I am a wimp.
I am. I worry about stuff out of my control and pine away for things that are completely unrealistic. I want my children's lives to go perfectly for them and the thought of life teaching them hard lessons gives me great anxiety.
I know it isn't right, that I'm supposed to trust God. And I know that's how all of us learn, through difficulties, but the thought of my babies struggling or in pain makes me feel like throwing up. With another kid leaving for college in the fall, my nerve-o-meter is way up there. How will he adjust? How will he fight temptations? How will he handle the work load? Will he take care of himself? Will he eat more than ice cream? Will he do his homework without my provocation?
And yet it's these sorts of situations that make me aware of how much I need God. I've done a ton of praying this summer for my son and for myself, that I would learn to trust Him more, that I would know His peace and truly put my confidence in Him, not myself or my bank account or my kid. I've asked for "a word" from Him to soothe my wimpy self. He's given all kinds of words. First He reminded me of who He who is and how He works.
You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees. It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.
Psalm 119:68, 71
Then He told me what to do with my anxiety.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
And then there was a word about attaining power.
And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power . . .
1 Peter 1:5 (NLT)
Wait . . . what? God protects me THROUGH MY FAITH?! Can I find power to put away my wandering, anxious thoughts with the right mindset? Is my faith--choosing to believe God no matter what--the key to peace and strength and calm?
Whoa. How can I get me some of this faith?
1. complete trust or confidence in someone or something
2. strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof
Can I cultivate a strong belief? Can a person will themselves to completely trust?
If I'm patient and persistent, I think I can learn it. In a Couch to 5K program you don't run the 5K the first day. Likewise, I won't learn faith overnight. God doesn't take a magic wand, tap my head and give me instant faith. I have to work at it. It's a matter of choosing. Every time the fear or worry or anxiety appear I am faced with a choice. Do I believe God or not? It's really that simple.
Do you believe God or not?
Faith is not a passive activity. It requires a conscious, deliberate choice. If we believe Him, we choose to trust Him, even when we can't see how He'll work it out. When we get nervous or tense we'll choose Him again. When life wears us down, we choose to trust He's got it handled and press on. Every choice to trust brings us closer to God and His power. Just like training for a 5K, the more we do it, the stronger we'll get.
It's time to power it up, friends! It's not easy, but the payoff is worth it.
And THROUGH YOUR FAITH, God is protecting you by his power . . .
1 Peter 1:5 (NLT)