Have you ever been the recipient of a “lesson of the week for (insert your name here)from God”? I have and it is at the same time thrilling and scary. Every time it happens I realize a little more just how much God loves me. He knows me. He understands me. He knows exactly what I need and he can share it with me in the most creative ways.
This round started last Sunday night when our Pastor chose songs with a reference to the Psalms. Then he asked us to share a Psalm that was special to us. I vacillated throughout the song service between Psalm 139 (all about how God knows everything about me and is all-powerful and able to take care of me etc.) and Psalm 37 where we are told to Trust, Delight, Commit, and Rest in the Lord. I chose Psalm 37, then was surprised when Pastor preached from Psalm 139. Go figure.
These are two of my favorite Psalms because “letting go and letting God” is one of my main struggles. Yes, I have control issues. Unless I make a daily, often moment by moment point to keep my focus where it belongs – on God and his power, his immutability (changelessness), omniscience, and all those other awesome attributes I try to do it myself. I want to know what is going to happen and when. I want to prevent anything bad from going down anytime and anywhere.
Now, I’m pretty sure that’s an attribute my patients appreciate, however, in the world of my heart it is an issue. So, when I started the week with the double-barreled Psalms approach my ears perked up. On Monday as I was pulling into the parking garage at work a couple of verses from my Bible on tape struck me. One was “let the peace of God rule in your heart.” Let – I have to let this happen. The peace of God – now that blows my mind! The thought that GOD’S PEACE could rule my heart. . Rule-have control. All I have to do is surrender control. So, if I let the Holy Spirit have complete control I can experience the peace of God ruling in my heart. That would mean that the peace of God wouldn’t let any ugly, anxious, fearful thoughts in. Hum. I scribbled the verse in my calendar book and proceeded into the hospital where I had a rather unpeaceful night. . .
So, the third and fourth episodes in this Lesson for Miriam week involved first my brother and secondly a blog that I follow. My brother pointed out in a conversation (one in which I fully intended to encourage him) that I should look at the first chapter of II Peter. I knew the moment he said that chapter what passage he was referring to, and why. I knew it because it is yet another passage that I have studied, worked at, and tried to put into practice in my life – because I know I struggle in this area.
The verses say, And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful. . . II Peter 1:5-8.
You see, I have a problem with faith in God to take care of things. Stupid I know. After all, He IS! Everything. All-Everything. But my humanity still wants to hang on. So this morning, when I realized that “Deeper With Jesus in Rhode Island” had used that very passage in her blog it hit me right between the eyes. This, Miriam is God’s message for you. Trust. Have Faith. Surrender. Let go and let God. Let the peace of God RULE in your heart. Once you get that in place the other stuff will follow. (A word of warning here. Surrender is not a one-time thing. I know. I have surrendered before but yet I pick the control up over and over again. It’s a walk. It’s a daily, moment by moment surrender.)
What is your need? Are you listening to God? Are you reading your Bible so he can speak to you? (Notice every message from God to Miriam came through scripture.) We are given this great opportunity but I’m afraid I’m as guilty as most and I’m wasting it. I don’t want to do that anymore.