Are you like me in the sense of wanting to fit in? Insecure about being okay with standing out? Amidst all of this craziness that is surrounding us, I can’t help but think about how a pattern can affect us. For the past couple of weeks, I can feel that God is reminding me of his goodness and mercy. He has thumped me in the back of the head and gently reminded me that HE is all I need.
I am one that can easily get swept up by patterns around me. I want to fit in, so if everyone else is panicking and shopping, then I must panic and buy things from the grocery. I found myself conforming to a pattern that isn’t necessarily what I need. Sure, if I’m low on food I’ll go buy more. However, just because the shelves are looking empty doesn’t mean I should buy the oatmeal raisin cookie dough because it’s the only one left! Why should I buy something I don’t like out of conforming to a pattern?
Instead of conforming to a pattern, Jesus had to remind me that I need to be transformed to a renewed sense of thinking. Maybe someone else loves Oatmeal Raisin cookies and they would get great joy in baking some while quarantined. If I take them, then they miss out.
Renewal of the mind is not something that will happen overnight either. It happens when we give that desire to conform over to God and allow him to transform us.
Transformation shows are big in reality TV. “Look! I upcycled this refrigerator box into a playhouse for my kid!” We need to have Jesus transform our hearts. We need to allow Him to mold and shape us. We need him to empty us of ourselves and fill us with Him. Once we allow that to happen, we don’t want to conform to the pattern of this world, because Jesus has us in the palms of his hands.
I don’t like to not know things. I have a great fear of the unknown. Now here’s where I think God has a pretty funny sense of humor. I don’t like the unknowns of my life, but I also wouldn’t want to know what was going to happen if given the chance to find out. It’s this great tether of fear and faith.
I have heart knowledge of God’s control, but it’s the head knowledge of that control that gets in the way. I attended a woman’s event a few weeks ago and a question was posed of “What gets in the way of allowing God to work in your life?” My answer surprised me as I found myself comfortably blurting out, “Me!” It was quickly followed by an awkward laugh and a need to explain that I am living in a constant tether of control. I’ve mentioned before the many quips and quotes that I have plastered on my walls, in journals, and scattered in the file boxes of my brain.
This past week, I found myself praying for God to take things away. I found myself on my knees in such prayer that I felt a weight lift. I would give it God and go to sleep. Here’s the problem that I found though- The very next morning, I’m picking up my phone, scrolling incessantly through social media, and feeling the weight climb it’s way back on my shoulders. Why am I being so vulnerable at this moment you wonder? It’s because maybe you, too, are finding yourself picking back up that weight of worry and uncomfortably okay with putting it back on.
It wasn’t until I had an eye opening moment where I saw what I was doing and had to relinquish the control and my need to worry. Once I put down my phone and started reciting and proclaiming today’s scripture, I felt the weight release.
In reality, I needed to give it to God and leave it in his hands.
I challenge you in this new “normal” to follow the words of Paul, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” It really doesn’t have to be as complicated as we make it for ourselves.