There are times it is best just to tell on yourself and get it over with.
This is one of those times.
With one eye open, I noticed something moving outside our sun-room window. It was hard to make it out because the sun was barely forming a thin line in the morning sky. Was that shadow a SPIDER? It WAS! Oh, no! We just finished washing the windows two days ago and those yucky things were back! “AMEN!” Oops! I must have opened my eyes while my husband was praying! I guess I got distracted! As soon as he raised his head I let out… “Did you see that spider?” Guess he knew I wasn’t paying attention…busted! He just smiled. So went our discussion, or rather I should say my animated discussion of how dare those spiders show up. And, as if to make a point of how they really didn’t care what I thought, there were three more that showed up. Seriously now, do they not know we are bigger! By the time we finished our coffee, and my husband was walking from the room to get his morning shower, he was giving me one of those… “Now don’t talk too long to Charlotte, honey, we will get them all when I get home tonight!”
Yes, I gave him one of those looks! But I also appreciated the fact he was going to kill those ugly little creatures that had the nerve to get on those nice clean windows that happened to have been at the top of our “to do” list this past week.
It truly had been one of those weeks jammed packed with things that needed to be done and I was in hyper-drive. Springtime always brings with it a long list of cleanup chores around the house, along with flower plantings. Normally that’s not a rush job, especially since I really enjoy my flowers, I typically take my time, but this week was different. We had a tremendous amount of rain so things were delayed. And because we were hosting a neighborhood get-together this coming week we were in crunch mode trying to work within the window of opportunity. And even though we were on the fast track this week, I was able to see to everything that needed to be done, making sure everyone was cared for within my little world and keeping everything “on task” as the saying goes. It felt great, for a moment or two.
It just so happened that at the same time the list was being tackled we were receiving several unexpected phone calls, messages, and texts. These were of events going on in other people’s lives around us that were far more important than our “list.” They varied from updates on what was happening in lives to very serious illnesses. Some of these were sharing milestone events in our families’ lives, yet others were decisions we were asked to come along side of and to pray. Some were intensely personal matters that you knew were life altering, some were physical and very serious: the needs of dear ones were all around us. We prayed, we cried! We brought it to the Lord, and left it there. In earnest, I thought I did! Then I realized; that old habit was trying hard to sneak back in. I was spending time worrying, I was trying to problem solve other’s situations. Then if that wasn’t enough that spider showed up. And that is how you know the Lord has a sense of humor…don’t you just love that the Lord has a sense of humor! For He knows exactly what it takes to get right to the heart of the matter: my heart
He knows what it takes to get to the heart of the matter
Over and over in my life the Lord has used the simple, everyday occurrences to show me His truth. Even using my wandering, half open, eye He brings about understanding. In truth, for several days I had been trying to make sense, and to add clarity to all of the situations that were beginning to weigh heavy upon my heart and mind. Just like that “spider” showing up as a simple distraction from the real purpose of a fantastic morning, spent in prayer I was allowing the shadow of the events of the week to settle on my shoulders. I knew better, but an old shadow, an old habit of worry verses prayer was sneaking back in.
To emphasize the contrast, the Lord hit my heart with a visual point even further later that morning. As the sun climbed full in the sky, all four spiders scurried away. What was left behind, through those clean and clear windows, was one magnificent sunrise: God’s morning. And as if to get my undivided attention, all of those spiders hid as the sun went high in the sky. They were nowhere to be seen. Now where did they go? I even went outside to try to find them. No, they were not there, again the Lord knows me. I am a curious thinker and I want to understand His truth and as much as I hate spiders I wanted to see where they went.
As simply and as quickly as those spiders appeared they were gone. Will they be back, maybe! But for this morning, this moment in time, they were the distraction, I confess! Then they were gone. I can’t tell you why, I don’t really understand. But what is true, is that I don’t need to understand! God is God and He does not need to give clarification to me; not at all!
Then it occurred to me the same was true for everything else that was going on around us, even all of the needs of those we heard from in the last few days, God’s got this. He is God! It is not clear what the out come will be, or even how the Lord will answer their needs, but He is God of all situations no matter how large or small. I was distracted by the details, by the possibilities of the outcomes. My heart was heavy because I couldn’t see the clear cut answers. That is why a shadow of my old self, in the form of worry, had come creeping back in and was taking up my time, my energy and my sleep. That is not what I wanted, that was not my desire. In truth, my ultimate desire is to hold fast to the hand of trust beyond my human understanding. I want a life lived beyond my own abilities, a life built on faith in my Lord: absolute trust in Him alone. When I read these words the other day they encapsulated the depth of this heartfelt belief so beautifully “…No, l never had clarity. I only had trust.” ~Mother Teresa. Oh what a precious outlook and it is so very true. We will never have clarity: We can only have trust in Christ.
“…No, l never had clarity. I only had trust.”
When we heave upon our shoulders others burdens, that is called worry. Worry is a gross misuse of our God given time, including our gifts and talents. My loved ones and friends deserve the very best I can give them, which is placing them safely, prayerfully, in the hands of a loving Savior. He has much bigger shoulders and hands than I have, and His vision is much broader; it’s eternal. How exciting is that!
Maybe like me, you too have something that is a shadow that creeps back up on you from time to time, much like that ugly spider, is it worry, is it an old habit? The wonderful thing about our Lord is He knows you, just like He knows me, and He wants to rid us of that creeping thing that tries to jump back in from time to time when we are distracted. For me, He often uses the simple things in life to let me know I am off the mark. For you He may use some other means, but if you are walking and talking with Him, He is there. He is our Lord and it gives Him pleasure as He says…