Wednesday, October 9, 2013

When My Foot Is Slipping...

When I said, "My foot is slipping,"
your love, O Lord, supported me. 
When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought joy to my soul.
Psalm 94:18-19
I don't think I could say enough how much I love the above verses.  There have been so many times in my life where I felt like "my foot was slipping" - whether that be spiritually or in other areas of my life like motherhood, marriage, self-worth, etc.  I've never pretended to have it all together on this blog and I surely won't start pretending now.  I thought I'd share this verse and why I love it so much, especially since I'm convinced other people feel this way, too!   
Yesterday morning, I woke up feeling like my finger got stuck in an electric socket.  If you're someone who deals with anxiety, you probably know exactly the feeling I'm talking about and its not a good one.  The closer I've learned to trust and walk with Christ, the less this happens to me but it's not gone.  There are times where it feels like someone has their boot in the middle of my chest.      
Sometimes I feel this feeling because of some obvious stressor in my life that I'm allowing to control my thoughts and other times Anxiety just shows up uninvited, comes in without knocking, and makes itself right at home.  More and more, I'm learning that I have this negative soundtrack that plays over and over in my head and the longer I let it "play", the greater my anxiety.  The sooner I realize what internal "soundtrack" I'm allowing to play - and the quicker I change the channel if its a negative one - the more that uninvited visitor stays away. 
Recently, whenever I start thinking negative thoughts about life or finances or myself, I literally visualize that God is standing there right by my side.  Its funny, but there is something about imagining the Creator the the Universe standing there listening in to every thought that makes me want to get my mind quickly in check.  After all, I tell myself, if I were standing in front of the artist of a painting, there is no way in the world I would say to them, "You know what?  This thing you created...well, it's total crap.  You clearly didn't know what you were doing." matter what I thought of that person's creation, if I were standing right there in from of them, I wouldn't demoralize them in that way.  I wouldn't tear down their hard work and I wouldn't say things that made them feel like their efforts were in vain.  What I would try to do - not to be fake but to honor that person's genuine effort - is to find the positive things I could say about it and I would focus (sometimes really, really hard ;) on those
But yet, I basically tell God (as Author and Creator of All Things) that His artwork isn't good enough ALL the time.  My negative self-talk tells Him that I don't like what He created.  My anxiety/worry about life situations tell Him, if I boil it all down, that I lack trust in His plan and don't necessarily believe He will take care of me when the rubber really meets the road.  Strange when I think of it in that light but also humbling and very convicting.              
Just out of curiousity, I looked up the Hebrew word for "consolation" in the context of that verse (above) and it's "tanchum" which simply means comfort.  I mean, I'm smart enough to know what consolation means but when I think of the word "consolation", I typically think of it in terms of the phrase "consolation prize" in, don't feel bad you're a loser.  But in this text, it simply means "to bring comfort to someone in distress."
It still surprises me every day all over again that God would care about the things that matter to me.  Insert a moment of awe here (on my part) as I repeat now: The Creator of the Universe cares for me (and you) and is willing to comfort me (and you).  Yes, you. 
Yup, mind blown
And then, finally, I made a quick little list of verses I could think off the top of my head about God's promises (His comforts so to speak) and so I thought I would share a few.. 
1. Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things in Christ who gives me strength..."
Amy's translation/thoughts: I confess before man and God, I don't like Philippians 4:13.  It ranks extremely high on the verses overused by Christians when they speak "christianese" and so, God forgive me, even though I know its applicable and totally true and I believe it with all my heart..I don't like it.  But it came to mind so here it is.  And it is comforting unless someone says it to me when I'm hurting and then I want to rip their Christian tongue out. 
2. Luke 12:6-7 “What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows."
Amy's translation/thoughts: if God cares about a dumb bird, He fo sho cares for you and me.
3. Philippians 4:19 "And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus."
Amy's translation/thoughts: I need to keep in mind that God said He would take care of my NEEDS.  He did not promise He would take care of my every WANT.  Designer jeans are not "glorious riches" despite what I might think.   
4. Psalm 145:13-14 "The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all He has made. The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down."
Amy's translation/thoughts: If the Lord is faithful to all He  has made...and He made me...then I guess that A+B = C and He will be faithful to me...even when circumstances in life might not seem like it. 
5. 2 Peter 1:3 "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness..."
Amy's translation/thoughts:  If you want answers about life, get to know Him.  Pray.  Get in the Word...because if you have questions that need to be answered or want to know God more, go there.  It's His treasure map, full of clues about who He is and who you are in Him.  I'm not even saying you have to believe in God just yet. But I beg you this one thing: show up with an open heart.
6. James 1:1-7 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Amy's translation/thoughts: I hate trials.  But I love what God has done in my life through them. 
7. James 1:6 "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Amy's translation/thoughts: Please note that scripture comes with a condition..."But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord".  That's harder said than done for me, however, I'm learning.

8. Matthew 11:28-29 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

Amy's translation/thoughts: Pretty self explantory but I just have to add that this is one of my favorite verses of all time.  I lean into it when I'm hurting and it's always proven true for me.
The list could go on and on...anyone have any "comforts" of God they would like to add to the list?  I'm all ears...errr, eyes.   


Brandi said...

Oh my Amy, this is just what I have needed to read. The Lord definitely is using you to speak to my heart :)

I have some anxiety issues myself and lately I have been having TONS of anxiety over a specific situation. It's completely out of my control, I know, but I am obsessing over it. That feeling in your chest..ugh. I get it!

I never really thought about it the way you put it..."you know what, God...if this is your plan, it stinks"...but I guess that's what I'm saying to Him! I was recently told that God's plans for us aren't to make Him happy...they are to make us happy. My current and constant struggle is to have faith that this is true and not to doubt Him.

Thank you again for the words I needed to hear!

Meg said...

Well my friend I needed this today. Anxiety is my "thing", my struggle, my sin. I literally laid in bed this morning heart pounding, explaining to God how much I HATE the chains. It is such a horrible, horrible feeling. He knew he'd bring me to your blog this morning and He knew that He would give me comfort through the verses you shared. I appreciate your transparency as God uses our humility to bless others. And on this morning, He chose YOU to bless me.

Amee said...

Just what I needed this morning. So many times He speaks directly through you to me. I love it and appreciate his work through you.

Meggie said...

Thank you so much for sharing this Amy. I love your list of verses... and what a great idea to make a list of comfort verses! I want to do that soon. =)

One of my new favorite verses that God has really used to speak to me recently is Deuteronomy 32:4... He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.

It's easy to forget in this fallen world (with evil and problems everywhere it seems) that God is GOOD. His works are PERFECT and He is always faithful. He does absolutely no wrong. None. I love and cling to that reassurance. =)