November 16, 2011

A Meadow of Peace

Do not fear.

Do not be afraid.

Be very courageous.

Do not worry. 

I’m writing tonight about a key battle in my life.  When laying in bed trying to sleep, I’ve found that early in the morning, or late at night, the devil will use this vulnerable time, when I’m not fully alert but totally able to have my mind engage in the most painful of fear-driven worrying.  

I’m not putting up with it anymore, because fear paralyzes, causes doubt, doubt of yourself, your provision, and becomes rootsdeep into your soul.  As the verse in Proverbs says, you must guard your heart against this, because your heart, and your courage or lack thereof (amongst other feelings, emotions, including the Fruit of the Spirit), will determine the very course of your life. 

The time you are resting in the middle of the night is your time with God Almighty to REST.  As they say in Veggietales, to turn off the thinker.  What are your triggers?  You wake up to let the dog out (me), use the bathroom (me), hear the baby and listen to see if she goes back to sleep (me again)… and every time in some seasons, it’s an opportunity for the enemy of my soul and my family and my health to spew his hatred of me and my God by way of lies, sometimes screaming at me that God isn’t there, doesn’t care, doesn’t love me… and the list could go on.  My finances, my future, our ministry, our children, my health… I could panic, literally feeling my heart race some nights.

When my daughter was born, I was up so much of the night for the first few months.  And I didn’t guard my heart.  I let in ridiculousfears, that initially were semi-rational concerns, that became massive evil blooming footholds of discouragement, depression and fear.  Those roots bore fruit that took me months of concerted effort in the Lord to undo. 

By the mighty love and grace of God, He has led me out of that field of awfulness I had sown and into a meadow of peace in my soul.  Sometimes I wander out of that meadow, andregret wholeheartedly when I can see my wanderings manifest in poor attitude,grumpy conversations with my family, fuming about this or that “injustice”…. I can really lose sight quickly of that peaceful, quiet meadow if I’m not onguard.  I don’t take lightly any thought of worry or fear, because I know my weakness in that area.  I have to fight daily sometimes, especiallywhen my health is a serious challenge, I hear bad report after bad report fromfriends or family, or any multitude of opportunities that my God has to show himself strong. 

Moral of the story- You have to guard your rest offensively. Don’t just be on the defensive in the middle of the night, waiting foran attack of worry or fear.   Be prepared with even one short Bible verse, one praise lyric, a few things you are grateful for, on your heart and mind before you lay down at night.  Don’t wait to try to think of these things after you’ve worried about tomorrow for ten minutes in the middle of the night.  Take back your rest, guard your heart, for this will determine the course of your life. 

Love you all dearly. You are precious to me!!!

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