Whoever listens to Me will dwell secure
and will be at ease, without dread of disaster (Proverbs 1:33).
Here, “listens” comes from the Hebrew Shama meaning: to hear, listen to, to obey. Doesn’t it always come to this? When we obey the LORD, we draw near Him. We acknowledge His right-ness (His righteousness) and our un-righteousness – this is walking in His way.
In a life of walking with Him, we feel the security of His presence. When we face difficulties, we are are not facing them alone. Jesus said, “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Notice He doesn’t promise peace and security due to the absence of trouble – but in the midst of it!
In the Fall of 2011, there were two times I experienced peace in the midst of extreme difficulties, because I felt the presence of Jesus:
- When my mother was unexpectedly diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer, I was very sad, but strangely at peace. I was not worried about her. I knew that times ahead would be hard, and could end her life, but her tremendous faith meant she was already in the arms of Jesus. What a gift she gave her family – her faith enabled her to dwell secure, at ease, without the dread of disaster (vs. 33), which was a comfort to the rest of us
Now, about a year after the end of her chemo treatments, she is doing very well. Today, some sadness lingers for me, because we have moved about 2000 miles away from her, and expect to be here for 4 more years. But I know this is God’s will and when I feel sad, that comforts me.
- When my son Josh had a terrible bout with asthma, that was exacerbated by GERD, he constantly carried a trashcan. Every time he coughed, sneezed, or cleared his throat, he would gag or vomit. This was all day and all night. I slept in his room for 2 months, before we got the right diagnosis and treatment. When I had to go to the store and run errands, he carried an emesis bag. It began to feel like a horrible “new normal”.
This was different than my experience with Mom. While I had peace in knowing that Josh was in God’s hands, I still lived in constant dread. While I knew that God was in control, I felt responsible for fixing the problems since the doctors were failing us. It was terrible, but I was never alone. Such a gift! I cannot imagine walking through that time without Him.
I still fight worry – about relationships, about choices, about my loved ones’ health, and more… But worry is the absence of faith. Faith believes and hopes. Worry doubts and fears. Faith knows God is powerful and good. Worry says that God can’t or won’t help.
From childhood, worry has been my constant companion, but now it is more like that old friend who was a bad influence – someone to be avoided. I know that, in spite of circumstances, I must always obey God. I must hear and do this: Do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:6-7).
How about you – do you fight with worry?
Britta ~ I am justAgirl…just like you!