I’ve had a “wrinkle in my spirit” the past few days. You know what I mean. That nagging, insidious, discomfort that alerts me that something is not quite as it should be. My mind goes crazy trying to figure it out. I’ve got to find that wrinkle so I can fix it! I am, as my friends all know (raised eye brows and lots of nods here) a "fixer." At least, I used to be. I discovered a book on co-dependency and wondered how Melanie Beatty could know me so well when she had never met me. I started changing. The key word here is “started.”
I must have processed my thoughts in the night, as I often do, for I woke up this morning and that darn wrinkle was staring me in the face. I got up and came to the keyboard knowing that as I write my wrinkle will iron itself out, for once I know the source of my irritation, it is usually relatively easy to get rid of it.
And so it is. In a few words: the wrinkle is the consequence of the negativity that co-exists with the air I breathe. It mingles with the oxygen that you inhale as well, and maybe you feel it, too. You try to keep your spirits up by focusing on the positive—not that you deny or ignore the negative elements in your own personal world or the universe around you—but that you choose to believe that God meant it when He said, “All things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.”
If you know him, the Author of Salvation and Creator of all things good, then you can rest in that promise and shake off the negativity that surrounds you as a dog shakes off water after a good cleansing bath.
Maybe you will want to strengthen your positivity as I did this morning, by working through the following exercise:
Ask yourself, what am I worried about?
It might be a good idea to limit yourself to your top three “worries” else you may find yourself late for work and in a worse state of mind than ever.
What should I do with these worries?
I have a few options: I can embrace them—allow them to consume my thoughts, my emotions, and my energy. I can ignore them, but that too will consume all my energy because keeping worries in the back of my mind is like holding the lid down on a tornado, exhausting at best. Or, I can acknowledge that I am worried because someone or something that I treasure is at risk and then I can entrust my treasure to the only One who has the power to make things come out right.
I have hung on to the words that came into my mind one morning as I prayed (and worried) over my kids. “Don’t focus on changing your children—focus on the One who can.” My daughters are my treasures, and their father’s, but they are first of all God’s and He is more invested in their well-being than I am. I can trust Him to help them find their way in a world that has gone crazy.
Once I decide to Trust Him, I give Him my treasures. Every day. “They are yours, Lord.” I don’t have to nag, manipulate, or coerce them to do what is right—I just have to love them, be there for them, and let them grow up in Him.
What freedom—for me and for them! Love them. For instructions on that, turn to 1 Corinthians 13—“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails."
Now I know why the refrain of a certain song has been running around in my mind the past few days. I find myself humming it while I work and singing it around the house. You may know it: Jesus never fails, Jesus never fails, Get thee behind me Satan, you shall not prevail, because Jesus never fails.
That, my friends, is about as positive as it gets.