Tag Archives: Worry

Don’t Assume God’s Not Working

22 Jul

Kathi, holding a tiny baby, walked into a drug store and asked the clerk if she could use the store’s baby scale.

“Sorry, Ma’am,” the clerk said. “Our baby scale is broken. But we can figure the baby’s weight if we weigh mother and baby together on the adult scale.

“Then we can weigh the mother alone, and subtract the second number from the first.”

“Oh, that won’t work,” Kathi said.

The clerk, puzzled, said, “Why not?”

“Because I’m not the mother,” Kathi said. “I’m the aunt.” *

I laugh as I read that, because I’ve often assumed something wouldn’t work, but I had a skewed perspective … or a limited one.

Have you ever assumed that God’s not working in a situation, only to find out some time later that He was working behind the scenes, planning for something spectacular or even “impossible”?

Once, when I felt led away from one job to another, I couldn’t figure out why God didn’t give me the “release” to change jobs right away. A little frustrated, I determined to work hard and “finish well” for as long as God kept me in that job.

Then, months later, God opened an incredible opportunity for ministry and gave me the “go ahead;” but when I went into my boss’s office to tell him I was moving on, I was shocked that he seemed relieved!

A week or so later, I discovered why. I was one of his employees slated for layoff!

God had a greater plan that I could not see, and His timing was perfect.

M. Blaine Smith wrote about his experiences with God’s unseen activity in an article titled “Help from Behind the Scenes” (12-15-97). “If I could glimpse the unseen circumstances that are affecting my destiny,” Smith said, “I would often be encouraged by what I found.”

But then he said, “If I truly knew everything going on behind the scenes that’s affecting my life, I would be unsettled by plenty of it, for I wouldn’t automatically know how to put it all in right perspective.”

How does he resolve his feelings about this? “Yet I have an extraordinary basis for knowing ~ simply as a matter of faith ~ that Christ is working behind the scenes to bring about his best for my life,” he said. “Without knowing any of the details of what He is doing, I have profound reason to be hopeful.”

Over and over again in the Bible, we see that God worked behind the scenes for our good and His glory.

God gave Gideon a glimpse behind the scenes of how He was going to defeat the enemy Midianites (Judges 7:9-15). God opened the eyes of Elisha’s servant to see the powerful angelic army “behind the scenes,” ready to fight against the enemy (2 Kings 6:15-18) ~ one of my favorite Old Testament stories.

Smith notes that, at Jesus’ birth, “few realized that God was acting in a way which would forever alter the course of human history and the destiny of innumerable lives.”

But I’m thinking about the “behind the scenes” story of Jesus’ death! I am awed by this scripture: “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7-8).

Apparently, Satan and his evil cohorts had no idea of the scope of the incredible behind the scenes plan of God in Jesus’ death and resurrection!

Friend, our loving, sovereign God is always working behind the scenes. There’s no need to worry … no need to fear … no need to manipulate circumstances.

We can rest, knowing everything is under control. Let that truth give you hope today!

Comment opportunity:  Has God ever pulled back the curtain to let you see behind the scenes to what He is doing in your life? Or have you been surprised by God’s activity on your behalf? I’d love to hear your stories!

* adapted from Cybersalt Digest, Issue #3674

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Moms, Stop the Anxiety!

12 May

Billy and Bobby were talking to each other. Billy was suddenly quiet.

“I’m really worried,” Billy said. “My dad works twelve hours a day to give me a nice home and good food. My mom spends the whole day cleaning and cooking for me. I’m worried sick!”

“Sounds to me like you’ve got it made. You’ve got great parents!” Bobby said. “What have you got to worry about?”

Billy replied: “What if they try to escape?” (1)

Raising kids is always an adventure, and as we approach Mother’s Day, I want to share a post from my young friend, Deedra Scherm. I wrote about Deedra in LOL with God in the devotional, “Lemon Vision” (p. 84). She has energy, passion, and most of all, wisdom. Young, busy moms will instantly identify with her opening words ….

I WORK FROM SON UP TO SON DOWN!

I am the sole female in my household, and three of the four males that live here with me are age seven and under. Being a Mother of All Boys (or MOAB, if you want to be trendy) can wear a Mama out. I read somewhere that toddler boys have 50% more energy than girls. I think I might believe it. 

I see my friends with their darling little princess daughters all dressed up with their pillowcase dresses, adorable striped leggings and matching bows on their heads. I just sigh as I scramble to pull the boogers out of the hair of one ~ how’d it get up there? ~ and spray the antibacterial pain relief on the bleeding knee of the other while the third tries to “take down” booger boy with his cardboard sword. 

I keep telling myself that in about 12 years, while my friends with all girls will be dealing with a toxic fireball of female teenage hormones, I’ll be sipping lemonade while my boys are mowing the grass, planting my spring flowers, and picking up dinner from my favorite restaurant “so Mama doesn’t have to cook.”  One can hope, right?

There are days that I feel like my heart and my brain are about to explode. 

The level of stress that sometimes creeps into my life as I take on the role of Mom is exhausting. I sometimes feel I should know every answer, fix every problem, plan for every single possible scenario, and make sure absolutely nothing ever goes wrong. (OK, maybe this is just a mom issue, regardless of the gender of your kids!) I start to feel like my whole life is about running around taking care of everyone else, and no one is taking care of me!

