By: Cheri Fuller
This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.”
Isaiah 30:15 NIV
When Emotions Overwhelm
From that point to the present, whenever Marilyn begins worrying about a situation, she repeats the process that brings her to acceptance.
No, the circumstances didn’t change overnight. But she has learned to walk in a daily peace and rest in God right in the middle of the problems she faces. Getting her journal out, she starts a new page, writing at the top: “Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.”
She lists the needs and problems that worry her the most. Then she thinks of the next right thing she should do and writes it down. On one day she realized she needed to stop charging on her credit cards; on another, to call a financial counselor and ask for help. One day when she asked God what He wanted her to do, it was very practical: make a budget and live on it. These were things she could change that might make a difference.
Then Marilyn began to journal, writing about the things she couldn’t change that day. Doing this, she learned that if there was a nagging irritation with a person or situation, it was probably a good indication she wasn’t accepting it. For example, when she was constantly irritated that her husband wasn’t a sharp dresser and wore things she thought looked tacky, she wasn’t accepting him. Or when the rental house they were living in was a continual burr under her saddle, then she wasn’t accepting it as God’s present provision.
As she listed the issues, it gave her time to think through them: Can I change it in any way? Have I prayed about it? Could God change it if He wanted to? Have I asked Him to show me my part to do? Is He asking me to do something? Is God listening? Am I listening?
Then she wrote what God’s Word had to say about those matters, noting the verses that came to mind. For example, to address her concern about whether God is listening: “God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!” (Psalm 66:19–20 NIV). To address the house she didn’t like and was afraid she was going to be stuck in forever: “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am,” Paul said, “. . .with humble means” or living in prosperity. . . “of having abundance and suffering need” (Philippians 4:11–12 NASB) and “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6 NIV).
She used the Psalms to praise God, not to try to manipulate Him to do what she wanted, but to express her love and thankfulness. “True praise is not an attempt to manipulate God into producing the precise results we hope for,” says Ruth Myers. “Instead it helps us accept our situation as it is, whether or not He changes it. And if we continue praising God, it helps us reach the place where we can say, ‘Father, I don’t want You to remove this problem until You’ve done all You want to do through it, in me and others.’ ” James 1:4 underscores this thought: “Don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way” (MSG).
© 2015 by Back to the Bible.
“From Replacing Worry for Wonder, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission.”