We are happy once again to have Margaret Kemp share with us her inspirational insights. During these great temperatures and beautiful colors, the beauty that spring plants exhibit seems to make everyone want to do a little gardening! The nurseries are full of beautiful plants and long lines of people waiting to share in the beautifying of their yards. I just hope that if you are one of these "master gardeners," you don't forget one of your most precious tools in maintaining the garden of your heart! You will enjoy Margaret's story - read it outside if you can! Enjoy the beauty, grab a cup of coffee, and rest yourself of all worries. Please welcome Margaret to Monday Musings!
I remember another glorious season of new beginnings when I first learned to delight in the Lord. I was a freshman in college, a new Christian exploring the riches of Scripture for the first time. Verses seemed to burst off the page as if they were written just for me. My newfound faith grew as I witnessed God answering even my most trivial prayers.
But it didn’t take long for the weeds of worry to choke out my joy. My roommates were moving into their sorority houses. (How could they leave me?) My history professor didn’t think I deserved an A in his course. (Imagine that!) I received an unexpected summons to the office of the Dean of Women. (Never a good omen!) My heart became like the thorny soil in Jesus’ parable.
“The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word,
but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.”
I forgot that the God of the Universe-- whospokeand splattered a gazillion stars across the universe—who put on a human body to save me—who keeps track of tiny details like the number of hairs on my head— is for me.
As a new Christian, I had to learn that when we worry, we’re not trusting God.
“Be anxious for nothing,” the Bible says, “but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
First, I’ve got to recognize worry when it first appears. I’ve got to capture every unsettling thought and examine it. If I’m dealing with a problem, I may wonderwhat the future holds. I may give that problem a great deal of thought as I workon a solution. But when nervousness, anxiety, and pessimism begin to creep in, it’s an indication that, instead of wonderingand working ona solution, I’m worrying.
Then, I’ve got to go back to Philippians 4:6-7: praying about my problems, thanking God in advance for what He will do, then trusting Him for the solutions.
But the battle with worry doesn’t end with Philippians 4:6-7. Philippians 4:8 tells us that after we pray about our problems, we’ve got to stop thinking about what’s wrong,and dwell on what’s right.
God has brought me through some scary situations.
You’d think I’d have learned to rest in Him, but worry still creeps in, threatening to take root and preventing me from delighting in the Lord. Recently, I found myself fretting over travel arrangements for an upcoming conference. I had to remind myself that God had been a “very present help” in major crises in the past, and He can certainly handle todays little difficulties.
Maybe you’re like me, discouraged because you still fight the same old battle with worry. Remember that, like weeds, worries will continue to sprout up. There’s no permanent fix. The trick is to remove them as soon as we notice them.
Here are some “garden tools” I use when worries creep in:
S – Supplication (asking God for what I need)
P – Prayer (talking to Him about my troubles)
A – Appreciation (for what He’s done and what He’s going to do)
D -Dependence on Him (to take care of me today as He has done in the past)
E – Exchanging worry for worship (thinking about what’s right instead of what’s wrong)
What worries do you need to bring to the Lord?
How has God delivered you in the past?
What are the true and right and pure and lovely things you need to meditate on today?
If we want to delight in the garden with the Lord, we’ve got to keep up with the yard work.
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