Last weekend, I attended the annual ladies’ conference at The Anchor in Beaumont, Texas. The theme was “Anchored in Joy”. Like the last couple of years, they had enhancement classes. Shara McKee was a speaker for one of them, and being the Shara McKee fan that I am, AND because I SO needed to know how to maintain and keep my joy, I took her class. One of the things she said was that I should guard and protect my joy and peace like I would my kids or anything else of important value to me. I shouldn’t just “give them away”. I never had thought of it that way before, and she was absolutely right. It is way easier said than done, though.
I’m usually not a fearful person. I mean, yeah, confrontations, deep water, frogs, snakes, confrontations with the 3 – you know, the normal stuff – PETRIFIES me. However, the future, finances, and the economic state of this country do not usually cause me to panic. Until recently…
By watching the gas prices grow lower, we know that the oil and energy industry has made an extreme downfall. I’m not super intellectual about the why’s, (hated Economics in high school), concerning all of it because honestly, it has benefited our bank account to not pay almost $4.00 for a gallon of gas. However, those employed in this line of work have been effected greatly by it. There are a few families in our church whom I know of personally that have. I can recall one couple, in particular, who have been unemployed for several months and are in an unfortunate spot of having to sell their home to get out of debt. Not only have they been struggling financially, they have, also, faced the death of his father, and now, their youngest child is having some major medical issues. I have no doubt that they have wondered just how much more is going to be dumped in their laps. What human wouldn’t? I have, actually, wondered it myself for them.
So when my hubby’s job starts looking, let’s say, fuzzy, (even though he’s in plumbing and not the oil and energy industry), I’ve started worrying simply from looking and knowing what these people-of-God have endured. The “what if’s” have started creeping up. Let me stop and reiterate something:
I DON’T WORRY ABOUT MONEY AND THE FUTURE!
God has ALWAYS taken care of us. He has made ways where there seemed to be absolutely NO way! For me to start getting worrisome and fearful and letting my faith waiver is, really, out of character for me. As God is no respecter of persons, neither is life. Some things are…just…life.
Last Wednesday, the spirit of fear and heaviness made a visit with NO announcement, or invitation, for that matter. (I know, why would I invite them to visit, but when we think on negative situations, isn’t that, more or less, having a sign in our window saying “WELCOME FEAR AND HEAVINESS! I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR YA’LL TODAY!!”?) To make it worse, what did I do when they came knocking? I let them in. And what did I give them? My joy and peace. Like taking candy from a baby. I, almost, sent a text to 2 of my friends to ask them to pray for me, but something inside told me that this was something that I really needed to handle, WITH GOD, on my own. Honestly, my flesh just wanted to crawl on the couch and do nothing until time to pick my daughter up from school, but THANK YOU, JESUS, my spirit knew better and ruled over my flesh, (this time). After I had done my Wednesday errand-running and paying bills, I went on to the church to get my daily exercise, (walking, and I don’t care WHAT my hubby says, walking IS exercise), and to pray.
I didn’t have a lot of words. Actually, I didn’t even really know what to specifically pray about. I did remember that we are to replace the spirit of heaviness with a garment of praise so I started praising God. I talked to Him about the fear that I had and the things that were worrying me. At this moment, He gently rebuked me by reminding me that I was only promised TODAY – not tomorrow, next week, year, or 30 years – just TODAY. He, also, reminded me that our daily needs were being met and that’s what my focus needed to be on instead of the future. (You know, that span of time I NEVER worry about.)
I gladly retrieved my joy and peace from those party-crashers, heaviness and fear, and started my day over. (Thank the Lord for do-overs!) Besides, I have the Holy Ghost in me, and there’s NO room for Him AND those 2 in this temple!!!!
“…the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…” Isaiah 61:3
“For God had not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”2 Timothy 1:7
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philipp. 4:6-7
"Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? ...
Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” Matthew 6:25 & 27