Life { Faith } Tea

and ramblings on everything in between

Step 1: Get Up

How many times do we get overwhelmed in life because we’re looking 1,000 miles down the road instead of just 10 feet in front of us? I’m guilty of doing this all the time. My mother calls it anxiety. We let way, way too many “what if’s” pile up on top of each other – What if I get slammed into on the interstate and what if my car gets totaled and what if I can’t get to work and they don’t understand and what if they fire me and then I have to move back in with my parents and what if I’m never able to support myself again and blow through all the money in my savings account and don’t have a credit card to fall back on and what if…?” This is my thought life on an everyday basis. I try to calm myself down by picturing the middle school director at my church with her casual view on life: “Yo, Jesus’ got this one. It ain’t no thing.”

I like to think I trust that God’s got it, but what if…

You get the picture.

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“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.”
Philippians 4:6

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I’ve recently read the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 17-19. He served and loved the Lord with all his heart. Elijah’s mission was to prove to King Ahab’s people that the Lord lived. He performed miracles before the people of Israel and killed all of Ahab’s prophets so they could finally see the truth. This didn’t make Ahab very happy, as you can imagine, and he sent word that he wouldn’t rest until Elijah was dead. Fearing for his life, Elijah ran into the wilderness, exclaiming, “I have had enough, Lord. Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors” (19:4-5). He fell asleep under a bush and an angel appeared and woke him up, commanding, “Get up and eat.”

Get up, child, was what Elijah was commanded to do next. If we could ask Elijah what was going through his head the moments before he fell asleep, I imagine it would go something along the lines of, “What if I can’t outrun these people and what if they capture me and the Lord leaves me because I wasn’t strong enough and what if I don’t have the ability to fight them off and what if they torture me and force me to die a slow, painful death while they revel in my misery?” Or something like that, anyway. Too many what if’s were blurring his vision.

But God knew the first step was to get up. To not stop. To take a deep breath. To keep moving.

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“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
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I wish I could remember where I heard this, but someone once pointed out to me that God will only give us one step at a time and in a carefully crafted sequence. If we were given a list of our next 10 steps in life, we would boast ourselves as being entirely too efficient to go through the steps 1, 2, 3, and so on; instead, we would jump right to step 10 to save time. If we could see more than the 10 feet right in front of us, we would take the path of least resistance to get to our desired destination.

But true living happens in those middle numbers. It’s like a video game where you have to gather a coin at the end of each level before you’re granted access to the next level. Instead of coins, though, we gather experiences and people and a deeper relationship with God so we’re truly ready for the next step.

My anxiety can’t be stifled by anything except another what if: What if God is faithful and walks me through it and makes me a stronger person because of it?

Each day we have the guarantee that step 1 is to get up and step 2 will eventually follow…

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This entry was posted on August 30, 2013 by in Bible, Faith, God and tagged , , , , .

What’s that she said?

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