By Rebecca Vickery
When Adam and Eve were created, he formed them out of the dust. When Ezekiel saw the valley of dry bones, God had Ezekiel cry out to the dry bones, “I will make breath enter you, and you will come alive.” And God did as He had said, and breathed life into the valley of dry bones awakening a mighty army.
Ephesians says that God can do immeasurably more than we can ask or even imagine. I know these things. I believe God can provide, transform, and bring dead things to life. Yet, I can lose perspective and look at situations or relationships as being hopeless. I have stored up a wealth of anxiety in a pit in my stomach. The pit of despair so to speak (for you Princess Bride fans). I have known
first hand the physical effects of worry.
Recently I have asked the Lord to help me know what it means to give him my worries. I have identified some of the big ones and given them to His care. This is a thing that is worrying me. Please take care of this and I want to leave it with you. For the things that persist, relationships that continue to challenge, I might need to surrender again and again. This is troubling my heart again. Please take care of it. Please release its hold on my heart.
In doing this, something has become evident. My circumstances haven’t become less stressful, but I’m snapping and snipping at those closest to me much less. When I start snipping, becoming prickly, I recognize it and take it to the Lord. “Why am I feeling so anxious?” Or like David says, “why are downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?” After which, He will sometimes show me what’s bothering me, and I’ll surrender that to Him.
The next step after processing this with God is so important. When I have been prickly with those around me because of my own stress, or fear, or worry, I need to apologize and make amends for my behavior. Sooner rather than later. My children are a typical spill zone for my anxiety, so I frequently have to apologize to them. I’m working on being present with them instead of fixing my mind on an
agenda that is seldom going to go to plan. My life is chaotic, even in the best of times, but walking and TALKING with God in the midst of it, I can have peace in spite of my circumstances.
One week while intentionally giving my worries to God, I noticed some interruptions to my normal routines. My brain has been less stuck in the ruts that have been carved by past worries. Jesse recently spoke about how our worries can block us from bearing witness to the extravagant love of God. How frequently have I allowed my prickly bits to be held onto so tight that I have been less loving. Less
patient. Less gracious. Less Him. More me. Yet. As I have surrendered, I have seen Him demonstrate His extravagant love to me. And I’ve been allowed to be used to demonstrate a part of that love to others.
The Lord loves me. He loves me with an everlasting love. I can settle into this rut. This is a carving out that I can stay in. If instead of worry, the Lord can carve out channels of love in my brain and alter the way I think about the world, he can change the way that I view others. If I stay in the channel of that love, it can change the way I view myself. What could happen if I truly learned how to see me the way that God sees me?
Lord, make me a channel for your love. Help me give up the things that I hold onto so tightly. Allow me to believe that you love me unconditionally. Help me to be rooted and established in your love. Give me power with all the Lord’s people to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that I may be filled to the measure of all the
fullness of God. Help me to be love to a people who so desperately need it. From those closest to me, to those I run into in my daily life. Help me not to be a stumbling block for others in my weakness, but to surrender my worries to you so that I don’t end up pushing people away from you in my own distress.
Dig Deeper: Hang out in Ephesians 3:14-21. Meditate on what it means to be loved by God.