Thursday, March 7, 2013

{days fifteen to nineteen} at the foot of the cross I lay down the same ol', same ol'...

I'm learning a little something about why I felt the nudge from the Holy Spirit to give up worry this Lenten season.  I'm figuring it out the hard way.  And it's pretty painful.  Not the least bit pretty, either.  Perhaps, just perhaps, I've spent a good deal of time ignoring the fact that I worry.  Over Everything.  Constantly.  All. The. Time.  It's exhausting and debilitating and ridiculous.  I know this.

In one breath I can recite Matthew 6:34.  And in the very next, I can stress over the same ol', same ol'. 

Just over the course of this season, I've laid it {whatever the it may be for that day or minute or second} down at the foot of the Cross.  And picked it right back up again.  Sometimes, I've laid it down, but kept one tiny little finger on it.  You know, just in case I really did know the best way to solve that certain situation.  After all, I do know a thing or two about fixing stuff.  Right?  {I laugh at myself from time to time.  And all the ridiculous ways that I try so hard to do life.}


Nothing but ridiculous absurity, I tell you.

I probably trod to the Cross every day and lay down my worry over my diet.  And returning to my pre-pregnancy weight.  And while I'm there, I always drop my expectations like a ton of bricks.  Which typically means my mommy guilt and fear of the unknown come tumbling out and hit the ground with a tremble.  Then the anxiety starts to topple.  With it comes the interruptions and distractions.  As well as my inadequacies.  Oh, the laundry list of inadequacies.  By the time, it's all said and done, all that's left is my list.  Good gracious, the list.  So, I drop it like it's hot.  {The list, not you know, IT.  I'm not sure I would even know what it was and I most certainly would not know how to drop it.}

Guilt creeps in just as soon as I've laid it all down.  Not even a step from the Cross, and I have turn around and lay it down again.

I'm learning to just stay at the foot of the Cross.  To remain in a position to offer it all to Him.  Daily.  Minute by minute.  Sometimes, second by second.  I'm learning that I was never meant to walk away in the first place.  I was never meant to empty it all at His feet and then turn away, as if now I had the answer and I could face the world alone. 

I never want to give the impression that I have it all figured out.  Or that once I lay it down then I never struggle with it again.  Nothing could be further from the truth. 

'I'm not saying that I have this all together, 
that I have it made. But I am well on my way, 
reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously 
reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: 
By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, 
but I’ve got my eye on the goal, 
where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. 
I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.'
Philippians 3:12-14 (MSG)

The fact is the Holy Spirit called me to flesh out the dark places in my own life that I allow worry to take hold and eat away at my joy and peace.  Make no mistake.  That is exactly what worry has done in my life.  It edged in and slithered around until I'm one big bundle of nerves.  And about as enjoyable to be around as a flesh-eating monster.  Maybe that's the point.  While worry doesn't eat away at my flesh, it does erode my spirit.  It causes me to focus on myself, rather than training my eyes on Jesus.  Trust me, you can not focus on yourself {or the world or desires or the shoulda-coulda-wouldas or the ifs and thens or anything else} and focus on Jesus.  It's impossible.  Your eyes can only focus on one thing at a time.  I choose Jesus. 

Keep your eyes on Jesus, 
who both began and finished this race we’re in. 
Study how he did it. 
Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—
that exhilarating finish in and with God—
he could put up with anything along the way: 
Cross, shame, whatever. 
And now he’s there, in the place of honor, 
right alongside God.
Hebrews 12:2 (MSG)

Today, I didn't leave the foot of the Cross.  I just laid it all down.  And took my hands away; placed them in my lap.  I set my eyes on Jesus.  And allowed Him to work in those areas of my life where I continuously allow worry to darken His Truth. 

We've got a lot of work to do, me and Jesus.  I'm not saying that this struggle is over.  I'm not claiming that I will never worry again.  But I'm rolling up my sleeves; ready to dive in the trenches and tackle this sin that has taken root in my life.  We're taking it by the root, so as to permanently remove it.  We're tilling the soil and planting more Truth.  We're trimming down some branches that have allowed too much shade, and not enough Light.  And we're filling up the watering can and pouring some Scripture over this new terrain.  We're sitting back, with hands in our laps, and watching for life to burst forth.

What about you?  What are you constantly laying down and picking right back up?  How can you empty your hands {and heart} of it, once and for all?

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