That feeling is the cue that I’ve missed something very important.

There is a little “rule” we learned in Kindergarten:  “Put things back where they belong.”  I Peter 5:7 says, “cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” You see, when I start feeling stress about completing the MILLION tasks of the day, dealing with running a business from home, the outcome of a medical test, the future of our family’s finances… I realize that I have kept anxiety with me rather than putting it back where it belongs.

I have to stop anxiety, refuse to carry it, and pass it over to Jesus. When my anxiety is extreme, I will even imagine, as I pray, that I’m holding the problem in my hands and laying it down before the throne of our Lord.

Now, this is not a call to apathy… to just flop around without a single emotion, never caring what happens in life. This is a call to action!  The verse says you are to cast!  And not just cast “some” but to cast “ALL” of your anxiety on Him for a very good reason: He cares for you! This is a determined choice for a very sound reason. God will never leave us, forsake us or fail us.

As I learned to recognize my anxiety, I could see opportunities to say, “Lord, I don’t know the outcome of this situation, but I know you have a plan for me. I trust you to help me with each step and give me the comfort and peace to deal with anything that may come my way.” That’s how I make it to the end of the day with peace and joy… even if I’m constantly surrounded by a bunch of crazy boys.

Deedra Scherm  is married to Kris and they have three active little boys. Between building forts, bandaging skinned knees, and acting out Bible Stories, she is the President and CEO of Lemon Vision Productions which provides inspired media for kids, like Little Buds 123’s DVD. Check out her books and DVDs at www.littlebuds.com.

(1) Adapted from http://www.broadcaster.org.uk/section2/jokes/parentingjokes.html

Re-energize before Christmas

19 Dec

“Three phrases that sum up Christmas are:  Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men, and Batteries not included.” ~ author unknown

“I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying, ‘Toys not included.'” ~ Bernard Manning (1)

Ever feel like you need a new set of batteries to keep running?

This is about the time of the Christmas season that I (Dawn) start wearing down, so I took time to think about Fifteen Ways to Re-Energize before Christmas. Maybe this will help you, too.

  1. Connect with friends and family members spontaneously ~ no expectations ~ and chat about some fun holiday memories.
  2. Schedule some play time that doesn’t require a lot of planning. (Holiday preparations can get so intense, they feel like work; so allow yourself some down time. Think like a child.)
  3. Look at your “to do list” and determine whether what you are doing right now absolutely has to be done right now. Is there something you can put off until after Christmas? Something you can delegate? Something you might decide isn’t worth doing at all? Learn when to say “no.”
  4. Think legacy and impact to determine what is important. What will last? How do you want people to remember you? What counts for eternity? What builds people up?
  5. Use “now-time” wisely. Plan for long-term goals, but take just one step at a time. Don’t fret over tomorrow’s responsibilities.
  6. Eat healthy ~ a balance of protein and good carbs.
  7. Drink more water!
  8. Exercise. Yes, that sounds counter-productive, but daily exercise will help, especially if you can get some sunshine outside at the same time to beat winter blues. At the very least, do some slow stretches ~ get every muscle group involved. Reach high… bend low… twist gently.
  9. Breathe deeply … breathe out for as long as you can through your mouth, and then breathe in deeply through your nose. Hold your breath.  Repeat. Repeat.
  10. Simplify housekeeping. Keeping the “clutter” down and wiping down surfaces is all that’s really necessary, if you’ve been keeping your home in shape. Don’t think that your ChristmasNaphouse has to be “immaculate” for guests.
  11. Take a power nap in the middle of the day… it’s better for you than an extra half hour in the morning. (A friend reminded me that it’s not a nap if I’m still holding a cell phone or have my hands on a keyboard!)
  12. Smell good stuff ~ the aromas of your Christmas tree, tangerines, rosemary, etc.
  13. Enjoy light and warmth. Sit by a glowing fireplace, or light candles.
  14. Sing Carols out loud in your home, or listen to Christmas music as you work.
  15. Turn over all of your cares to God.

What I’m talking about here is how to get back a feeling of energy … powering up. These are things, actually, that we can do any time we feel like our batteries have run down.

One of the most “draining” things we can do during the holiday season is to fret and worry about all that we have to do. That’s why I especially like #15 on that list.

The Bible says, Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully” (1 Peter 5:7, Amplified). God says we can cast our cares on Him, and He will sustain us (Psalm 55:22).

We “cast our cares” by handing them over to God. Envision that you have your hands full … because you do! And then hand those things over to God for safe-keeping.

We don’t need to worry about tomorrow’s “to do list” (Matthew 6:34), but only consider what God wants us to do today. Can you feel the “aaaaah” in that?

So, the way we power up to face the stresses of the holidays is really by powering down … or rather, surrendering to God’s power. We recognize that we can’t do it all, but we CAN do all that God wants us to do, by His grace, in His power, with His strength and help.

Relax. Think about what’s really important in this special season, and then ~ cast your cares on the One who has promised to sustain you, and allow Him to recharge your batteries.

(1) http://www.quotegarden.com/christmas.html

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