Sunday, May 06, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Tea

I have been pondering what to write this week... or perhaps how to write... after reading an inspiring post by Elizabeth Foss on the MotherHeart blog.*  Elizabeth wrote about fear and trust and leaving a legacy to her children of overcoming fears of various kinds.

When I was very young, fear and anxiety were constant companions.  Most probably a result of the trauma of my father's sudden death when I was a child but also due to an atmosphere of anxiety among my family... fear was my inherited legacy.

I recall living in Married Student Housing soon after our wedding and panicking because my new husband was over an hour late coming home for dinner.  Of course, now that we have been married for over thirty years... I know being late is a common occurrence for him, as is forgetting to call that he will be late.  :)

Thankfully, I rarely have to deal with life-altering fear and anxiety much now.  Oh, when one of the guys is late coming home and I hear an ambulance on country roads... or the tornado warning sirens are announcing a twister nearby... or I'm waiting for the results of medical tests... then the heavy feeling in the pit of my stomach returns.

But for the most part, I can stay pretty calm when the hurricane force winds of adversity are blowing through my life.  What caused the change?  Ummm... trials and suffering... no, really.

Because now I can look back over decades of His work in my life and I know He has never failed to protect and provide... perhaps not in the timing or the way I expected... but He has always been faithful.

I should have known this week was going to be interesting.  One morning as I walked, I turned off the music on the itty bitty iPod and continued on with only the sounds of nature surrounding me.  In the back of my mind, came that still small voice, as I was hearing the words, "Do you trust Me?".

I must admit even after I realized it was Him whispering His question to my heart, I didn't say "Yes, of course!".  It was much more a hesitant, "yes, of course...".

Sigh... you know the rest as the praying I was doing that day had to do with lack of time and lack of resources and lack of energy and... stomping my feet before Him mumbling and complaining!

Oh, my circumstances are nothing compared to what He has allowed in the past and I hope never to have to walk through those fires again.  But there He was, squeezing my fears of not enough all over again and wanting me to ask in faith and trust and when that happens...

...I have learned to look for His answers.

All He asks of us is that we trust Him and His Words and His character and His timing and His Will for our life.  Faith and anxiety cannot live in the same house.  One or the other will always become the dominant emotion we live with.

He tells us "There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear... the one who fears is not made perfect in love" (I John 4:18 NIV).   I recall the day I was reading this and I realized just what it was saying!

I always thought I was the one who had to have perfect love (and I have perfect nothing).  But as I looked closer at the passage and in its' context in the Gospel of John, I realized I didn't have to fear because He has perfect love!

My trust is to be in His character and in His perfect love towards me and mine.  When both cars break down... He still provides.  When company is coming... He provides.

When Christopher has to drive home from another town in the dark after borrowing Miss M.'s stick shift car (having only driven it once or twice before) and with only a few hours sleep the night before... He watches over him.

So... as I spend the next two weeks baking for the freezer and planting-weeding in the garden and working in my yard and stretching a dime into a dollar and preparing for guests and using my exercise DVD instead of walking the lovely trail... I can praise Him!

If this Sunday finds you in "less than perfect" circumstances, it doesn't mean He has forgotten you or that He hasn't answered your prayers.  He is there and He is waiting to know you trust His perfect love!

Look for His answers.  :)

* Elizabeth's MotherHeart post can be found... here.


Peggy Lorenz said...

Thank you, Brenda...I just knew I would find words of wisdom here today! The verse from 1 John was read at church this morning, and "trust" is the word I've chosen to focus on for the whole year. It has been a year of uncertainty and anxiety, but I am learning to leave it all with Him, and believe He loves me and has a good plan for my life. I so enjoy your posts, and especially Sunday Afternoon Tea. Thank you!

Vee said...

Yes, yes, yes, that's the difference...old enough now to have been through a number of major trials and testings and so we know that we know that we know that He has always been there working on our behalf. We can trust Him to continue. He is perfect love. Many blessings...everything is going to be okay. (That's the thing that I always want to hear. ☺ )

Terra said...

I agree with what you write here about fear and anxiety; Jesus spoke often about us not having fear, and not being anxious. "Who among you has added one hour to your life by worrying?".

Denise said...

Words by you from the Lord Himself.Awesome God we serve!Thank you both Denise

Linda V said...

I really appreciate your post, Brenda. Due to a job situation, our son, his wife and our precious grandchildren are moving over 1800 miles away and I am just so sad with not being able to see them whenever we choose. My DDIL and I hugged each other today and had a few tears. But we both remembered to TRUST in the One who know what is best. Thanks for sharing today!

Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog a short while ago, I came for the pantry posts and stayed for the wisdom! I have trust issues of my own and was inspired by this post.

Anonymous said...

Are you familiar with the D H Lawrence poem "Pax"? A cat lover can really appreciate the imagery in it.

Anonymous said...

What a great post! Thank you.


Sunshine said...

OH this is beautiful. JUST beautiful. Sunshine

Dawn E. Brown said...

This is right where I am at, thank you so much, I truly enjoy your postings,Dawn E. Brown

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

Brenda, if you only knew how I needed to read this - and reread it. Heartfelt thanks.

Front Porch Grace said...

I needed this.

I often feel defeated in this love walk. When I read that verse, I would pine and sigh because I knew that I had tripped up in my love walk and I long to be a fit walker on that path.

But God is love, and in Him will perfect love cast out fear.

Praising Him for the gift of this desperately needed revelation.

Drlbpgtjdomq said...

I agree with what you write here about fear and anxiety; Jesus spoke often about us not having fear, and not being anxious. "Who among you has added one hour to your life by worrying?"

Anonymous said...

I have a chemical imbalance and struggle with anxiety and fear quite a bit as a result. I try very hard to focus more on God, but sometimes that tends to push things deeper for me, as I heap guilt on top of not being able to control my brain chemistry.

For some folks like me, anxiety is like having diabetes. You have to fight it medically.