Full Circle - Again by Laura Lee Shaw
|"For in Him we live and move and have our being."
Acts 17:28a (NIV)
|God, please help Annie on her tests today. Don’t let her fail again. She studied so hard. I’ve got so
much to do. I shouldn’t be walking. I’m going to get behind on everything else. Why am I always a step
behind on everything?
The worries then completely took over my steps, and I’m sure my heart rate went off the charts.
Ministry at church. My son’s retreat this weekend. Not meeting people’s expectations. Emails and
phone calls to return. Decisions my husband and I have to make. Kids and families my heart is
grieving for. Not enough hours in the day…
Finally, one thought hijacked the others: I remembered something recently that really hurt my feelings. I
didn’t think my legs could go any faster, but they did. I bit back at this person in my mind. I defended
myself. I informed this person through telepathic communication that his or her actions were immature and
Huffing in mind, spirit AND body, all of a sudden, I noticed that I had passed my starting place and was
going around the usual path I walk again, by a long ways. The thought of having to finish off the trail again
or turn around was quite an exhausting one, so I stopped for a moment, leaned the weight of my body via
arms on my knees and caught my breath.
|“You have made known to me the path of life;
You will fill me with joy in Your presence,
with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.”
Psalm 16:11, NIV
This morning I took a walk down a shady neighborhood trail. As I breathed in
the refreshing seventy degrees, I was also refreshed by the sunshine soaking
into my skin. Starting slowly, I took some time to praise the Lord and enjoy the
peace. I quickened my pace, and anxious thoughts began to jog alongside me.
|Do you really wanna walk down this path again?
This was the thought that stopped my elevated “worry pulse,” and I’m positive it was from the Lord. He
had my full attention, seeing as He had given me a real-life scenario to think it through (not to mention,
plenty of time).
It took the rest of the trail (a second time) home to allow the Lord to do some counseling with me. He gave
me incredible insight into just how far He had brought me down the path of anxiety. He reminded me
that I struggle with it so much less than I ever have before. He recounted instances of situations past
where He has worked out each and every problem, hurt, fear or disappointment for His glory. He
testified of all the ways He has worked in me to grow me up spiritually.
By the time I got home, my hurts and “But hows” had taken a hike and the Lord had carried my numb legs
through the door. I was where I needed to be: right smack dab in the hold of His strong and capable
arms. He sat me down gently, and that’s when my prayers and praises started me down a new trail—the
one they should have veered on about an hour earlier. I had gone full circle, and now I’m thinkin’ it
might be a good idea to look straight ahead for awhile…will you join me? Philippians 4:6-9 of the NLT says:
|“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and
Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—
everything you heard from me and saw me doing.
Then the God of peace will be with you.”
Okay, so some questions:
- Are you running around the trail of worry over and over? Read the verse above and ask the
Lord to have His way with you in this area.
- Have you ever thought about worry as a great big lie? Worry is basically doubt, right? And
Truth is the opposite of doubt. The verses above give us the counsel that we need here. It
tells us what to think and to keep on thinking it.
- When someone hurts you, do you dwell on it and allow it to permeate your thought life? I’ve
struggled with this a TON in the past (ask any of my closest friends), and I promise you: as you
think on what is “true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and worthy of
praise,” it makes a tremendous difference. Often times, when I’ve thought the Lord’s way, I end
up not even being hurt or offended anymore. Why? Because of the last verse.
|“Then the God of peace will be with you…”
Go in peace, dear friends, and you will find Him right there walking alongside you, or even carrying
you for awhile til you can walk the path of peace on your own. His peace, no matter, will guard your
heart and mind as you find your life in Him. Amen.