“Come to me all you who are weary and over burdened, and I will give you rest. Put on my yoke and learn from me. For I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11: 28-30 Phillips
I remember lying in bed one evening filled with anger. I was angry at my husband, angry at friends, angry at my life as a stay at home mom. I felt under-valued, under-loved, misunderstood and generally frustrated with life.
“Poor me” kept running through my head like a drippy faucet.Drip after drip my head began to fill-up with all that was wrong in my life.
Consumed with the weariness of children, marriage, ministry duties, and just the everyday run of life my defenses wore down to nothing leaving me completely exposed to the temptation of “poor me.” As I lay in bed, unable to sleep, I ruminated in circles from anger to despair to guilt and back to anger. Then somewhere on my 10 or 12th lap, I remembered the advice I had given just a few weeks earlier to a woman who had miscarried.
This dear woman, fresh in loss, was struggling with negative thoughts towards other women who were pregnant. The sight of round bellies full of life triggered anger and despair over her recent loss to rush into her mind. She asked me how to rid herself of these thoughts? I told her two things; acknowledgement and prayer. Acknowledge that you have those emotions and hand your emotions over to the Lord in prayer.
Prayer is such a powerful tool. Prayer puts your heart in a position of humility and honor. It is humbling to accept your life as not your own. It is humbling to have to ask for help. It is humbling to be human. It is so much easier to be angry then to prayerfully admit need.
Trusting God to take care of you can be scary. It can be so hard to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
A few weeks ago my husband and I were riding our tandem. Derrick was in the front seat and I was in the back seat. Up to this point in our marriage I felt we had a trusting and good relationship. But then I got on the bike and realized Derrick was in complete control of the bike. And as we started down the hill, I was sure he was going to kill me. I pleaded with him to slow down or not to do this or not to do that. But every-time I tried to lean on my own understanding rather than trust Derrick the bike would lean and wobble and sway. To keep on a straight path I learned that it was best to trust. Despite my fears that Derrick’s motive in bike riding was to ram us into a tree and end our lives, Derrick really had my best in mind. I learned a powerful lesson that day; Derrick wanted what was best for me because he loved me.
This same lesson applies to God and me. God wants the best for me because he loves me. Sometime the best for me is painful, sometimes it is joy filled, and sometimes it is a loss. God’s best cannot be defined in human terms it is defined in blood.
The reality is I need God. I need his definition for my life. The definition printed in blood at the cross. In bed that night as I was overflowing with my anger, frustration and guilt, the thought of the woman who had miscarried guided me to the realization I was leaning on my own understanding and it was getting me nowhere. I needed God. So, I acknowledge my anger, handed it over to Him in prayer, and started to thank Him for all the things He had done for me starting with His death on the cross for my sins.
The negative drips stopped and were replaced with drips of thanksgiving. Instead of having a mind overflowing with pride and mistrust, I started to have a mind and heart overflowing with thanksgiving. Drip…I am thankful that you love me just as I am. Drip…I am thankful that I have a husband who loves me. Drip…I am thankful for Your provision. Drip…I am thankful that You have given me this day to live with You.