Monday, May 25, 2009

"An Untroubled Heart," Chapter 8

I am posting SO late on some of these chapters, but I just re-read Chapter 8 and 9 of our book, "An Untroubled Heart," and felt like I needed to post on them. If you want to join in our study, hop over to Lelia's site to either join in, or read other posts on each chapter.

Chapter 8: Overcoming the fear of the Unknown

So much of my life has been consumed by worrying. I have found myself worrying about the future. Then, in my worry, I have tried to figure out what all the different possibilities could be that might happen, and plan for each one. I might not "physically" prepare, but I "mentally" prepare, and plan out my actions.

It has driven me insane at times, because, even in the little things if I plan something out and it changes, then I feel like I am thrown for a loop. I get all bent out of shape, because the control I was trying to have over the future, is suddenly wrenched away from me.

"In order for us to experience His life in ours, we have to make a choice. We can either continue to live our lives our own way - by holding on to fear, doubt, and control - or we can die to self and allow Jesus to live His life of wisdom, faith, power, and holiness through us."

"Yielding to God's will means that when we come face-to-face with a problem we've never encountered before, we can maintain our peace and actually look forward to the next step God has for us."

It's hard to make that choice to let things go and trust in God. But the freedom after making that decision is more than worth the struggle to let go.

Even the pain of situations is worth the hurt.

"...unpleasant things will happen to us in this world. They're out of our control. Yet in God's economy, every fear, every pain, every sorrow, and every loss is not wasted. God uses these little deaths to make us more like Him."

As I suffer through something, a part of my character is changed to look more like God. It is not always easy, and does cause some pain at times as God chisels away at us, removing things that need to be taken away so that we look more and more like Him. As we let Him chisel away at our imperfections, not only do we look more and more like Him, we become more and more like the people He created us to be.

Our characters change from the small (and big) deaths in our lives. We also gain because we get closer to God. Our relationship becomes deeper. We trust Him more. Surrendering our fears of the unknown, and letting go of that desire to control our own future, and trusting ourselves to His care (even when it hurts) changes us, deepens our relationship with God, and makes it more possible for us to engage with others. We are able to share our difficulties with others, the lessons we have learned, and help them through difficulties of their own.

God is so good, even when it is hard.

It has been hard these past few weeks, but God has proved so faithful. When I finally have surrendered to Him, He has changed my heart and helped me surrender to Him. He has helped me trust Him on a deeper level.

And that is worth everything.


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

As I reflect on my life and how it has changed, even in the past year, I am amazed at how far my God has brought me. The growth is measurable, and my faith is stronger than ever. That being said, I still struggle with fears and with letting go of my control over tomorrow. I'm trying to simply rest in the day, knowing that tomorrow will come all too quickly.

I'm praying for the daily rest of knowing Jesus as I surrender yet another child to the college years. This will be a telling summer on so many fronts, of that I am sure.

Thanks for checking in, Heather. God's peace and blessing rest upon you this week.


Andrea said...

Heather, yes, God is so good to us. As a young woman, I read Catherine Marshall's books. Through her inspirational writing, she teaches about the power of relinquishment, giving up all, yielding our entire lives to God in everything, at all times.

What a challenge it is to live this truth! Yet, I am ever pressing toward it, hoping to endure with patience.

I love your beautiful words.

In Him,