Thoughts for the anxious heart

I live between two conflicted traits: on one side I'm too likely to trust and on the other side I don't trust at all.

I identify with Jane in Pride & Prejudice when Elizabeth says "Oh! you are a great deal too apt, you know, to like people in general. You never see a fault in any body. All the world are good and agreeable in your eyes."

Yet on the other hand, I've experienced enough of the world to know it isn't always good and agreeable. 

The result is often that I'm wary of trusting those I love the most--just in case. In my walk with Christ, this causes tension because on one side I trust . . . but on the other I'm wary and I like to keep my just-in-case options open. 

Can you identify?

I'm in one of those seasons of having to trust. Like the Israelites, I've seen His hand in action time and time again. But I'm forgetful. It's not long before I'm trying to strike it out on my own again because maybe this time He won't prove trustworthy. 

In a season of uncertainty, it all adds up to a lot of anxiety. And I'm sharing all of this because I know that I am not the only one who faces this struggle. 

As we battle tendencies not to trust, with the desire to trust, and the worry about tomorrow, we often expect the Lord's harsh rebuke. Which makes us shrink back from Him further. 

And in that struggle was where I found myself this week. 

Yet . . . His love. 

We had the most beautiful flowering tree on our property in New York. I'd hold on through the harsh winter anticipating the day it would erupt in delicate pink blossoms. And every year I relished the beauty and scent of that week it bloomed.

That joy was a simple thing, but it was one of the things I knew I'd miss when we made our move from New York to Arkansas.

Six months later, after a 1,000 mile move, an adventure of watching the Lord direct, and a new home I love, I found myself this morning contemplating decisions. Simply put, I was worrying about tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that. To add to my internal tension, my boys were in "moods"--you know exactly what I mean. 

So in desperation I brought them outside to enjoy a lovely day. I noticed the mail come so I walked to the box and glanced over my shoulder to see not one, but two of those very same trees on our property.

I had no idea they were there.

And with that glance came the whispered reminder that I'd never asked for something I loved so much to be replaced when we followed the Lord into a new adventure. I gave it up and followed.

Many, many years ago He prepared this property for us. Planting those two trees beyond our bedroom window and saving them for me to see today.

If He can provide so lovingly for the unspoken desires, how much more can we trust Him to provide for those things on our hearts? 

I think this struggle we face, dear friend, in many ways is really rooted in a disbelief that God actually loves us. Truly, deeply loves us. 

We think that we as believers are still in this adversarial relationship with Him, rather than one in which He has pursued us because He delights in us. 

"You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
    and your land shall no more be termed Desolate,
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,
    and your land Married;
for the Lord delights in you,
    and your land shall be married."

Isaiah 62:4

Friends, what if we lived like women who are delighted in? Ones who are rejoiced over? When the anxiety hits and the breathing becomes rapid, we'd breathe deeply and remind ourselves that we are delighted in--and whatever the issue, He knows and is caring for us in it, through it, and beyond it. 

Because that really is the truth of the matter. And that makes all the difference.