You wouldn’t know it this morning as I sip my coffee, listen to worship music, and sit in the peace of God outside on my deck.
You wouldn’t know it last night as I worshipped at my church during the evening, served communion, and served treats.
You may never know it by watching me from the outside.
But I struggle with anxiety. For me it is the irrational and worrisome thoughts that rush through my head. But mostly it’s just pure negative and false self thoughts: I’m ugly. I’m fat. I’m not good enough. I’m a horrible mother. I’m a horrible wife. I’m a horrible friend.
These thoughts will manifest into anger, resentment, bitterness, yelling, and chewing my fingers. These are the things people would see from the outside. What they don’t see is the jumbled, mixed up, untrue thoughts going on in the inside. You may judge me unfairly for one of these, because you just don’t know the other.
I have to fight and battle hard some days to make sure that I stop and not listen to the lies. I try to stick to scripture, prayer, and worship music to keep my head above the waters of negative self talk.
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. – 1 Corinthians 15:10
Yesterday was a good day. A lot of them are. But I don’t ever want to forget to be thankful that God is there through good and bad. These are one of the reasons that I go to church regularly. I’m able to worship with a community of others. I worship on the good days and the bad days and am surrounded by God’s love in and amongst the actual people worshiping around me.
You see, it’s so easy to forget everything when the days are good. To forget to be thankful. To forget that God is walking with us, laughing with us, enjoying and celebrating with us. Forget that we need Him. Because it is good. Right now it is good.
But God never promised us good days, every day. So I try to read my bible, do my devotions, listen to music, pray, and go to church. And I try to thank God for every day that I have, to try it all again.
I love that my church has a Sunday evening contemplative worship service. It’s my favorite one to attend. It is quiet. It is dark. There are candles. There is acoustic music. It is beautiful. During this service I’ve cried, laughed, and really felt God touching me deep down into my soul. Last night was no different. Our new interim pastor preached from John chapter 6 and reminded us all that Jesus is always with us because he is the word that has become flesh! Then during our offering they sang “Someone Worth Dying For” by Mikeschair. This isn’t the first time they’ve sang this song at this service. And every time it’s sung, it hits me in a slightly different way. Last night it reminded me that it’s a perfect song for all of us. That each of us struggles. And that God loves on us through all of our messy and broken.
For me it’s my worries of how could God love me in my “terribleness”. What is yours?
Am I more than flesh and bone? Am I really something beautiful? Yeah, I wanna believe – I wanna believe that – I’m not just some wandering soul – That You don’t see and You don’t know – Yeah, I wanna believe, Jesus, help me believe – That I am someone worth dying for – I know you’ve heard the truth that God has set you free – But you think you’re the one that grace could never reach – So you just keep asking – Oh, what everybody’s asking – Am I more than flesh and bone? Am I really something beautiful? Yeah, I wanna believe – I wanna believe that – I’m not just some wandering soul – That You don’t see and You don’t know – Yeah, I wanna believe, Jesus, help me believe – That I am someone worth dying for – You’re worth it, you can’t earn it – Yeah, the cross has proven – That you’re sacred and blameless – Your life has purpose……(some lyrics from Someone Worth Dying for. Please check the video out online when you have a moment.)
I’m not the only one who feels lost sometimes. I’m not the only one who struggles sometimes. We must remember that God is there. That he loves us and he will never leave us.
I encourage you all to open your bibles today and read the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman. It’s found in John chapter 4. It’s a beautiful story about a woman that has made some bad choices in her life. Due to those bad choices, the townspeople do not like her. Because of that she is at the well to gather her water at the noon hour, when the heat is the hottest. She knows no one else will be there at this time. She is alone. But this time Jesus is there. He shows her kindness and grace – just like he does to you and I!! He loves on her when no one else will – just like he does to you and I!! That’s powerful!
Don’t let anyone ever tell you that the bible is ancient. That it’s not relevant to modern times. It IS relevant to our times. It IS relevant to you and I. Open up the pages and give it a try. I can easily put myself in the place of the Samaritan woman and can be assured of Jesus words to her…..“believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem…” (John 4:21)
For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16