Saturday, September 12, 2015

Calming an Anxious Heart ❤




The Lord is near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18



Some days I wake up and just feel the pressure mounting. 
The floors need mopping and the dogs need bathing and the kids need -too many things to list-and that doctor needs that paperwork and stress builds and as a result hives breakout and hearts break with hurry and hurtful words. Before my feet hit the floor my to-do list is so long it could reach the floor if I hold it standing atop my bed. And these little goads are nothing compared to the big things-from here in our home (things like serious illness and estranged relationships and mortgage payments) to things out in the world (like the mamas that are holding their little ones as they leave all hope of home behind and start off for a land of unknown obstacles and nothing familiar...Or the 22 families a day in this country that are learning of the loss of their loved one by suicide. Those loved ones, who once wore a uniform and for many, many reasons their hearts never found a way back home... in fact, there are so many heart breaking news lines that it was difficult to choose which ones to write about here. A writer could fill pages with reports from just today.) 
Some days my heart just feels broken and my spirit crushed. 
So, I spent a little time on this verse this past week. 
And I have to be honest, it is easy for me to read this verse, get a little daily dose of encouragement and move on to the next story filling my news feed. It wasn't until I spent more time on these words, soaking up what this truth really means, that the encouragement turned to peace for my anxious heart. When I spend more time soaking in the hardness of the world than soaking in the sweetness of His Word- my heart becomes hard and brittle. I must continue turning these promises over in my head and hiding them in my heart ---breathing them in like oxygen for my soul-because this world shouts in loud protests against faith and goodness and love and the whisper-promise of hope can be hard to hear. 

Here is how my heart was calmed by these words this week:


The Lord--Yehova---"the existing One"--- So God sends Moses out by telling him His name first- "I Am". I don't know about you, but when life is trying, when things keep not adding up, or they add up to too much; when hearts are breaking and people keep doing things to break them more-or I make choices that cause my own heart to break more- I need this grounding Truth. I need to remember that God IS, and that He exists.  I need to remember that this book that I read isn't just words on paper, but His Word to me. His letter telling me Who He is, who I am and how I am to live out the breath He has grace-given.  All of my anxiety, all of my worry and stress it all adds up to unbelief and apple-biting rebellion.  An unbelief in Who He is and who He says I am. Rebellion by not wanting to be subject to anything or any One other than my own self. And really, this is the place in my heart that is attacked most. Doubt and unbelief not about God's existence or ability but Is He Who He says He is?  Doubt and unbelief about who He says I am. And the constant hiss of "did He really say that?...does He really have mine (or yours or the world's) best interest in mind? In heart?" This lie  echoes in my ears. This isn't popular, the sharing of my doubts, but anyone I've come across in His Word and in the world who shared their doubt, Jesus welcomed them. He invited them to touch His scars, to draw near and see Truth up close. And God, He can handle the questions, the doubt, the screaming up at the sky with fists clenched and shaking. At least going to Him is opening up our hearts for communication, for Him to show, to speak, to love. Being a drone of encouraging rhetoric, or a solid monument of strength may get the human reaction we are seeking but it won't heal those gaping heart wounds we have. And we need healing. At least, I know I do. 
This Truth-knowing that God IS and knowing Who He is-if I am not intimately aware of it, if I don't believe it in my whole being-the rest of the verse makes no difference. It is nothing but words of encouragement. And on the hardest days, the darkest days, you don't need encouraging words-you need Light and Truth. So some days I have to stop here-yes, just two words in, and consider and remember The Lord IS.

Is near----"in place, time, personal relationship"
So-once I've gotten the first part down, I can move here-to these words. God is near. Now, these words mean very little if I do not understand Who God is, or if I do not believe that He exists or what He says. But once I reach that point-by His grace-then I can really begin to understand the power in these words. Just rest on this here for a bit. The Lord is near....

To the broken-hearted ---" maimed"; "rend violently" ; "wrecked"; "crippled" "crush" "rupture" --Also "to cause to break out, bring out, birth" ----all of this in regards to the "inner man".
 If these words bring tears of understanding to your eyes then this verse is for your heart. Life can maim, wreck, cripple and crush in an instant. Your heart can hurt so bad it makes your lungs pause. It's the kind of hurt that can only be understood from the inside out. It's the kind of hurt that really does birth new things-but the labor is intense and without Hope there would be nothing good that is rendered from it. Our Hope comes from the weighty truth of the first four words of this verse. 

And saves---as in "being liberated" or "being saved in battle"
So, this was important to me. I'm not being saved from ease or comfort. I am being rescued in the battle. Notice-not being rescued from, but rescued in. We are not rescued from heartache, but in our heartache. When things are going peachy, I am not looking around for someone to help me. I can do it myself thank-you-very-much. It is when things start heating up, the storms rage, when the battles wage and the mountains fall into the sea, then I start looking for a safe place. And I've yet to meet anyone on this planet that isn't, in some way, seeking a safe place. Finding the True Safe Place-now that is peace.

Those who are crushed in spirit.--2 times repeating of "dakka" which means "dust" so literally "dust dust" 
So,  sometimes life can hit so hard that you can feel like you are the dust of dust. Just take an extra moment here and think what that means-to be "dust dust" -how crushed, pummeled and insignificant! Those days, weeks, months or years where every place you turn things are falling apart, breaking down and burning up. All the foot holds you thought you had are now loose or even demolished. Your spirit is crushed. Crushed to the size of dust's dust. What would it mean to know that some One was saving you from this crushing battle? Is it even possible? Do you even want saving? (Of course you do-I do-we all do. But sometimes I want it on my own terms and that usually doesn't look like God's terms. Here is where I have to go back to the first words of the verse and remember, again, Who God is).

So don't believe the lie that the floors need to be mopped before you can sit and soak your heart in His word. Don't believe the hissing doubt or the lie that the problems are too big and the projects too demanding and you've already prayed so why pray again? Keep praying, keep soaking, keep sitting at His feet. 

Take heart-He is near!



Here are some more verses to stir your heart:

Genesis 3:1 ❤️ Exodus 3:14 ❤️ Hebrews 11:6 ❤️ Micah 7:8 ❤️ John 20:26-29 ❤️ Philippians 4:6 ❤️ Psalm 46:1-3 ❤️ Psalm 51:17 ❤️ Psalm 27:13 ❤️ John 5:6 ❤️ Proverbs 21:3 ❤️ Hebrews 11:1 ❤️ Isaiah 61:1-4 ❤️ Psalm 119:50 ❤️ Psalm 119:71 ❤️Psalm 119:92 ❤️ Psalm 119:103 ❤️ Psalm 119:114 ❤️ Luke 10:41-42