Mary was a poor lady who worked as a maid for a wealthy family. She was a joyful Christian who regulary performed her hard labor while singing songs of praise. She always had a word of encouragement and a smile on her face, regardless of her circumstances.
Her boss was a sullen woman who was bothered by Mary’s apparent lack of concern for her future. One day, when Mary carried a happy tune while scrubbing the mansion’s floor, her boss couldn’t take it any longer. She blurted out all of her concerns for Mary: “I understand your happiness today, but I imagine your future should concern you. Suppose you become ill and can’t work anymore? What will you do when you are too old to work and have no retirement funds to live off?” As the lady carried on with her calamity-filled hypothetical scenarios, Mary abruptly interrupted her: “Stop! I never suppose anything,” she cried. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want! It is all the supposing that makes people miserable. I choose to work joyfully and hard today, trusting that God will provide tomorrow as he does today.”
A similar story illustrated my devotional time one morning last week. As it usually happens, it was exactly what I needed to read in preparation for my day. Later that afternoon, I received some unexpected news regarding an important event in my life, something that would usually bring me great anxiety and stress. As I heard the bad news, I could feel my heart start beating faster, as anxious thoughts tried to steal my peace: “Suppose the worst happens?”As the first darkness tried to creep in, however, I stopped it at the door of my heart: “No!” I said to myself. “God has got this covered. I refuse to allow anything to steal my joy.”
As I deliberately started recalling the amazing doors God has opened for me in the last few years, my heart started to settle, in agreement with all I know about my God. Suddenly, an amazing peace fell over my soul. I knew it – God is still on the throne and he promised to never leave me, nor forsake me. That promise has been tested and proven in my darkest valleys. It won’t be different this time. It shall never change.
We live in a worry-filled world. More than ever before, our lives are permeated with uncertainties. If we focus on the dreadful news around the globe or the bleak reality of some of our portfolios, we are liable to start hyperventilating at any given moment.
Learning how to bridge the twelve-Inch gap between brain and heart has transformed me from a fearful and anxious person to one who has been able to live in victory through life’s darkest valleys. Emotions are a wonderful thing, and God has certainly created us with the capability to love and trust, but also to hate and fear. I have seen many people give in to their negative emotions and settle for living in misery. I was certainly a candidate to be one of them. But some time ago, I chose to fill my mind with God’s truth and started telling my heart what to believe. It has been a journey of self-awareness and surrender to a God who can change even the hardest of hearts. Today, instead of panicking with bad news, I choose to tell my heart how to feel, knowing that I serve a God who has not failed me yet and believing he never will.
Patricia Holbrook is a Christian author and national conference speaker. You can now pre-buy her first book, “12 Inches: Bridging the Gap Between What You Know about God and How You Feel” at Barnes & Nobles online and Amazon.com. Visit her blog to read her devotionals at www.soaringwithhim.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.