Fall is finally right around the corner! I love the little bit of nip in the air right now in the evening and mornings. Since fall is my most favorite time of the year, I am always looking for signs and wonders of the upcoming season. I never saw a pumpkin I didn’t like. Check out the picture above of my awesome find. I saw these little beauties at one of my favorite garden centers….they had to come home with me. As you can see…..they are full of warts! The more deformed my pumpkins are, the more I love them. I have had all kinds of comments from friends and family about why in the world I would want warty pumpkins when I could have beautiful smooth ones. Some say they look diseased. Others say they are rejects. In actuality they are called “knuckleheads” and are part of a specialty line known as Superfreak from Holland. It took ten generations of cross-breeding to grow those beautiful warts. Some think I’m the knucklehead for paying money for these beauties. 😊
When the events of Afghanistan started to unfold these past weeks, I found myself watching cable news again. It didn’t take long and deep sadness, anxiety and fear began setting in. I could feel myself believing the worst was going to happen, that there was no hope of getting life back to “how it used to be,” and there is no one on the planet to give the truth any longer. I felt helpless to change anything. I needed a break and walked out into the garage and noticed by warty pumpkins. Immediately I thought….my life is like these pumpkins. Full of the worry warts. Worry of world events (which I have no control over); fear for family members; off and on sadness realizing I can’t do what I used to; laboring over how can I get so-and-so see the light; looking for answers to situations and problems I am not even supposed to be worrying about. I guess you could say I’m a knucklehead Superfreak. Just as it took ten generations to grow pumpkins with warts, it has taken a lifetime of experiences to affect you and I. I suspect you can identify with me on some level.
In discussing “the world” with my daughter the other day, she made a comment that made me stop and think. She said, “I just don’t know what to do with this world sometimes.” It is so easy to feel helpless. Could it be that God has created weakness to a point of helplessness for a purpose? Paul Washer said, “The problem isn’t that we are too weak, the problem is we do not know how weak we are. If we did, it would drive us to our knees in prayer.” Anxiety over such things brings out the warts in us and we focus on the bad around us instead of WHO we are to be focused on. It will show in how we live our lives.
We do not need to understand the mind of God. We just need to dwell on who it is we are following. I have seen God do His greatest work in me when I am completely done- in and have no more strength to try and save the world, or find answers to unanswerable situations. Just recently an important group decision needed to be made. After six hours of talking…no decision came. We were still left in a state of confusion. I believe God left us in a state of confusion because He had the answer and plan for us, which he showed us four days later. I stepped back afterwards in awe because I know God was reminding me there is NOTHING He doesn’t have an answer for. His plan will always be completed. He promises exactly that! People and circumstances will change…but God will never. He would cease to be God if He changed. Take the time to step back and reflect on what God has done or may be doing in your life at this moment. I believe we should even thank Him for making us weak! Weakness is not popular these days…but it is needed to help us see who God is and who we are not.
Press into these verses and find your joy there.
1. Psalm 138: 8: “The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.”
2. Ps 139:23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.”
3. Eccl 2:22-23: “What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless.
4. Rom 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
5. Hebrews 12:3: “Consider him who endured such sinful opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grown weary and lose heart.”
6. 1 Corinthians 15:58: “Therefore my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
The Lord knows our anxious hearts. He tells us we bring pain and grief upon ourselves and it is MEANINGLESS. I never thought about my anxiety being meaningless. I led myself to believe in many cases it was good I was worrying to the point of exhaustion because it was my job. Our hope lies in Him and the power of the Holy Spirit. Peace and joy will follow if we look to Him and not ourselves. Comfort yourself in knowing Christ endured hardships and understands your pain. Heaven is coming! We can stand firm knowing our labor here is not in vain. What do we do with this world? We give it to Him. We CANNOT let the sinful worry define who we are or how we live our life. Bury yourself in His Word, rely on Him, stay busy and labor with the saints, and let Him transform your worry warts into a life of peace while we wait His return.
- Where in your life might God be working to make you weak?
- How does your worry/anxiety affect your spiritual life? Do you look diseased by not living a life of steadfast faith like you profess?
- What intentional choices do you need to make to not grow weary in today’s chaos and continue to do the work you are called to?
- What is clouding your view of God?
- Spend some time thinking and praying about how God might be growing you through circumstances going on in your life right now.
- The challenge for us is this: FIND JOY IN HIM. DO NOT LOSE SIGHT OF HIS LOVE FOR YOU AND HIS PROMISES.