An excerpt from “Not Always All Together” by Katherine Walden, available on Amazon
“We have a choice. We can carry the world on our shoulders, or we can say, ‘I give up Lord; here’s my life. I give you my world, the whole world.’” ~ Bruce Larson, “Believe and Belong”
My deadliest foe is the fear of man. While my heart cries out for a fresh wind of the Spirit to sweep over my friends and family, I whisper a postscript. “But please, please Jesus, don’t make the process too messy and unpredictable!”
The church I attended was known for its exuberant worship. We actively pursued intimacy with God, and we embraced those with the same heart to join us in that pursuit. We welcomed those who are not yet believers, those who might hold misperceptions about Christianity, and those who are merely curious. Therein lays the crux of my problem.
I asked the Lord to bring comfort, healing, and restoration as a young man wept uncontrollably under God’s loving touch at the altar. At the same time, I sensed that his weeping was giving some newcomers a bit of concern. I was tempted to ask the Lord to tone it down so as not to offend those who didn’t yet understand what is taking place. I cheered on the joy-filled dance of a young woman who experienced a significant victory after a long battle. Yet, I hoped the dance didn’t provide more evidence to the sceptic who was sitting in the back row, reinforcing his misbelief that Christianity is only for the emotionally unsound.
Faced with such a dilemma one Sunday morning, I confessed to the Lord that I didn’t know how to pray. In response, God reminded me that He is the Lord of all. His reputation did not need defending. As I quieted my heart, I prayed a silent prayer, “Lord, constrain what should be constrained and release what should be released.”
As I prayed, my anxiety lessened. God was, and is, and always will be in control. Although my prayer was at first targeted toward those around me, I became aware that my prayer was more for me than anyone else.
“Lord, constrain what must be constrained in me. I lay my fears and my anxieties at your feet. I place my trust in this truth – You are good. You know each heart, and you know just what each heart needs. I rest in your peace.”
What worries do you need to lay at the foot of the cross today? Spend a few moments right now and lay them down. Ask Holy Spirit to convict you if you try to pick those worries up again.
Until next week,
© 2022 Katherine Walden