I’m so serious, so intense, and even uptight at times. I can get in my head and ruminate or obsess on every little mistake; or I can project into the future disaster after tragedy after bereft. I fear persecution, embarrassment, failure; even worse, I fear success! I wake up in the middle of the night with nerves snapping and neck knotted from wearing an unidentified burden of doom.
Living like this has caused me to react in paranoid protection mode, shooting at others or shooting myself in the foot. So it was with great relief when I learned something about the redeemed life of living in relationship with Jesus Christ. There is powerful peace in His Word.
Just like today when I read out loud (oh, you have to try this, especially the psalms that were written to be sung by a choir!), Psalm 107. I’m singing the blues there in the stanzas that repeat four times, “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses (Psalm 107: 6, 13, 19, 28). But it’s the refrain in this song (also sung four times) that must have been a crescendo of musical instruments, altos, sopranos, tenors, and bass singers ripping loose in colossal harmony, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!” Psalm 107: 8, 15, 21, 31.
This is like one of those songs in church that requires clapping to the Lord and some shouted Amens! Out go my foolish worries, replaced by the joy of being in God’s care. Then I settle down and read the sermon in Romans. It falls tenderly on my heart when I realize that the Apostle Paul may have had a similar personality as me. He uses words like “beg” and “strive” to ask his friends in Rome to pray with him (just a little intense, there, Paul?) His prayers are even about the same things that I am concerned. For instance, I ask God to protect me from those who do not know Him. Paul, too, prays that he may be delivered from unbelievers. I worry that my service to the church is inadequate; Paul asks that his service to the church would be acceptable. I hope that God will bring joy to my family and that I will gather with them. Paul prays that God would allow him to joyfully visit his Roman brethren. And I cannot tell you how much I desire to just have a time when I am not obligated to do one thing; and there is Paul, asking others to join him in prayer just to get a vacation and some needed R&R. (Very loosely paraphrased from Romans 15:30-32.)
Support straight from the heart of God. I know this is where my peace will come from; for God is quoted in Psalm 108:7 as saying, “I will rejoice…”(indicating His pleasure) to deliver us, show His glory in His deliverance, andto shower us with loving-kindness and mercy.
Just breathe in – -breathe out, Janet!
All Scriptures are from the Nelson Study Bible, New King James Version, Trinity Fellowship Church 25th Anniversary Commemorative Edition.