Monday, March 9, 2009

The Root of the Problem

Sometimes you learn something when you weren't really expecting to.

Our current series at ACF is called "Flesh Wounds" and focuses on God's healing. I had missed the first week, but heard the message four times this weekend since I was running the lights. And I sat there listening four times yet it didn't really sink in.

The problem is - I've been through some things, and received some healing, and naively considered myself an expert on the subject. I had unconciously gotten into the mindset that I am as healed as I'm going to be. It wasn't until I downloaded the Podcast for the first week and listened to it that I came face to face with the fact that I've still got a long way to go.

So this morning I was "running" (and walking) and listening to the message, including another member's story of being wounded and healed. And I'm embarassed to admit that, while I was happy for this person, I was also jealous and upset. I found myself beating my chest (luckily I run so early there is no one to see this) and asking God "Why won't you continue healing me? When will you keep your promise and restore what the locusts have destroyed for me?"

And that's when I realized - those things spoken about this weekend, the action points we were given to do - I need to do them to. It was like God asked me when I finished my tantrum - "When are you going to let me?"

One of the action points we were given was to figure out not only our symptoms, but the roots of those things that need to be changed in us. And of course our tool for destroying those roots and growing new ones is God's Word.

Amazingly enough, I remembered the verses we'd been encouraged to read and apply to ourselves, and the book (yes, book) we'd been challeneged to memorize. As soon as I got home, I opened up to Psalm 139 - and ignoring that ugly inner monolog I'm sure most of us have been plagued with - applied it to myself.

God searches me - He KNOWS me, He is interested in me. No one else may be up at 4:30am when I tie on my running shoes, but God knows that I am. He knows all my little habits, but also things I will do outside of my habits. He surrounds me at all times, no matter where I go - even in darkness. He made me as I am - and only good comes from Him. He can search my heart and sift out all that is offensive to Him and lead me closer to His ways.

Which is exactly what I asked Him to do. And what symptoms did I find?

Frustration
Jealousy
Upset
Competitive/combative nature
Lonliness

Ouch - these were the things that I felt like I was a victim of - not things that I was responsible for! But there it was. I get frustrated with people because I'm jealous of them or impatient with them. I get upset because I'm jealous. I feel the need to "one up" everyone, about everything. Think "anything you can do, I can do better" ... and go figure, that leaves me lonely because no one likes that. They don't find it impressive, they find it annoying!

So why do I do things that tend to push people away? Why do I feel the need to prove I'm capable?

Because. I'm afraid. Not a healthy fear of God, but a fear that people will hurt me. And my fear is a results of mistrust ... I say mistrust rather than distrust because it is my misplacement of trust that is truly at the root of this.

So what does God have to say about fear?

A wise man fears the Lord ...
fear of the Lord teaches ...
The fear of the Lord leads to life ...
delight in the fear of the Lord ...
the fear of the Lord is the key ...
Be strong, do not fear ...
do not fear, for I am with you ...
I will show you whom you should fear ...
perfect love drives out fear ...

Fear of man will prove to be a snare ...
Fear not, for I have redeemed you ...
Do not fear the reproach of men ...
to others show mercy, mixed with fear ...

The only one I need to fear, and trust - is God. The root of my problem has been placing my trust in the wrong places, where there is ONE place I can always put my trust. As long as I rightly fear Him in his Glory, and understand that His Glory and Power know no limits to protect me and guide me. He will show me who I can trust, and reenforce me so that I don't feel the need for validation (which isn't lasting anyways) from my fellow humans.

Even the most Godly, kinda person is still human and capable of letting me down. While that doesn't mean I should be afraid and never trust, it means I need to place the bulk of my trust, and fear, in the Lord who will never let me down or fail to keep a promise. I can trust that, in His own timing and in His own way, He will restore what I've lost.

1 comment:

  1. This is really beautiful, Amanda--eloquent and meaningful. Thanks for sharing.

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