Fear makes us do funny things. It can make us run away, blame others, and overindulge in certain behaviors that give us a temporary "feeling" of control or comfort. But the thing is, none of those things actually squelch the fear. It's still there, briefly abated, but it hasn't gone anywhere because instead of facing it and placing it front and center before God, we've only found ways to ignore it for a little while.
Because we live in a fast-paced, "have it now" consumer-oriented society, it's easy to think we can buy our way out of fear and into control/comfort. That's what the world tells us, anyway. Afraid of getting older? Buy this miracle wrinkle cream! Afraid of catching a virus? Grab all the toilet paper you can get your hands on (ahem...). You get the picture, right? These are legit fears, I know! But perhaps there's a better place to look for a sense of well-being than Amazon.
Maybe letting God restore us from the inside out can take the topsy-turvy feelings of anxiety and discontent and put us on more solid footing. Maybe we should be asking God to help us strengthen the gifts and talents He's given us and use them for the ultimate good of everyone. Maybe that would give us a healthy sense of control and comfort, restoring our equilibrium. Food for thought, anyway...
And speaking of restoration, let's SOAP our scripture for the week:
Scripture: Psalm 51:7-13, NLT
Our "sinful" behavior creates division between us and God.
Repentance "cleanses" us and helps to restore our joy.
A clean heart restores us to God and gives us peace.
Making ourselves "right" with God allow the Holy Spirit to flow through us.
We find freedom in our obedience to Him and we point others towards Him through our actions.
Have frequent times of confession with God so that I can lay out what I know I'm doing wrong and ask Him show me how to make it right.
Ask God to show me ways in which I mess up that I'm not even aware I'm doing.
Recognize/realize that when I'm in good standing with God, I am at my best and wlaking in line with His will for me, alongside the Holy Spirit.
By my authentic actions, show that obeying God really does bring joy and freedom.
Thank you that You extend Your forgiveness and mercy to me (and to all who ask for it) when we admit our sins to You. Often, though, we forget to do a heart-check with You and some offensive behaviors can become habits and seep right into our everyday life. Would you, with grace and loving-kindness, help us to see those areas, too, and place them before You? We want nothing more that to walk in Your will for us and to be free and at peace. I'm sorry when I get it wrong, Lord, and I know I get it wrong on the daily! Thank YOU for Your mercy in bringing me back on my feet and trusting me to then serve others. Remind me of how only YOU can restore me and that trying to ignore my faults, or cover them up with things that cannot actually work in the long run, only makes things worse. I want to walk in step with You, God. Show me the freedom of Your way.
In the name of Jesus, Amen.
See you back here next week when we look at Romans 12:1-2. Until then, may God bless you and keep you, may He make His face shone upon and be gracious to you, may the Lord turn His face to you and give you peace.
Praying for you and yours while always counting you as one of ours. Be well, sweet sisters.