“If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.” James 1:5-8 (The Message)
I spoke in Giving God My Time about finding too many books to read and not enough time to read them. Before I had my “ah ha” moment, I was browsing through Barnes and Noble one night while on a date with my husband and noticed a three book series that looked good. Our library had all three of the books, available now, so I requested them. The series is Sensible Shoes series by Sharon Garlough Brown. If you want to read some great books that focus on four women in a fictionalized story yet deliver lots of spiritual meat within that context, pick them up and read them. These are great.
I’ve come to love the character Hannah. She and I are quite similar in that I’ve struggled with many of the issues she struggles with. In the first book, Sensible Shoes, she took her role of being responsible very seriously in life and therefore, God was inviting her to learn how to have fun. I’ve shared many times about how God is bringing fun back into our family and how I’m working on kicking Eyeore out for good.
In the second book, Two Steps Forward, she learns another truth that hit me hard. I didn’t really have a name for it but knew I suffered from it. I have talked many times about being a recovering perfectionist, and in my opinion, one of the symptoms of that is putting a lot of pressure on myself not to miss God’s will for my life. If He gives me a rhema word, (a fancy way of saying a promise personalized for me and my life that is backed up by Scripture) then I stress myself out making sure I’m dotting my I’s and crossing my T’s so I don’t miss the deadline, the expiration date, the whatever I think I’m going to miss. And living that way is stressful.
God has slowly been showing me throughout the last four years that He made me the way I am. And He knows I need a huge neon billboard flashing in front of me before I’ll be able to see what He’s trying to show me. What I need to remember is He doesn’t get frustrated with that part of my personality. He made me that way! He knows what it takes to get my attention and He knows my heart – I’m paying attention and want to do His will. Therefore, I need to learn to relax some and trust He will show me, in His time, what He wants me to know and what steps He wants me to take. And my past history has proven that theory correct time after time after time.
By placing the responsibility of getting my attention on God’s shoulders and taking it off my shoulders, it lifts the invisible weight that has made living joyfully difficult. And I’m not selfishly pawning my responsibility off on God – no, I’m actually obeying by trusting His plan and letting Him be in charge.
In the story Hannah remarked after having lived with mismanaging the responsibility for so long how it’s going to take some practice to keep the responsibility on God’s shoulders, shifting her focus to enjoying the blessings He gives during the process. I think it will be difficult for me at first too; but I’m up for the challenge of continuing to hand the responsibility back over to God when I try to carry it for Him. He knows it’s too heavy for me; that’s why He never asked me to carry it in the first place.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017