Before my knee quit working well, I walked daily with a good friend. Although our religious beliefs are very different, we share a great love for the Lord. One day she commented, "I think when we hang on to thoughts of fear, worry, or bitterness, those thoughts can become false idols, even gods to us."
I've thought about her comment a lot. When I focus on critical, angry thoughts, I find that I no longer adore and revere God as I do when I'm peaceful and patient. I realize that I've spent way too much time trying to control things I can't control--like other people's choices--and not trying to control things I can control--like the thoughts I hold onto. Oh, how I wish I'd understood this truth years ago. My life would have been so much more peaceful!
This past year has been a tough one for me. Some of my loved ones have made choices that have shocked and disappointed me. Other sorrows are too difficult to discuss in a blog setting. But, one thing I know for sure is that God loves His children--including me--more than I can begin to comprehend. That has brought me unspeakable comfort.
I praise God that He loves me when when I falter, stumble, and struggle. I'm grateful that He loves me when I'm weak and when I'm strong. Sometimes I feel quite vulnerable, but God continues to nurture and care for me even when I feel unworthy of His love.
Today in Church a speaker referred to these awesome comments by Paul: "Therefore, brothers (and sisters), in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. ...May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones."
Those words spoke to my soul. I felt a greater desire to try to love others as God loves me. I wanted to stand firm in the Lord. I wanted God to strengthen my heart so that I may one day stand blameless and holy before Him.
Now, I realize I'm far from perfect, but I also know that God's grace is sufficient to make up the difference for all of my fears, failures, and mistakes. To anyone who is reading this who may feel less than whole, please know that you are a divine child of God. As we focus our loving thoughts on our Creator, we block out those negative thoughts that destroy our peace. May you feel the Lord's love for you today, and may His love carry you through the difficulties and disappointments of life.
© Carol Brown