“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.” Psalms 1:1-6 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/psa.1.1-6.NIV
As I sat in the backyard of the house, I was pet sitting, overwhelmed with tomorrow’s fears and doubt crying out to the Lord; He said, “be like a tree; just be in the moment.”
Last week, I cried to the Lord for a place I could call home for a while; two years of moving from one home to another took a toll on me. The pain of my childhood resurfaced; being dropped off at a babysitter’s house for days, weeks, or months only to be asked to leave again was too much for this old soul; it’s hard on everyone, not just me. I was genuinely grateful to those who offered me a room or rented their home for a time to be refreshed, so I’m not playing the victim here. I’ve been told to have a positive mind, and the tides will turn for the good; yes, I agree that sometimes I fall back into the old patterns, but I have thought much about suppression, so instead, I allowed myself to feel my emotions; this is not a lack of faith, faith believes in a loving God who hears and understands our pain and sorrows. I lived in the devil’s house for years with that mindset, and I admit there were times I was tempted to go back but praise the Lord for showing me through a dream what I would be returning to; I would spend the remainder of my life here on earth in prison. I’ve learned through this mindset that I was institutionalized; the path of least resistance is tempting when things get complicated. This was the same pattern the Israelites had after the Lord led them into the wilderness to rely on Him for their daily needs and sustenance. But instead, they complained that although they suffered under the hands of their oppressors, they said at least they had a meal. I tend to fall back into this mindset, and although I don’t openly complain with my mouth, the thoughts that enter my mind are the same. The Lord answered my prayer and gave me a place I could call home, but a second wind was stronger than I, and I almost broke; this is where we need to hold God’s truths as an anchor. We will face many troubles as children of God, but the Lord delivers us from them all.
We don’t have all the answers; I struggle more than ever before because, at times, I feel entirely alone, and like a tree in the high winds, I bend back and forth. Sometimes, the storm of anxiety rages so much that I feel like I will break. However, I am grateful for the daily word of the Lord, who comforts me and holds me near His heart. There are also times my cognition is fogged, and I need the help of others to make simple decisions. I may need a slight adjustment in perspective; we can be students willing to learn from others or become prideful, thinking we know it all like the devil’s children and be like chaff blown away by the winds of troubles, or bend our knees in prayer. I have also encountered people who claim to be Christians but are not Christ-like and try to steer me away from God’s purpose for my life; I have to remind myself or be reminded by my brothers or sisters in Christ to lean into God’s word for direction and His peace because fear and doubt seeps into my soul. Again, I need my Shepherd to lead me to the place of His blessed assurance.
Being a follower of Jesus Christ can be lonely because not everyone you encounter understands God’s ways with you, nor do we know His ways for others; this is why Jesus says not to judge others, and Paul says he doesn’t even consider himself. Some people believe that God puts us on a pedestal away from troubles, hardship, and sorrows; that is a trap of the devil. I believed this lie for years. However, Jesus said we would face problems in this world, but to take heart, He has overcome the world. God promises He will be our guide during all times, even until the end of our journey Psalms 48. With that being said, I place my hand on my heart and remind my soul of the Goodness of God, His faithfulness, and love. However, this is a daily discipline; as we need food and water for strength for our bodies, we need sustenance for our souls.
“The Lord is my Shepherd; I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters. He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Psalms 23:1-6 NIV
Thank You, our Good Shepherd, for guiding us in how we should go. You don’t get impatient with us when we are afraid or anxious. Instead, You draw near to us with mercy and compassion; You understand and love us entirely, regardless of our weaknesses. Please give us Your peace and the courage to walk boldly as children of the Highest God. In Jesus’ name, amen