We are experiencing a wonder in our lives- the creation and development of a new life. We hope to welcome baby MacLean into the world sometime mid April! It’s hard to believe how quickly the past six months have passed, and I’m sure the days won’t be slowing down much anytime soon, although I probably will as this bump continues to get bigger! Everything has gone smoothly for us so far, and will hopefully continue so. We’re so excited to meet this little person, especially after meeting our new niece just last week! Seeing newborn babies really brings a realisation of the reality of this baby, inside me, that will join our lives, in God’s good will and pleasure. Those tiny toes and fingers are even smaller just now, but everything is perfectly formed, waiting for the day of expectation to astound us with their beauty.
Of course, the fears and burdens of this reality also present themselves. But I do not want to live in a spirit of fear, allowing it to consume my thoughts, stunt my growth, restrict my actions, choke my dreams and rob me of peace and joy. We are commanded by Jesus not to be anxious, for “is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?… And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” (Matthew 6:25, 27 ESV). It can be difficult, casting away the fears and worries. Stopping them from developing. Surrendering them in the acknowledgement of our own weakness and frailty. Denying ourselves the indulgence of worrying even. We like to control things, but the reality of life is that we cannot control anything.
I confess I’m not of the personality prone to great anxiety and distressful worrying. But that doesn’t mean that the fears don’t come, that things don’t cause worry or concern, that certain things don’t really make my mind all tangled and my thoughts dark and my hands fidget. It happens, all too often probably. But I have to say I hate the turmoil connected with worry and turmoil, and I’ve learnt it doesn’t achieve anything- it only makes the situation worse. Instead I choose to let it go. Walk away. Leave it in much more capable hands. Surrender it. Often I’ve allowed myself to go too far down the path of worry before this happens! But sometimes the experience of release is all the more obvious then. How often to we have to learn the lesson?
Peace is a strange thing. How do you describe it? Resting. Surrender. Acceptance. And yet struggle can be involved in keeping it! We need to fight to keep it. And to look in the right direction in the first place. The picture given in Ephesians of the warrior, ready to stand in battle, points to this fight. Each day brings its own challenges and fears, what can we do in battle against such overwhelming care and concern?
“Take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” (Ephesians 6:13-18 ESV).
The power or ability isn’t in ourselves. I’ve tried and failed too many times to come to this knowledge! We have to go to the one who can arm us, equip us in what we lack. That decision of surrender changes everything for me.
My husband and I are entering a new season in life, who knows what it will bring?! Plenty of worries I’m sure! But I will choose to let them go. And enjoy the present moments, and the expectation of the joyous things rather than be consumed over what might never be!
The world, this life, it’s all too big for my shoulders. And yours. Don’t let it crush you, let it go.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:33, 34 ESV)