Phil Wickham When My Heart is Torn Asunder

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Look Forward; and a Look Back

"Let us make war, not with other people, but with our own unbelief. It is the root of anxiety, which, in turn, is the root of so many other sins." Pastor John Piper

On Friday we are having our septic system inspected and cleaned....having received a word of caution about the ground being mushy by the turkey mound.  The potential for cost is between $300 (if there is no problem) to $15,000 if we need a new tank.  Needless to say, we do not have money like that and have no idea where to get it.  Years ago I would have been a basket case of anxiety when faced with a problem of this magnitude but I am so grateful to tell you that God has taken me through some moments of anxiety and reassured my heart that all will be well.  Maybe that does not mean that we do not need a new tank.  Maybe we do but God will meet our need somehow and good will come from it.  I have to trust this because I implicitly trust my Lord.


If  you search through this blog for the topic "anxiety"(using the search feature in the side bar) you will find a number of articles discussing my battle with this temptation. (and "temptation" is what it is.  It is a temptation to get our minds off of God's love and provision and to mistrust him, either doubting his strength or his motives toward me which really means to question his character.)  I would recommend you read through those articles if  you are struggling with this torment.  


The following is a reworking of one of those prior articles, this one taken from November of 2014:


 I have been exercising and eating healthfully for several weeks now.  And as I strive to make this weak, painful, overweight body strong and healthy and thin, I find myself asking the question, " do I really want to live longer?"  Partly the answer to that question depends on how healthy I am able to get.  If  I am still in terrible pain and facing joints which become deformed and unable to move properly without horrible pain....then no.  I really do not wish to reach a "ripe old age."  

When I look into my future I can become quite anxious.  Years ago I fought against horrific attacks of anxiety which usually occurred just as I got into bed for the night.  Visions of disasters --financial, medical and catastrophic would float through my head and I responded with terror.  I read everything I could find on anxiety and fear and had a whole file of articles and booklets on the topic.  Yet nothing I read helped me to overcome it.

Finally one day the Spirit of the Lord put it into my mind to make a list of all the miraculous things God had done in my life up to that point.  The list was impressive. I was shocked to see how active God had been in his provision and protection of me--meeting needs and keeping me safe.   I decided that whenever those fears come in the future, I would re-read that notebook..  And I would remind myself that God never changes.  If he could deal with the needs in my past; then he can deal with the needs in my future.  And I've found in all these years that what God does not keep me from, he brings me through.

In the time since I've conquered those fears with the help of God....I've been through 2 hurricanes and flooded basements, a medical diagnosis that led to crippling pain and lack of function of many of my joints. I was told I would never walk again and I spent some years in a wheelchair. I was to have almost died from major infections.  I narrowly escaped being institutionalized in a horrible psychiatric institution for the remainder of my life.  We have had major financial needs....and always, always God has been faithful.

So regarding my fears of growing old and more disabled and more isolated and in dire financial straits as we are without a retirement income or savings, what of those?  Here is a verse I've found that has comforted me incredibly.


 “Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save” (Isaiah 46:4). 

The promises in this verse are powerful.  Whether I am healthy or crippled; whether my marriage recovers or remains difficult....whether the house falls down around our ears or whether God provides the funds to care for it.....God is here.  He is faithful. and he has promised to care for my needs. 

So why am I exercising and eating well?  Because it is my responsibility to do so. God can bring me home to be with him at any time...healthy or weak.  I cannot sway that predetermined time when my life on this earth is over.  And that is  a comfort to me.  I would hate to get so healthy that I was to live on to an old age fraught with horrible difficulty if that was not God's plan.  And I needn't worry about that because it is impossible for me to do that.  God has the final word.  And  until that time, he will meet my needs and provide strength for the day.


It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.  Lamentations 2:22,23
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