“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” Philippians 4:6-7 (The Message)
I spoke in the last few posts about how my negative thinking and projecting negative self talk insults God. He wants so much more for us as His children, just as we want so much more for our children. I addressed the issue of worry last time we were together, about how we have to actively give it to God each time and exchange it for His peace.
The next morning I woke up and I was instantly plagued with fear. I have been “worried” about our “adventure” off and on but I haven’t felt fear to the magnitude I did this morning in months. It was deep, knock me to my knees fear about my family and more. Instead of letting that consume me, before I even got out of bed, I covered those fears in prayers, giving them over to God, and asking for His peace in return. It wasn’t instant, but it was close. I kept reminding myself that the BEST way for me to protect my family is to put them in His hands…and keep them there. Then I began my day…and it was the BEST morning we’ve had as a family in a long time. I wasn’t stressed or short or otherwise not myself. I was happy, calm…peaceful!
That’s when it hit me that it’s so much bigger than just fear or worry or whatever other problems we are facing. God probably won’t take the worry away completely. Or the fears I face. Or the emotional eating that I deal with…and honestly, I don’t want Him to. If those were to disappear completely, then I would start to think I don’t need Him. Boy, do I need Him! It goes even further than that – I WANT Him! I want to have that close relationship with Him and closeness comes from daily, hourly, minutely communication. And communication, at times, comes from need.
Every day I get the privilege of coming to my Father and giving Him my list of concerns, worries, fears, trials, challenges, and even exciting adventures and in exchange, when I ask, He gives me His peace, perseverance, commitment, courage, strength, and whatever else He thinks I’ll need to be equipped to handle “life.” And it really is a privilege.
I believe that as I consciously make the choice daily to bring Him my concerns and as I grow my peace muscle, making it as much of a default setting as possible (one that needs to be recharged constantly), then I believe that the “emotional eating” will fade into the background. I know that my eating issues have never been about the food…that was just the symptom. I also know that I will always have to make good choices with my food, but as I walk in freedom from worry and live more in the presence of God’s peace, I won’t feel the urge to eat my feelings because I’ll be connected that much closer to God and He’ll be filling me up. The urge to fill up my stomach when my heart is full won’t be as much of an issue. As I grow closer to my Father, learning to exchange my weaknesses for His strength, then I’ll start to see victory in areas of my life that have been struggles. And the best part? I’ll get the privilege of continuing to recharge daily with Him.
I don’t want the limited plan but I want to live a relationship with Him that needs to be refilled constantly. The bonus truth I realized was that to walk in freedom in different areas of our lives (freedom from worry, fear, emotional eating) and walking in trust, peace, and faith requires the privilege of walking close to our Father, constantly re-asking for His peace, joy, love because they need to keep getting refilled. Refilling is a privilege, not a burden when it means I get to come closer to Him. As much as I’m sorry I hurt Him by worrying and negative self talk, I’m glad to have learned He made us all with a void that can only be filled with Him. God likes spending time with me…and being chosen by the God of the Universe to spend time with…well, I feel special. And friends, you are receiving the same invitation. He wants to spend one-on-one time with you as well. I know my answer…what’s yours?
© Cheri Swalwell 2015