Saturday, December 29, 2012

As 2013 looms on the Horizon...where does my hope lie?

This verse from the prophet Jeremiah is one of my favorites.  It is my life verse.  God gave it to me many years ago, and He has always been faithful to keep it for me.

I don't know that I have always been as faithful to believe it, though.  I think, for the most part, I believe parts of it.  That God has a plan for me? Got it.  That His plan is to prosper me and not to harm me?  Uh..sometimes got it.  That He also plans to give me hope, and a future...that kind of depends on the day. depends on my faithfulness to God "on the day".

So, as 2012 is quickly sliding into the realm of history, and 2013 looms on the horizon, what do I hope for in the new year?  What am I resolving?  What changes will be made, what problems will find solutions, what attitudes will be adjusted?  Good questions.

I want to trust the God of this verse more.  I want to trust Jeremiah's God, the God who doesn't just have a plan, but who declares it out loud, who wants to prosper those who trust and love Him, who does not harm me, who plans to give me, glory of all glories, a hope and a future.

I have been slowly realizing that I have begun to see life as one continuous stumble, a constant meeting of trouble, getting through, taking a deep breath, and meeting the next trouble.  In moments of trouble, I make my way through, holding on to God, learning from Him, growing in obedience, asking for forgiveness when I fail, praising Him when we make it through together.  In moments of you know what I tend to do in moments of peace? I wait for the next moment of trouble to hit.  Maybe not outwardly. I am, by nature, and optimistic person.  I don't forecast gloom, complain about things before they happen, grumbling about the storm that I am certain is going to ruin my lovely, sunny day.  I enjoy the sun, I breathe deeply when the air is rich and fragrant, I see the splashes of grace and know that I am loved.

But inside, deep inside, anxiety niggles at me.  I fully engage myself in moments of pleasure and peace, but I am beginning to realize that in my innermost being, I believe that the good times are temporary. Rest stops, maybe, but no place for me to live.

I'll give you an example.  The past few months have been really good.  I've been working hard, and achieving great results. I've done well in school, and getting lots of positive feedback from my job, I'm enjoying meeting lots of new people, and am getting to the place (although I'm not there yet) where I know that I can relax about money and bill paying, etc. The pain from past sorrows is easing.  I am enjoying my relationship with God, and while there are heartaches, He is sustaining me and lifting me up daily.

Still, there is a part of me that can't relax.  That keeps peering upward, waiting for the proverbial "other shoe to drop".  Another death, maybe.  Or, and this one really bothers me, probably because it feels more likely, another heart attack.  My mind keeps drifting down that path, the "What if?" road to worry and insecurity.  What if I have another heart attack?  And can't work?  What then?

Now, how afraid am I of this?  Enough to make sure I take my meds daily, but not enough to stop me from helping Grace shovel the driveway yesterday.  I am not tormented by it.  It does not haunt me.  It's not a swarm of wasps up my shirt.  It's a mosquito in my ear.

So, if it isn't an army of angry wasps up my shirt, what's the problem? The problem is not the mosquito of worry. It's the belief - of lack of belief - that has created this mosquito.

There is a lot of talk in Christian circles about getting out of our comfort zone. What happens when comfort is out of our comfort zone?  When having enough money to meet my needs (almost there!) and feeling healthy enough to enjoy life and work (with a few accommodations), when having a great relationship with an amazing daughter who is smart, kind and in love with Jesus with a maturity that blows my mind and having special people in my life, when being able to write and having time to read (other than academic stuff), when life is going okay and God is as close as ever...what happens when that is outside of my comfort zone?

The truth? God deserves more from me. That's it. Pointe finale.  Of course stuff happens, and life is full of problems to be solved, challenges to be faced.  Still, God deserves a child who knows that she knows that she knows that while, yes, He is her peace in the storm, the truth is that sometimes there isn't a storm.  I don't have to wear my life jacket 24/7.  I don't need to try to pull my jacket around the life preserver that I wear, every day, just in case.  Sometimes, there is no storm.

Ultimately it comes down to this.  If there is a storm coming, I don't need to know about it.  Sounds radical, huh?  The thing is, God knows about it.  All I need is Him.  All I need is Jesus.

All I need is Jesus.  He is my peace. He is my joy. He is my love, my life, my hope...and He is my calm in the lack of a storm.


No comments:

My Zimbio