Chairs, Athleta Models, and God

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“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with the things you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”    Hebrews 13:5

There are times in life when we are just plain jealous. Maybe someone you know just bought a brand-new house, while you’ve  been spending your days trying to figure out how to re-arrange your dated family room furniture to make it seem “fresh”.  Or, you are in a really difficult marriage and it seems everyone you know is happy and content in theirs.  Maybe its a simple thing, like an extremely flattering scarf that your bestie just showed up at your door wearing, and that morning, no matter how much you tried you were just not able to find anything to wear that you liked.

Or that darn Athleta model that is looking up at you from your pile of mail (how many hours DOES she work out anyway??)

COV.ET
verb
verb: covet;
  1. 1.
    yearn to possess or have (something).
    synonyms: desire, yearn for, crave, have one’s heart set on, want, wish for, long for, hanker after/for, hunger after/for, thirst for

Lately, I’ve been coveting time.  I find myself thinking about the lovely women in my life who seem to have balance, and margin–two things that have been greatly lacking in my world for a few years.

I’ve also been pining after new dining room chairs, which after my husband sat in one of our old ones over Thanksgiving and it literally collapsed under him, I excitedly said, “Sit on the other ones now!” hoping the rest of the 12-year-old rustic cabin/mountain/bear/pine tree chairs  would fall like dominoes (OK, I’m exaggerating, no bears.).

What do you long for?  What feels missing?

Jesus came to fill whatever empty spaces we have in our life.  Relationally, materially, spiritually.  He is the only one who satisfies our thirst.  When the woman at the well drew water for Jesus,

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14

I always struggled a bit with this passage–how does that relate to my dining room chairs?  But actually, it does.  I know that the more I belong to my heavenly father, the more I know him and seek him in my daily life, the less important my perceived material lack (which truly, I lack for nothing) becomes.  Jesus gives us perspective, as he did with the woman at the well.  She was focused on her relational failures (most likely) and her physical thirst, and Jesus gave her hope, which flows eternal when we are in a relationship with Him.   In other words, when the voice of my “wants” in life is turned down, and I turn up the voice of God, I feel content.  I know what I need to pine after and desire, and that is the desire of His heart:

To Live Justly,

To Love Mercy,

To Walk Humbly With Him

Micah 6:8

I did get new dining room chairs, by the way, after I worked hard the last few months at my business and saved up some money, and because my kind husband (who does not give a lick about dining room chairs) gave his blessing on the purchase.  I hold them lightly, however, and know that they only matter when the table is filled with friends and family, giving thanks to God, sharing a meal, and finding joy in each other.

Let’s look to God for perspective, contentment, and peace.  It is overflowing for those who seek Him.

 

Healing

Written By Amy

Healing is an amazing process.  I work for an orthopedic surgeon, and it continues to awe me how a patient will initially walk (roll or crutch) throught the front door of our office in pain and distress, but each week they return there has been healing and mending done by time and our miraculous cellular structure geared to return to health.   The wounds close, the wheelchair becomes crutches, the crutches become steady legs.  The pain and the wounds are fixed by surgery and/or pain medication.  It’s not an easy process, healing, but there are some clear-cut ways to go about it.

It doesn’t seem that straightforward with emotional pain.   

Recently I experienced a painful situation borne out of trying to do the right thing as a mother, and a circumstance resulting in a strained relationship with a friend.  Its messy.  I am at fault for some of it.  I’m not sure it’s completely fixable.  I believe I did the right thing for my child, but don’t ever wish to be at odds with my friends.  Choosing just to sit and process the unfixable situation, it’s uncomfortable.   Every fiber in me wanted to either go back in the future and do it over differently, or have complete resolution right that minute.  I don’t like conflict, and when I can’t “control” the healing, I am just left with a heavy heart. 

 Emotional pain comes out of nowhere…an overreaction that hurts someone, an argument, a misunderstanding with a friend that creates a rift, a conflict at work or with a complete stranger.  Or just being misunderstood.  Loss.  Change.  Failure. Regret.

We  do have ways of fixing it….with numbing things like food, or spending, or alcohol or even drug abuse.  We try to be strong and bury our feelings, stuff them, which always results in them rising to the surface, like a bruise after a kick in the shin.  Our whole being is created to move toward peace.  As our bodies instantly begin to heal when wounded,  so do our souls as they strive to knit themselves together as rapidly as possible…by whatever means.

What other choice do I have when I’m in emotional pain?  All I have is the healing power of God.  Someone once shared with me that they visualize laying all of their problems on the altar of God.  They picture God, seated on his heavenly throne, accepting these cares and taking them from us, so that we may know they are now in able hands…that our hearts are in able hands.

I can receive strength from the bible:

“I lift up  my eyes to the hills-where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth”.  Psalm 121:2

 

 “I am in pain and distress; may your salvation, O God, protect me.” Psalm 69:29

 

“But as for me, it is good to be near God.  I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge”.  Psalm 74:28

Is it possible to release the pain to God?  We can definitely try.  We can pray and ask Him to take our hearts, heal them, give us perspective and strength.  He is the only one with the power to do that.

May God bless you and your heart today, and if you know someone who is hurting, maybe pass this along.

 

 

 

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