Take a Deep Breath
There are many things that have distracted me today. I’m not eager to write out what actually goes on inside me sometimes because I’d rather you all think highly of me instead of realizing I’m a human being. Nevertheless, here lies the struggle of Hannah on April 29, 2016 in effort to kill her pride. I hope it points you to Jesus!
Today, concerns flood through the corners of my heart like water shooting out of geyser. Upon the first few moments of waking, I am reminded of duties left undone, letters left unfinished, dreams that I have yet to match with action, stories I have yet to write, pictures left to edit, studies that need preparing, goals that need accomplishing, depths of my God to dive into, lessons that need some learning, ideas that need birthing… and the list goes on and on and on. Are you exhausted yet? In reading what I have just written, I can honestly say that each one of those categories have individually and obnoxiously knocked on the doors of my attention all morning long… and it’s only NOON for crying out loud. This doesn’t sit well with me… and I’m glad it doesn’t. This isn’t what I was created for. I don’t want to get comfortable with anxious and overwhelming thoughts… they are not welcome to make their home in me, yet they seem to always be trying take up residence. They strive to overtake every nook and cranny of my mind and cover all the windows and walls with their loud, obnoxious and unsettling decor. They remind me of the nasty Mucus on those Mucinex commercials. Loud and unkempt, fit for a home of a peasant, but rejected by a palace of royals.
Anxious thoughts can be likened to that Mucus man. They aren’t welcome, yet they exist to convince you that they belong. I’ve only just begun to experience this as I’ve entered the “real world” recently. Life has gotten busy, duties are piling up, to-do list is always growing, and soon enough, tranquility is squandered by anxiety. Anxiety about the past, anxiety about the future, anxiety about anxiety. (LOL. Isn’t it comical though?) Before you realize what is happening, the day is robbed by inward restlessness the cycle begins again when the morning comes. And little by little, perspective shrinks, imagination dies, the heart grows colder, and you replace the warmth, peace, freedom, friendship and Presence of the fierce and untamed Almighty God for a narrow, smelly, hurried, petty perspective of yourself. What an exchange, huh?! I can see the foolishness of it plain as day when I write it out, yet in the dark corners of my mind where the Tazmanian devil runs aloof if not resisted, the garden in my heart where Yahweh continually dwells seems clogged by twigs, leaves, and tumbleweeds; seemingly unattainable and unreachable. The intoxicating song of my Love is replaced by hundreds of other songs (that sound more like screamo), and I am given the choice of with whom I shall sing along.
It’s too easy to shout along with other songs! They are the loudest in all the world. Mainstream and familiar are they, but the tune isn’t pleasing to my ears. The song hummed by the Composer of the Universe, however… that’s the Song I want to sing along to. Immanuel is the Conductor I want to take my cues from. He tells you and me to fix our eyes on Him (Hebrews 3:1), to set our minds on things above (Colossians 3:2), to keep our thoughts fixed on Him (Isaiah 26:3)… It seems He gives pretty clear instruction to us to spare us from the life would otherwise live. I’m frustrated that this blessed reality is just an afterthought at times! We have the greatest Gift fathomable, yet sometimes we allow the power of the awareness of this to be robbed by our busyness as well as our ache to accomplish and be accomplished. We forget our identity. We live from a place of “not yet” instead of “being HIS.” May it be increasingly difficult to forget that He is WITH US. And not simply (yet miraculously) with us, but He WANTS TO BE. HE delights to be near us. I think that is what changes things.
I am madly convinced that the more aware we are of His nearness, the more we supernaturally accept the reality that we “couldn’t be one bit better” in His eyes, the more we live from a place of indefatigable (<— click on it ;) ) adoring, divine love, the more the Kingdom will grow in our hearts and through our lives. Our responsibilities may increase, our to-do lists may be long, but the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus and we will be filled to the brim with Life. We will wrestle to rest. We will cast our cares on Him because we know He cares for us. Our deepest longing is to be loved, and by His grace, we are loved by Him. I wish I could come up with the right words to replace the familiarity about that statement with the ferocious, outlandish, altogether transformational and wonderful truth that it is. I wish I could reignite the passion in your heart for the Living God. I cannot, but the Spirit can. Just ask Him to. He loves to turn His ears to us. He takes pleasure in satisfying our hunger with the finest of Food.
So breathe. Live in the world that is Yahweh. That is our goal for each moment.
A man I admire, by the name of Brother Lawrence once said, “The King, full of mercy and goodness, very far from chastising me, embraces me with love, makes me eat at His table, serves me with His own hands, gives me the key of His treasures; He converses and delights Himself with me incessantly, in a thousand and a thousand ways, and treats me in all respects as His favorite. It is thus I consider myself from time to time in His holy presence.”
The following verses are both Zephaniah 3:17 in different translations. (NLT + AMP). Meditate on this verse and let it pierce your heart in the best way.
“For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.””
“The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing.”