From Worry to Watching, Part 2
Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Phil 4:6 (MSG)
Our host’s inclusion of Jesus in every conversation and decision emanated from a response to the gospel - she was a genuine bond slave by choice, gladly looking for the next way she could declare His goodness to others.
Through the years I've thought of this dear sister and friend of Jesus, when like a cat with a mouse, I worry a problem into an obsession, trying to control the behavior of others. Sadly at those times, I've missed the joy of seeing God exchange my worry for watching. Sometimes in those worrying seasons, God flashes up the memory of her in that car, clearly flustered, calling out to Jesus, as though He was sitting right next to her, because He was. The memory is a little nudge that encourages me to remember, Jesus is in the car with me, in the kitchen, in the office, in the conversation with the grands, in the meeting with a wounded woman, in my marriage. He is the ever present help, the rescuer, the comforter, and the wisdom I need. When I accept this nudge to remember, a call to pray, I experience the treasure of watching Him unfold plans that are so much better than mine and I learn once more that watching is much more restful and sparkling than worrying - any day.
I need to watch more.
LIFE GIVING ENCOURAGEMENT
If you have never tried journaling, try it for the remaining weeks of this Life Giving Encouragement series. Recognize that becoming like a little child in your relationship to Jesus requires a recognizing of your own inadequacies and a spirit of gratitude that He holds you tightly in His grip when you agonize in prayer. Ask the Lord to show you how hard places can drive you into the heart of Jesus and prayer can shift you from worry to watching.
Note in your journal the date and name of the person(s) you’re praying for. Be specific in how you pray and ask the Lord to transform the worry in your heart to watching the Lord “show up” in ways designed to turn hearts toward Jesus. Recognize that the waiting may be long, but trust the growing dependence on the Lord will break the chains of worry.
For more on prayer, check out the book, A Praying Life by Paul Miller.
STORE UP MORE TREASURES
At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. I encourage you to go the the MARKINC website and listen to the The Demons of War audio resource so that you can store up treasures of encouragement for the next rainy day in your life or someone else's. Here is a summary and teaser of this resource:
The hidden wounds of war - those that wound the spirit - are addressed in this resource. Dr. Chuck Betters and his wife, Sharon, interview Captain Nate Self, the hero of the Battle on Robert's Ridge in Afghanistan. This gripping interview depicts a life and death struggle during a 15 hour battle where seven men lost their lives valiantly fighting on top of a snow covered mountain. As the interview weaves from the battlefield in Afghanistan to the battle against Post Traumatic Stress, the devastation caused by this problem becomes vividly clear. The responses from Nate Self and the concluding words of Dr. Betters will inspire those who are dealing with, or those who know someone dealing with, the hidden wounds of war.
In Part Two, Dr. Chuck Betters and his wife, Sharon, probe Post Traumatic Stress. They interview a registered nurse with the Department of Veterans Affairs, two veterans from the Vietnam War, and two veterans who have recently served in the War on Terror. These veterans respond with specific solutions and real answers that will surely benefit those struggling with the "Demons of War."