Saturday, February 9, 2008

Morning Thoughts

I wrote this a few weeks ago, but I thought it might be worth sharing today:

This morning I woke from troubling dreams and into troubling, anxious thoughts. Some days anxious thoughts come so easily—fear of loss, of death, of my own mind. Fear is such a constraint, a restraint that keeps me from being wholly myself and at peace with others. But can’t God take even our fears and transform them into something beautiful? Must fears be banished, or must they be confronted and converted with love? Perhaps it is bad theology, but the latter is a metaphor that speaks to me. I would like to believe that my fears can be “cast out” by love in a moment, but so far I haven’t seen love work that way in my life. It seems to me that love meets my fears as they are, rooted in deep places in my heart, and teaches them and works on them till they recognize the lordship of Jesus, till they follow Him.

I prayed this prayer today, and I think it is a good prayer: “God, let my fears be transformed into perfect trust, faith, simplicity. Let your love soak into my fears till they become perfect in your love, marks of my trust in you. Let your peace that passes understanding guard my heart and my mind in Christ Jesus.” I don’t understand the way of God’s peace, but I know that it is real and abiding and a gift that Jesus gives.

This morning I also remembered a verse I loved in my first days as a Christian: “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3) Despite the gender exclusive language, I still love these words as they are in the NKJV: a mind stayed on God, steadfast in trusting God. A mind stayed on God does not come naturally--although my mind turns to God frequently and instinctively, I have trouble keeping it there, keeping it stayed on God. I suppose that is where recollection comes in--a willful choice to return, again and again and again, to Reality, to love, to the rest that Jesus gives.

--Erica Waters


living stones said...

Erica, Thanks for posting. I definately agree with you: that God would (not have us never fear) but transform our fears. Peace is a big theme to me. Again, I'm glad that you are coming to voice here. Thanks. -- Paul Corrigan

living stones said...

Wow! Powerful, beautiful. And helpful! This entry strengthens and refines me. Its loveliness, truth, and encouragement really "minister" to me. Thank you so much for sharing and investing in our community dialogue!
--Rickey Cotton

living stones said...

This entry was amazing--as Rickey said, "Powerful, beautiful and helpful." I particularly liked your line " meets my fears as they are..." How deep and real that is to me. God meets me exactly where I am, and because he loves me I'm accepted and enabled to change. Your prayer phrase that meant the most to me was "Let your love soak into my fears..." Thanks so much for sharing all of this. Great reflection!


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