Monday, May 23, 2011

God's promises.

Life is not fun right now.

I feel like I've recently written a post that echoed this statement.  My head is spinning and I feel ill as I am trying to contemplate what life will look like in a few months.  Ryan and I met with a couple of representatives from my district this morning to map out what the ramifications are of losing my job - i.e. unemployment, COBRA insurance, recall, seniority, etc.  Let's just say that the meeting left me with not a shred of hope in my job situation.  It was all I could do not to throw up on the table as we were talking.

So in all of this, Ryan and I are definitely starting to feel downtrodden, like things are starting to spin out of control..  I don't know why this is all happening at once.   I feel physically ill from stress and those feelings of anxiety and sickness and malaise are beginning to become the norm in my daily life.  Am I losing faith?  Not at all.  But it feels like things have gotten to the point where I can't help but to physically respond to the emotions within me.

Suffice it to say, I think that Job, Moses, David, Paul, Peter, and many other people in the Bible experienced anxiety.  Facing martyrdom, death of family members, plagues, loss of security - those things absolutely must have provoked a visceral reaction.  How could they not?  We are only human.  The goal is not to be strong in ourselves, but to not allow fear to cripple our mission and purpose in life.  Right now is hard, but I refuse, we absolutely refuse, to allow these trials defeat us.  Satan will not get the upper hand here.

I've been trolling the Bible lately for verses for comfort and for combating fear.  I've discovered and re-discovered some fundamental promises that God has made his people.  I'll list them for you.  Several of them you have probably heard a thousand times.  I know I have.  But they're more essential than I've ever found them to be.  We are standing on these alone:

  • Jeremiah 29:11 - "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"
  • James 4:10 - "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up."
  • Luke 12:31 - "But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well."
  • John 14:14 - "You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."
  • Psalm 32:8 - "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you."
  • James 1:5 - "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."
  • Deuteronomy 31:8 - "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." (emphasis added)

And then when I was in Psalms the other day, I read this passage aloud to Ryan because it sounded eerily similar to what we have been praying lately.  I have returned to this passage again, and again, and again.

Psalm 86

A prayer of David.
 1 Hear me, LORD, and answer me,
   for I am poor and needy.
2 Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
   save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God; 3 have mercy on me, Lord,
   for I call to you all day long.
4 Bring joy to your servant, Lord,
   for I put my trust in you.
 5 You, Lord, are forgiving and good,
   abounding in love to all who call to you.
6 Hear my prayer, LORD;
   listen to my cry for mercy.
7 When I am in distress, I call to you,
   because you answer me.
 8 Among the gods there is none like you, Lord;
   no deeds can compare with yours.
9 All the nations you have made
   will come and worship before you, Lord;
   they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
   you alone are God.
 11 Teach me your way, LORD,
   that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
   that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
   I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
   you have delivered me from the depths,
   from the realm of the dead.

Preach it, brother David.

Prayer for today: Father, you have delivered me from my days of unbelief.  I am no longer walking in darkness.  I praise you for that, Lord.  In everything, my hope remains firmly in you and your provision.  I rely on you for everything, now more than ever.  Hear our cries, protect our family, heal our minds and heal Ryan's body.  Give us faith.  Give us peace that transcends our circumstances.  We love you Lord, you are everything to us.

Hear us, Father.


Lee said...

Yes, Hallelujah, yes. Praying.

Earlina said...

This has been one of my promises that has meant so much to us, with some of the same ones you had also mentioned. We are lifting you and your family before the Lord all the time. Love you guys Mark & Earlina Velting

Psalm 27:13-14 (New Living Translation)
13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.
14 Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

Chad said...

You are right on! God created us as interconnected beings. We can't separate the emotional from the physical from the Spiritual. That is why Christ himself sweated drops of blood due to stress in the garden. However, the hope is in God being glorified. We continue to pray and stand arm in arm with you guys as walk through this valley. We love ya!