The shower seems to be the only place quiet enough for a mom to think straight. When I was a teenager, I used to turn up the radio before I turned on the water. I am thinking about going back to that. Being alone with my thoughts can be too much sometimes. We wait all day for the clarity to ponder our to-do lists, to find words for the prayers rolling around in our hearts, to just breathe for a few moments.
And then, what do we do?
Obviously, I have no idea what you do in the shower. (Sorry. Sarcastic for life.)
I just know before I’ve rinsed the shampoo out of my hair, I’m halfway down a bulleted list in my mind of worries and unfinished tasks. I need to get that kid new shoes for school. I wonder if that kid’s cough is something I should really be concerned about. Do I even want to know what the total is going to be at the end of this back-to-school shopping spree? Will they like their teachers? Will their teachers like them? With time enough to think, I start to over-analyze every little thing. That one big fear in the back of my mind eases its way closer and closer to the front and all the smaller ones start lining up to follow suit.
This morning was different though. Amid the pictures of smiling kids at the pool and questions about school supplies on my social media feed, I’ve read some tragic stories lately – the kind that stop you in your tracks and ask you what you really have to worry about. Even as a woman who has lived through my own stories like that, I forget. I get so frazzled by daily life sometimes that I start to take it all for granted and go searching for things to worry about. I fall prey to the enemy’s endless, idle threats. I lose sight of my blessings and I lose my grip on truth.
Friend, does that ever happen to you?
We do live in a world where really bad things happen and quite often, they happen to really good people. If you’re a person who has lived through those bad things, you may find yourself in one of two categories: you have decided you’re bulletproof because you’ve survived the impossible or you’re forever tempted to hide in the linen closet, all your kids crammed in there with you. Or maybe you bounce between those two extremes like a ping pong ball.
No? Just me? Okay.
Then, let me talk to my crazy self for a moment.
When life makes you crazy and fear tries to steal your breath, no matter what has happened before what you think may happen next, remember who you belong to.
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:6-7
Power, love, and self-control – why are those the things we long for most and yet the most slippery? Why is fear so much easier to hold onto than trust? (I like to ask questions I can’t find good answers to, if you haven’t noticed.) My suspicion, as always, is that there is a punk enemy who is out to steal our joy and I’m pretty confident he is the one behind all of this. What I know in the marrow of my bones is that we serve a God who has made us more than conquerors and that fear is a waste of time.
When we can do nothing else, we absolutely can trust Him. I’ll absolutely never forget surrounding a fallen player on a ball field who had suffered a heart attack. It was one of the scariest realities I had ever faced. A voice in the crowd began to pray aloud. Her words echo in my ears today: “God, we trust you….”
There was nothing our eyes could see that would have prompted a person to trust anything in those moments. Uncertainty was all we were certain of. My heart leaped within me, the “ears” of my spirit perked up at the sound of life-giving truth. When we could trust nothing else, OF COURSE we could trust Him. When we don’t know what else to say, those should absolutely be our first words.
“God, we trust you.”
When we are trying to remember all that needs to be done, trying to juggle everything we were never meant to carry alone, He’s waiting to take our burdens. We can trust Him. When we are unsure of our children’s futures, He’s already there and He has indeed promised good to us. We can trust Him. He sees our every need. As surely as we want our kids to turn to us, our Father is longing for us to turn to Him. We can trust Him. When the school bell rings and we are forced to let go of all we’ve held so tightly to, we can believe He never will. We can trust Him. As we do, we teach these little ones they can trust Him, too.
Pry those fingers open, friend. Fear might be easy to hold onto, but it will never offer anything life-giving in return. Cling to your Father. The abundant life He alone can give won't just make you forget your fear - it will offer you power, love, and self-control in exchange. We won't find a better deal.
We can trust Him.