Again, there aren’t many notes in my fearless journal for last month. That’s a good thing, because I’m not really anxious about much these days. Not that there isn’t lots of fear around us though, including violence in the name of being against racism (think George Floyd’s murder). That’s where the verse from May 10th is fitting: “The Lord is my helper [in time of need], I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6 AMP) The oppressor here is not “pestilence”, but “man”.
Again, I made notes on an excellent John Piper article: “But isn’t there something we can give to God that won’t belittle him to the status of beneficiary? Yes. Our anxieties. Our needs. Our cries for power to do his will. It’s a command: “[Cast] all your anxieties on him” (1 Peter 5:7). God will gladly receive anything from us that shows our dependence and his all-sufficiency. Christianity is fundamentally convalescence. Patients do not serve their physicians. They trust them for good prescriptions and therapy. The Sermon on the Mount is our Doctor’s therapeutic regimen, not our Employer’s job description.” It reminds me of how people used to belittle “religion”, saying it’s nothing but a crutch. My idea: if you don’t think you need a crutch now, you will someday, oh you will.
The other notes from the fearless journal are from another very excellent article, that was shared on The Met women’s page. Very wise, very timely, and so nice and short with all that! It was written by a Christian counsellor (Ed Welch), A Checklist for Your Fears and Anxieties. He says that we should realize that we will be anxious (and he includes my last month’s memory verse Luke 12:32), and that when Jesus says “Don’t be anxious”, it is NOT a command, but an invitation. (Like I’ve often said, it can be a tool, because every time we worry, we pray about it.) Mr. Welch reminds us how God wants us to pour out our hearts to him, being honest and personal.
He suggests that we employ something to remind ourselves that God is with us (how beautifully it was repeated in that song, The Blessing); for example, Psalm 121 (I’ll have to check that out). Then we need to remember how God supplies enough for today, like the manna in the wilderness; and that we can ask him to grow our faith.
Because I’ve been reading some wonderful Biblical fiction based in the Old Testament books, those verses are currently appealing to me (for the next memory verse), like the reminder in Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” It’s hard to choose between that verse, or one I’ve just come across in re-reading a previous post, which is only a few verses down, verse 8: “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
So that will be a separate job from posting–deciding on the next memory verse… one of the two above, or perhaps something from Psalm 121.