It is one of those Sunday afternoons where every facet of my heart is full of the exact joy only found through Him, but also a paralyzing anxiety with the unknowns of the next month. It is a weekend of an outpouring of blessings my heart is still trying to fathom, especially after the last few weeks. These last few weeks my prayer life has been weak and empty, while my worshipping heart a little quiet. Anxiety has escalated and a deep sadness persists to continue to weave its way through my heart. My scarce free moments have been swallowed in thoughts dwelling on the demands I feel too weak to complete, and the insecurity rages as my perfectionistic nature takes over. The last few days my heart has been overtaken by glyceraldehyde 2-phosphate dehydrogenase reactions, every mistake I have made within the pitcher’s circle, and worrying over FCA when it is all in the hands of my Savior. But this particular Sunday morning was spent worshipping with an unabashed heart, and sitting in awe of His God-breathed truths that resonate down to the deepest caverns of my soul. It was spent with a hot coffee in hand, tears pouring down my cheeks and the loving embraces of beautiful friends with lion-roaring, grace-sharing hearts.
Over the course of this semester, a multitude of powerful truths from Elizabeth George’s, Loving God with all Your Mind, have been transforming my heart. One of them that has unfortunately and gradually been slipping from my heart is the five guidelines to each day: prepare, plan, pray, proceed and trust.
“Today will require your full attention and full out effort. As Jesus explained, ‘sufficient for the day is its own trouble.’ Preparing, planning, praying and proceeding will enable you to focus on today because these efforts draw you closer to God. And such closeness frees you from the anxiety and the worry that keep you from appreciating Him, trusting Him and loving Him with all of your mind.”
I have found more so recently that each day as my alarm goes off my heart is immediately plagued by a deep sadness and dread to embark upon the mountain of responsibilities, demands, and deadlines facing me once my toes touch the floor. However, the same three verses that met this battle last year, deeply fed my starving heart once again.
Hebrews 12:1-3- “Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you may not grow wearing and lose heart.”
This brings me to ask myself the question, “What is the entangling sin hindering me from preparing, planning, praying, proceeding and trusting in the mountain of today?”
This past Friday morning before preparing to go to a double header at Shippensburg, my alarm went off at 5:45 am. Rubbing my tired eyes, I made my favorite coffee blend and made my way to my desk, running my hand through my wild sleep-matted curls. I awoke thinking on how I needed to sit down at that moment and just break down in the arms of Christ. His exact mercy tenderly whispered these verses to me again. I battle with seeking my self-worth in the extent of how I fulfill each demand on my to-do list, how I perform inside the circle and most importantly, how I am viewed by others. But this is where the LORD continues to transform my heart in that every second of this mountain of today: my tired eyes awake every morning to His hand reaching out to me. His heart longing for nothing but for me to place my hand in His and be filled with the presence and safeness of His sovereign hand. There is no fear in Love, and we shall fear no evil because we are found in Him.
1 Peter 1:6-7- “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith- more precious than gold that perishes through it is tested by fire- may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
2 Peter 1:3-4- His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us His precious and very great promises so that through them you may become partakers of divine nature.”
I have read and reread these verses over and over, underlined and reunderlined. The battle with my mind every single day is a trial that has been graciously bestowed upon me. The LORD will continue to faithfully allow it to play out according to His plan to ultimately result in it unveiling His unending love. This mindset has taken months of prayer, counseling and discipleship to try to understand. But He has granted us to His precious promises so that we may become partakers of divine nature, and grow in genuineness of faith.
This morning while worshipping in church, God broke through the relentless wall that has built uparound my heart. In this moment He provided a glimpse of His love that has no end. My heart collapsed within the boundless nature of His scandalous love, renewing the troubled spirit in my heart. By laying the deepest valleys of my soul at His feet, He graciously filled me to overflow, reminding me who I am as my heart was lifted out of the deep waters.
The sermon included this quote by C.S. Lewis, “We must lay before Him what is in us; not what ought to be in us.”
May we bring ourselves before the Lord as our affliction entangles us through the mountains of every day. Let Him be the mountain to where we run and we will not be shaken. The following songs were the worship line up from this morning. I hope the indescribable truth of these songs breaks the walls of your heart as they did to mine!!!
Inhale faith, exhale fear and prepare, plan, pray, proceed and trust.