Last week I was fretting over a situation that I had no control over. It was not life-altering even though my mind was taking me down the same road it normally takes and I was fearful. Familiar?
Someday I will post more about my past bouts with anxiety and my road from fear to faith, but for today I will simply admit that my road to faith is not yet complete. Each time a hurdle is overcome, my thankfulness for God’s hand of mercy and grace humbles me yet again. However, it never fails, the next time a hurdle presents itself, the worries and fears appear again. But I am reminded each time that God has never forsaken me and His hand has never left me and no matter what happens, He is still God and I am still kept in the palm of His hand. And each time, the worry monster gets a little smaller. Thank You, Lord.
As silly as it may seem today, last Thursday one of our sweet dogs was having some trouble eating and drinking and we didn’t know what the problem was. Our dogs are outdoor country dogs and when we noticed her having trouble, it occurred to me that her rabies vaccination was overdue. Well, there went all sane thoughts right out the window. I was in fearing-the-worst mode and couldn’t get out. My husband took her to the vet on Friday morning, we found out the the culprit was not rabies, and she is now on meds that we are hoping will make her all better soon. And next month when she is feeling better, she will be back to the vet for her rabies shot.
Every incident such as that one assures me that I am still not where I want to be in my faith, but it also reminds me how far I have come. I was anxious, but I was not overwhelmed with paralyzing anxiety. I was able to remind myself of the faithfulness of God and to tell myself that no matter the outcome, God already had it all under control and we would be given the grace needed to deal with whatever news the vet gave us about our dog (named Grace).
And you know what? God blessed me yesterday morning, while our sweet doggie and my husband were at the vet’s office, with a reading in my daily devotional that was just perfect for the struggle at hand. My nature is such that it is tempting for me to believe it was simply a coincidence. After all, that would have been the devotion I read that morning whether our dog had a problem or not. But what a blessing it was for me to read it at the exact time that I was fretting with my usual worse-case-scenario thought process.
I am presently going through Paul David Tripp’s book, *New Morning Mercies ~ A Daily Gospel Devotional, and yesterday’s reading was about Jesus walking on the water to the disciples’ boat while it raged in a storm. Tripp says, “If all Jesus wants to do is relieve the difficulty, he wouldn’t have to take the walk…He takes the walk because he is not after the difficulty. He is after the men in the middle of the difficulty. He is working to change everything they think about themselves and about their lives…For the believer, peace is not to be found in ease of life. Real peace is only ever found in the presence, power, and grace of the Savior, the King, the Lamb, the I am. That peace is yours even when the storms of life take you beyond your natural ability, wisdom, and strength. You can live with hope and courage in the middle of what once would have produced discouragement and fear because you know you are never alone. The I am inhabits all situations, relationships, and locations by his grace. He is in you. He is with you. He is for you. He is your hope.”
Today I am so thankful for God’s persistence in teaching me about Himself and the peace He continually gives. What a loving Father to bless me with timely words in the midst of my self-imposed storm.
God has given us all hands ~ hands to serve. Let’s use them to serve Him well.