Michael Wells once wrote:
Today's devotional comes a day late because of sickness but also with an experience I wanted to share. At the time I would have been writing this, I was rolling around in agony in bed and pleading that Yahweh would help me. There were a number of procedures open to me, including going to hospital, but I decided this time I would that adapt the advicel of Christian councellor, Mary Welch, whose book More Than Sparrows we had been dicussing a couple of days before in our family devotionals.
"The will of [Yahweh] is not a person, place or thing. It is the condition of having a heart that can be led. The will of [Yahweh] is the attitude in a person's walk throughout the day (Eph.5:15-21; Rom.12:2-3), not the specifics of where he might go. Don't try to discern His tasks - turn your heart toward Yahweh. Focus on Him who leads to the tasks, not on the tasks" (Problems, God's Presence & Prayer).
Mary was aware of how teenagers - like the rest of us - tend to worry about the common things of life. So she came up with an idea: Instead of saying, "I am worried", she suggested the words, "[Yahweh] is my shepherd" (Ps.23:1) and then to add afterwards, "So I'm worried to death!". The absurdity of the contradiction of these two phrases caused her students to laugh but they all promised to pursue this 'peace of mind' game when the situation clearly demanded it.
Later, a student reported back to Mary:
Sometimes it takes a logical contradiction to bring us to our senses and get our priorities right. Now admittedly intense physical pain is a little different to worry as there's a major physical component but the mind- and heart-attitude principles are exactly the same. I had been in this condition for several hours and the meds weren't working as fast as I needed them to...I knew from previous experience that this might last anywhere from 5-7 hours before drugs would work.
"I must tell you how the game helped me trust [Yahweh] today. As I froze with worry (over the exam she had been dreading), I remembered to say, "[Yahweh] is my Shepherd...so I'm afraid I'll fail!" Suddenyl I felt the strangest peace of mind, I laughted at myself, then I took the exam - and I passed!"
So I began to pray: "Yahweh's my shepherd, I shall not want (lack)....I'm in agony and I just want to panic."
So long as I had my eyes on Yah'shua I began to relax, in spite of the pain. Sometimes my eyes wandered from Him and the pain worsened, but the moment I was back on track, there was an immediate improvement. Finally I just settled down and by His grace managed to get to sleep. A couple of hours later there was considerable improvement.
Afterwards I got to thinking about how Yahweh wants to work His will in us especially in dire circumstances when we are more apt to panic than to actually listen to Him. Everything, in the final analysis, boils down to attitude and in Whom we decide to trust. This particular illness I have had many, many times before and each time it stretches my faith. Sometimes I have ended up in hospital, sometimes not, depending on the mixture of faith and common sense that is applied. If there is something we can and must do physically, then obviously we must do that too. You cannot separate faith from works (Jas.2:17) when it comes to such things.
Worry, on the other hand, is another matter, as it is purely of the invisible domain. Worry is a kind of atheism because it's a soul-statement that we're not trusting in Yahweh to be in charge of all things. He is, but we have to choose to let Him be. Of course, the student had to study for her exam - expecting Yahweh to do everything (in anything except salvation from sin) again demonstrates the fallacy of faith without works.
I well remember when I was at University studying for my final degree exams knowing I had only done a third of the course because I had been so busy searching for Yahweh, who had been my priority (see, A Glimpse into Heaven). I told Him I would do everything I could in the time that I had but would He please do what I could not? He was faithful in that and I passed with a good degree.
If we turn our hearts toward Yahweh and keep our gaze fixed, He will take care of everything and make His will known. Then we can be Elohim- instead of task-centered. Anything else will simply lead to unnecessasry soul-ache.
Comments from Readers
"Good word, Lev! Mighty good word!" (SW, Germany 31 December 2010)