What if….

I am lounging here on my sofa for the third day of being snowed in. Being from the South I find it cleansing. It is soooo white. It seems to unify our neighborhood as one yard blends into the next. Children are out playing, husbands taking off from work. My girlfriends decided enough is enough .We wanted to go see The Kings Speech, but no one came to work at the theatre today. Our city is closed. Closed to those who are stuck and want to get to their homes and closed to those who want to come to our city. When the malls are closed you know you are in trouble.

Because we have several more days of possibly not getting on the roads these are some of the thoughts that began to plague me. What if this was some sort of terrorist attack and we were all sequestered in our homes due to “whatever” comes with that? (Fear goes up) My regular, put together meals, would be gone in several days. I have a lot of canned goods, but how much canned tomatoes and canned asparagus can you eat?

With all that is going on in the world, every day seems like a new disaster has taken place somewhere in the world; Australia with the floods, Arizona with the tragic killings, and the birds and fish that died last week for seemingly no reason. It’s just plain scary.

Now just what if we are near the end of times and the Christians do go through the tribulation? (Fear way up now) How will I make it? Even though Jesus returning makes me happy; however, just as a young mother who has just learned she is pregnant is happy with the news; each realizes that in order to have that happiness we must go through a lot of pain and struggle to get there. Pain is the main reason I became a Licensed Professional Counselor. I wanted to alleviate the pain of others. I have no shame in declaring, “I hate pain.” Whatever kind of pain, I hate it.

This brings me to the issue of today; control. How much control do we really have in life and why do we want that control. I believe the main reason we want control is we see control as a means to protect ourselves. From what? From everything that seems to threaten us, whatever that may be. Each of us has a uniquely different set of things that intimidate us.

Our childhood more than likely laid down a foundation for many of the things that frighten us. But also the world today with all of its complexities can scare us. Some of which are work, family, education, health and political issues. Others are the sin nature of man/woman (What will they do next?), our children, foreign threats, personal attacks on our faith, and personal attacks on our personhood such as rejection, negation, dismissal by significant others in our lives. All of which we have little control over.

We may study hard, borrow money from the bank to educate ourselves, all the while thinking we are in control of our circumstances and, boom, we have an economy like we have today and no jobs are to be found. And how are we going to make our school loan payments? So even though we think we are in control of many of life’s circumstances, we never know just what might be around the corner.

Secular psychology contends there is a hierarchy of needs that we all have. Maslow, who came up with this hierarchy, studied healthy people, while most psychologists studied sick people. Due to the fact that Maslow put 20 years into this study we can only touch a tiny portion, but suffice it to say the lowest rung on the ladder are the needs for breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, excretion, homeostasis (the need for everything in life to stand still). Most of our third world country neighbors exist on this level. However, many in America, more often than not, need for everything not to change.

One of the characteristics at the top of the hierarchy, under the mantel of self-actualization, is being able to live in the “not knowing.” Not knowing what is going to happen and being at peace with that. In other words realizing, “I cannot control life outside of myself and I am ok with that.”

This self-actualization  of being ok with not knowing, is a major theme throughout the Bible. Numerous verses come to mind.

• Exodus 14:13

And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will show to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever.

• 2 Chronicles 20:17

17Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.

God is encouraging us when our “not knowing” is plaguing us. We are to stand still and watch God work on our behalf. He desires we be ok with the not knowing of how He can possibly work out such a bad situation,

In Nave’s topical Bible I notice that faith and trust are considered to be one and the same. How many times do we read “trust Me” and “have faith in Me” throughout the Old and New Testament? When earthly fears overtake us we are encouraged to trust God and His capability. Have faith not in our ability but in God’s ability. I found 113 instances of the words “have trust” and “have faith.”

Can we just let go and let God as they say in AA? Or do we want to control and manipulate the situation for our good. There is a verse in the Old Testament that says, “manipulation is as witchcraft, says the Lord.” Think about witchcraft. The person using whatever form is trying to either discover the future in order to possibly manipulate the outcome or manipulate people so the outcome is in their favor. We as Americans have subtle ways of manipulating people and circumstances. We don’t call it witchcraft; however, it is.

A friend of ours manipulated his son by being the first to obtain his son’s acceptance letter to the college the young man desired to go. He tore it up and told his son he did not get in. The young man ended up going to the small college his father desired. To this day I don’t think this 40+ year old man knows what his father did; manipulate the circumstances. God would say the father used witchcraft.

The final passage that comes to mind regarding our trying to control or manipulate our circumstances rather than standing still and seeing the salvation of the Lord is found in Matthew 6: 25-3. With Jesus speaking it begins with; “Therefore I tell you, stop being [v]perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?” …..

From this point Jesus encourages us to think about the birds and how they do not worry, but the Lord supplies their needs. He asks, “What has worrying ever gotten us?” We can’t control how or when we are going to die. Jesus refers to the flowers and their glory and reminds us they do not spin, toil or fret about the future. If my Father takes care of birds and flowers He will even take better care of you. Don’t worry about what we are going to eat, drink, and wear because God knows we need these things to live.

Jesus ends with, “So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.”

One day at a time, Micky. One day at a time, Micky. One day at a time.

| January 15th, 2011 | Posted in Author's Weekly Blog |

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