over the weekend, I got curious and ended up studying and writing down all the various times that Scripture uses the phrase, "that you may know", so that I could see those times when God did something specific to teach us something specific.  It was incredibly clarifying-- they all center on this idea: God wants you, me, Israel, Gentiles, the nations, indeed- all the peoples of the world- to know that He alone is God, that there is no other, and that Jesus and the Father are one.  That pretty much sums up all 5 pages of my notes about the "that you may know" passages.


So last night, I started feeling anxious about a house. We've been talking about buying a house now (since real estate prices are so low), to rent out while we're gone, so that we'd have a "homebase" to return to each time we visit family, rather than scrambling to find a furnished house. Yesterday, we found one online that is priced to sell. So many people are (understandably) trying to sell their house at the price it would have sold for 4 years ago, but this house was priced well under-market, and it has a pool in the backyard.   AND- it's just a few houses down from my parents' house.

Anyway, I began worrying. I'm not normally an anxious person, or at least I haven't thought that I am. But I was nervous about that house. Worried that someone else would see it and snatch it up first. Restless that our realtor hadn't written us back yesterday after we e-mailed him (lighten up, Jess, it's a SUNDAY). Really feeling unsettled about the entire situation, because I was so eager to see and buy the house.

Once I realized how nervous and anxious I felt, I reflected on all I've been learning in my counseling class-- that what comes out of us is actually just the fruit of what we're believing in our heart. I was believing lies-- that it's all up to me, that I can control a situation into what I want it to be, that things will not work out unless I __________.  

At 1am, with no one else awake in the house, I began speaking out loud what I know to be true, replacing the lies with the truth.  It sounded something like this:
God, You are good.  You have always cared for us. Your provision has never come to an end. You let us find this house where we could live while in Texas.  You have led us to good deals for the shampoo bottles (they were right in front of me) we use, You have provided these clothes (my mother in law had dropped her wardrobe "extras" off earlier in the day).  We have always had a place to live, and so many times, God, You have surprised us with a wonderful home You had in store for us-- better than we could've imagined!  If we are to have that house, it will be ours.  I trust You to give us what we need, and to take care of all that concerns us.  I don't have to worry or fret; You are in control.
As I turned from disbelief and worry, and turned to faith and trust in Our Soverign LORD, everything changed.  My heart felt at rest, and I fell asleep so easily.  Simply knowing the truth, or having affirmed it previously in a class or my own personal Bible study, was not enough... I needed to remind myself of it, and reflect on it, and allow it to resonate in my soul, in the moment when my heart was being pulled to trust in something OTHER than God.  THEN, my heart followed.  

My heart remembered the things God wants us to know-- that He alone is God.

Knowing that God is the "blessed controller of all things" frees us from rattling nerves or a worried heart. Focusing on the reality of His sovereignty allows us to rest when our hearts would otherwise be spinning and anxious.

Image:  Stuart Miles /


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