You know, most of the time it’s easy to have a good, positive outlook. I mean, you can’t focus on politics, although you should be aware of all the nonsense going on.
You shouldn’t focus too much on anything that causes you stress and anxiety, and causes you to lose sleep because your brain won’t turn off.
Shouldn’t focus on Covid, either, with all the contradictory messages that often seem like smoke screens for other things the Powers that Be don’t want us to think about.
If you tend to be a person who worries, don’t worry–I’m not going to yell at you for worrying.
It’s just that I’ve been struggling this past week with keeping a positive attitude, and I decided to write about that. I’m hoping that as I think it through, I’ll get over it 🙂
Here’s the thing. I have some serious back pain going on. This will be the third Sunday in a row that I just couldn’t deal with going to church, and I love church. I miss it. It encourages me and helps me keep centered on the Lord. Our church family has become very special to me, and I miss seeing people I have come to care for.
But I’m totally horrified at the possibility of not being able to stand without gasping in pain. That’s the kind of pain it is–takes your breath away when it hits. It’s like there are a hundred little demons with pitchforks back there just waiting to catch me off guard, and then they all POUNCE at once. Makes me weak in the knees. And I can’t predict when it will hit. I mean, it’s always there, lurking. I’ve learned to tolerate that. It’s the pitchfork sneak attacks that make me not want to go anywhere.
Poor me, right?
No, wrong. I cannot descend into the gloom of feeling sorry for myself. So I’ve been talking to Jesus a lot this past couple of weeks, but not asking “Why?” I’m asking for courage and trust. Patience, calmness, and peace.
What the Lord says to me, in His still, small voice, is “Linda, what’s your favorite verse of scripture?”
And that answers everything. Here’s the verse: “Great peace have they which love Thy law, and nothing shall offend them” (Psalm 119: 165).
Here’s what it means: If you want peace in your heart, you have to love God’s Word. If you’re going to love God’s Word, you have to be IN His Word, reading, studying, meditating, memorizing. You have to be so full of His Word that it radiates from you, shows in your eyes, your smile, and your words.
When you truly love the Word of God, you will have such inner peace that nothing–no one, no event, no gossip against you, no illness, no pain–will offend you. In this context, the word offend means to trip up, or cause to stumble from the path.
It doesn’t mean the pain will magically disappear. It means that the pain won’t make you question whether or not God really loves you. It won’t cause you to worry. It won’t keep you in constant fear. It will not cause you to turn your back on God. It will not cause you to doubt your faith.
Other verses come to mind. A merry heart does good like a medicine. . . .Trust in the Lord with all thine heart. . . . .Be not afraid, for I am with you. . . .I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness. . . .I will lift up my eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. . . .the joy of the Lord is my strength. . . . He fills my mouth with laughter. . . .
And now I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes, thankful that God has, once again, touched my stubborn spirit with His Word, and brought me back to a place of peace and comfort, under His wings.