Today was a mixture of hurry up and wait; one of time spent productively, of kindness shared, of good deeds accomplished and a necessary reminder to me of the complexities in the struggle between the human desire to move on to newer things, and finding that elusive peace; the comfort of being satisfied with what you already have gathered around you.
It took me back to the times in my past when I always double guessed myself in every decision. It was either being racked with “buyer’s remorse” or kicking myself for not doing something a better way. My conscience was always questioning “why did I do that?” or “why did I not?” on a daily basis. Fear of doing the wrong thing, of doing too much or too little, or of NOT doing the right thing, kept me far away from a calm, secure and confident mindset. It kept me feeling like a windmill, forever twirling helplessly with every breeze.
My lack of understanding in how the Spirit leads us into greater wisdom even affected the way I approached prayer! Should I beg meekly or should I demand angrily? Should I ask constantly or just say it once and then give thanks BEFORE the need was filled? Should I keep pushing to find my own human ways of filling the needs in my life so that He could bless the efforts of my hands? Should I wait patiently without any personal effort, for Him alone to provide; He promised that He knows and supplies our needs, that we should wait on Him! Could He even hear me cry? Was I crying enough? Did He even care?
The cycle of regretting keeps us weak in all areas of life! It’s a constant distraction and greatly inhibits any forward progress physically or spiritually. The habit of uncertainty ensnares us, and, as with a stick floating in circling water, we will be drawn into the center of its whirlpool. At best the ongoing momentum of indecision keeps us twirling, floundering about and held in captivity there in its center. At worst it sucks us down into the vortex and we drown! A double-minded person is unstable in all his ways!
Breaking the cycle of instability takes mental and physical energy, strong determination, and steadfast stick-to-it-tiveness! When I finally reached the point where I was absolutely sick and tired of living in the shifting quicksand of internal conflict, I got mad, I got tough and I got focused!
How? Prayer is a constant in my life; in praising, requesting guidance and direction, giving continual words of gratitude and hope, and definitely a go-to for comfort and strength in times of pain and distress.
In prayer I pleaded, “What can I do? Please show me a way out of this torment!” One day something just rose up within me and said, “Enough is enough!” I got pen and paper, put myself in a chair and made an outline. I could not remember details; I needed to SEE it in writing!
Topical question: Should I ________?
1) Pros and Cons of this action? Every possible good and bad thing was listed in two columns.
2) How will this possibly affect my life; how might my action impact others? (Pros and cons of that.)
3) Must this be done right now? Why? Advantages and disadvantages to waiting.
4) Have I prepared appropriately for this or is it a shortsighted whim?
I started making lists, sometimes daily, for every decision that I knew I would be in conflict over. I carried the list with me and reviewed it often. I soon found that once I could see the idea mapped out fully on paper I quickly had a much clearer indication of what direction I should take. There were even times I realized the answer before the list was completed! I was learning, becoming aware of an unspoken guidance.
The Final Rule: When the decision was made, the action taken, I stopped allowing myself to go back mentally and revisit and question every step of the process. No more “tape recorded loops” playing repeatedly in my thinking process! All those “what ifs” and the “but maybes” were no longer allowed. No more going back and gnawing over that bone again and again and again! My double-minded ways lacked any positive energy. It was all circular, lots of motion, but never getting anywhere! Every negative thought and action had to be effectively squelched, every time! I repeatedly called upon the Name of Yahweh and the blood of Yahshua. I demanded, “Deceiver, get out of my mind where you DON’T BELONG!”
This ONE Battle for control of my mind has been won! Decide, then stand firmly and be at peace with the choice! But be constantly on guard, or fear can slip back in and sinking downward into the madness comes quickly!
In summary: Prayer does change things. We have not, because we ask not. Answers are always there, we have to find focus so as to be in tune with the still small voice that speaks from within us…if we will only stop, listen and obey!
I’ve learned that when I find myself wrestling with a decision, I already know within what I must do. It takes courage in action to STOP wrestling, stand still, pray for discernment, make the choice, and go boldly in that direction. As for myself, I find that every time, at the point of decision, a sense of peace immediately flows over me, and in that moment I am always reassured that I’m on the right path that He has designed for me.
Learning to live in FAITH is not going to be easy for any of us, but living in Fear is a self-imposed torment that we can and must overcome! The answer is there; seek and you will find.
Now, whenever I read in the book of James (Jacob) 1:1-8, I see the pattern is given. It was written down long before my prayers existed; however, I didn’t understand the meaning of it until I cried out from the depths of my life of distress, and was shown the “pattern” out of the cycle of repetitive behaviors. Then the Scriptures were opened to my eyes as His witness to me that I HAD been guided by the light of His Word and led by an unseen hand out of the darkness that engulfed me in my uncertainties.
In review of my faith-walk; I know where I was before, where I am now, and what tremendous effort it has taken to get to this point. I also know where I want my life’s journey to end. As my Great Grandmother often said, “Walk in the light as it shines on your path!” It’s one step at a time, one foot in front of the other a billion times; work daily to fully submit, especially when we cannot see what lies before us, and allow all things within you to be placed in His Timing and in His Will.
When I wait upon Yahweh, in patient submission, my doors open and my way is made smooth! I am a living witness to the ease that exists when we learn to WAIT ON HIM. These words of wisdom must constantly guide all who sincerely desire to rise up higher.
May we all be blessed along our journey with a full measure of His Peace, stacked up, shaken down, and flowing over!
by: Annette Meyer