Sunday, November 21, 2010

Well there goes that

Well there goes {insert something you were hopeful for}!

…Well, there goes our savings, all those dollars that were diligently saved and not spent!

…Well, there goes that relationship, how will I ever trust another person!

…Well, there goes my GPA, all those Saturday nights at home studying!

Have you ever said words like that? This week I said something along those lines. It happened after I was reminded of a new expense that would be added to our budget this month. It’s not an enormous expense. Nonetheless it was enough to take my hope away as quick as a bride takes her groom’s breath away (at least that was the case with my groom!).

All this reminds me of the Sixpence None the Richer song There She Goes. There she goes//There she goes again//Racing through my brain//And I just can't contain//This feeling that remains…Only this is how that song sounds to the beat of my life: There it goes//There it goes again//I had just gained my footing//Finally caught my breath//Now I’m here again//Backed into square one

Life can be like the Jack and Jill storybook rhyme. We inch up and up the hill of stability then “life happens” and we tumble down.

Financially, we have been coasting along pretty well, thanks to the support of our parents, ministry supporters, and a fair amount in savings. God has been so great in providing for us. It’s been encouraging to feel more and more stable each week. With the holidays upon us, I was dreaming of all the Christmastime fun that could be had and gifts we could give. (I was like those kids dreaming of sugarplums.) Then an email appears in my inbox and with the click of a button and a once-over glance, I say to myself, “Well there goes that.”

Sound familiar? Instead of expectantly hoping in Christ, we anticipate all the ways that lead to mishap and misfortune. How do we expectantly hope in Christ, when life is full of unexpected setbacks?

Back to my story: Without hope, I’m searching for significance. Then I read the Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  (A good verse to pray over this Thanksgiving week.) From there I was able to receive God’s peace and from there I regained my hope. Looking back, it is too bad that my hope was wiped out so easily! It’s scary to see how quickly I was swept away, leaving behind God’s promises. Life is indeed a battle. Praise God I was able to regain my spiritual footing so quickly, thanks to scripture.

Paul elaborated on how to mentally and spiritually be without anxiety and instead with thanksgiving. In verse eight he writes, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

…I know, its A LOT to swallow. I like to pick the verse apart. One day seek to guard my heart and focus on whatever is true…the next day on whatever is noble…right…pure…

I know God wants me to expectantly hope in him. I know that he wants the kingdom desires in my heart to come to fruition – he wants it even more than I do. I hope that next time “life happens” I can reflect on his truths and believe that he does work all things out for the good of those who love him.

Ps….Elizabeth George wrote a great book on this verse. Its called Loving God with All Your Mind.  My mom gave it to me in college, and I know, without a doubt, that it allowed me to soar past some things that could have burdened me and weighed me down. Thanks mom!