Monday, November 22, 2010

When You Think You Are Standing Firm...

I am a recovering worry-holic. I grew up a worrier, trained by one of the world’s best mentors in that arena – my Mom – who taught me that there was always something worthy of worry. In my early driving days we had no cell phones. Mom had me so well trained that if I didn’t remember to call her when I arrived to my destination, I would be overcome with worry that she was in a fit of worry. I worried about my friends, my teachers, my siblings, and especially about my pets. Worry increased daily over college, my future husband, my finances – you name it, and I could worry enough for the both of us.

Please don’t misunderstand. I am not Mom bashing here, nor am I hinting that there is no cause for concern for the ones we love. But Jesus taught that we should not worry about our lives (Matthew 6:25). In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he contrasts anxiety with peace. Worry is the enemy’s way of robbing us of the peace we have in Christ.

Since I was not a follower of Christ when my worrying skills were being perfected, I had no idea that there was another option. Praise the Lord that He began to teach me otherwise. Philippians 4:6-7 was one of the first passages of Scripture that I memorized: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NASB) Little by little, with God’s help and by using this verse to push away the worry, I overcame the sin.

Well, at least I thought I did. When I thought I had “arrived” and literally told someone that I “just don’t worry anymore,” guess what hit me. Yep. Worry. I struggle with worry to this day. Not to the same extent by any means, but there are times in my prayer life when the Spirit cries to my heart, “this is called worry!” Together, my Savior and I walk the familiar path of casting my cares upon Him and I wonder if He’ll ever get tired of playing this game. It brings me to my knees when I realize that His mercies are made new every morning. This promise is as true for me today as it was for those in Bible times. He does not tire of my shortcomings and reaches to help me as often as I’ll call to Him.

I have a long list of areas where I believed my heart was fully His. Truly, I thought I’d “made it” on at least a few points, but am reminded more and more that there is still work to be done. We never “arrive,” nor reach a place where we can stop growing. Our salvation is secure, but our transformation will not be complete on this side of heaven. 1 Corinthians 10:12 teaches, “Therefore, let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.” Ouch. That’s a tough lesson for me. But verse 13 continues, “…God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (NASB)

Temptation will come and we will fall. Of that we can be sure. But our God is there to walk with us and we are equipped to endure by His strength through us. Praise His Holy Name that as Believers we can consider ourselves recovering sinners!

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