Thursday, May 23, 2013

Finding Rest For Our Souls

"Remembering what God has done"
Joshua 4

This week I have spent a great deal of time attempting to stay calm as I traveled through doctor appointments, medical tests, an appointment with the eye specialist.  Two days of waiting for results had me tossed about like a boat without an anchor at times.  I kept thinking about the words of a favorite song..........."In the glory of your presence I find rest for my soul."  I wanted that peaceful rest that comes with trusting God no matter what we are experiencing.

It may seem odd to some of you readers that I become fearful when going to the doctor, but my medical history reads like a bad TV drama.  Lyme, Bartonella, Babesia, Erhlichia, Cancer, CFS, MCS, cataracts, glaucoma, Hashimoto's thyroid disease, PTS, arthritis, and the damage done by Lyme to organs and tissues  puts me in a category of, "Wow, it is amazing that you are still here and kicking?!"  Years of going to the doctor and getting bad news makes it hard for me to look forward to any visits to those who wear white coats.

This year I have seen too many of those white coats and the people who wear them.  I also had my annual physical Monday and it was a roller coaster ride of pokes, probes, good news, bad news, good news.  I was given the "you are at high risk of getting breast cancer" talk and a "hmmmmmm. there seems to be an extra beat here".  This came only a few weeks after hearing I have only 10% of my nerve fibers left and will lose my vision if those go.  I wanted to focus on the bad news and yet run from it.

The thing is, there was plenty of good news, outweighing and overriding the bad!  My mind still wanted to linger on the bad news.....the what ifs.   My reactions were over the top.  I know. 

Joel and I discussed it this morning.  My history haunts me.  My childhood history and my medical history.  It is the major difference between Joel and myself.  He remembers the good, my mind is drawn to the bad and then I worry about it.  Maybe it is a way of thinking I having some sort of control......the PTS way of keeping yourself on alert for what is coming.  The little girl who thinks she is on her own and focuses on the storm or perceived storm to try to control it instead of focusing on the One who calms the storm.  As a young child I did not believe He was there with me.  But I am no longer a child.

As an adult with faith in a loving God, this way of thinking does not align with God's Word.

In my attempt to rescue this post from being "all about me" I ask you readers who struggle with do you focus on God and not the problem?

In Old Testament times we read that God often had people build stone memorials to remember God's faithfulness to His people, to remember what He has done for His children. This is what Linny bases her Memorial Box Monday stories on over at  A Place Called Simplicity.  Ann Voskamp shares in her book, "One Thousand Gifts"  that when she took on  the challenge to write 1,000 things she was grateful for, she discovered that writing down every tiny gift from God each day began to strengthen her trust in Him.   Giving thanks and praise also takes the air out of fear's suffocating fog over our lives.  Andrew Wommack strongly urges people to stand on God's promises.  Go to the Word, trust it, stand on it.  God never lies to us.  He cannot and will not go back on His promises.

Being grateful.  Giving thinks.



Retraining our minds to focus on all the blessings and good news while turning over the bad news to our loving Papa God.   Remembering what he has done for us in the past.  Opening God's Word and standing on His promises.  Being grateful for each sunrise and the small and large gifts He brings into our lives.  Giving thanks and glory to our God.  He is a loving God.  He is faithful. Yes!! 

We live in a broken world.  We all have things in our lives that have the potential to break us.  We also serve a risen Lord.  We serve a God that heals.  We serve a God whose promises are yes and amen.  This is where we turn when we are challenged by history or life.  Being grateful.  Giving thanks.  Standing.  Remembering. 

Here is where we find rest for our souls.


Kim said...

Renee, there is so much here I don't know where to start. I just love it. I've been going through a tough time that has been very out of character for me. Just lots of discouragement and old feelings of fear again. Thank you for sharing this. Yes, it's so true - giving thanks, remembering, standing. I want to write those down! Earlier this year God spoke to me about "raising my Ebenezer." Just this afternoon I was led on my Bible study to look at busyness, fear, and anxiety. God reminded me that Jesus didn't endure the cross for me to carry those burdens. What I learn from Him in my study is always what I need to hear the most. I was moved to come visit your blog since I've been "laying low" for two weeks, and I love what you wrote. Thank you!!!

Sharon said...

Oh my sister, Renee. You have captured how I think, how I feel, how I struggle with fear - and why.

The way that I focus on God is reading His Word. Sometimes I literally feel calmer just having it in my hand. HIS words seem to outweigh the words I say in my head - and even when my anxiety gets out of control, I try to picture His face in the room with me.


Renee said...

Ahhhh, Kim. Maybe there is something in the air? The discouragement and fear seems to be moving around. Bless you, friend. You hang in there..stand firm while Jesus grips your hand. Hugs..

Renee said...

Sharon.....yes, reading and speaking His word. It sustains us. Filling our heads with His words is a good thing!