The 9th scripture in the series has so many commas this it seems convoluted. With 40 words to read and 6 commas to separate, it sounds like a short order cook spouting off a series of confusing commands.
(I know it isn’t, I’m simply referencing what it sounds like!)
Therefore, I find it ironic that as twisted as it seems, it served as the ultimate solution to a question that constantly served to confound me.
Oh man, did I get stuck in this wicked way of thinking, always trying to understand everything, constantly caught up in the quests for complete explanations and the insatiable desire to resolve all the loose ends.
David pleaded with me not to do this. “Elizabeth, stop thinking that way! It serves no purpose other than to frustrate you on top of everything else!” he would howl as I burrowed down to figure things out. He warned me I was on my way down a rabbit hole. However, on my own I was unable to stop this tangled way of thinking.
Heavy questions like:
WHY did Sam have to die?
WHY did I get picked to lose a child? and
WHY, when she was only 12? (Couldn’t I have had a little longer?)
caused a certain circular thinking inside of my head. I would start by pleading against the question.Then, mentally I played out every scenario that might provide an answer, only to find myself at the end of it all, empty handed. I sat, grasping my head with my hands and pressing my fingers into my scalp as I repeated the identical question over and over.
WHY? WHY? WHY?
You get the idea! I tried to claw and scratch my way into insight. I desperately wanted to know what God was thinking when all of this happened. As well, I thought knowing all the details would make me happy.
The mental interrogation aimed at acquiring all the answers made my mind resemble a war zone. Already hazy and dazed, the additional Why’s flew around like bullets in my brain slicing through an active battlefield. However, rather than the rapid fire ending the life of a certain thought process, the unanswerable questions ricochet off of the walls of reasoning and shattered my own well-being..
Not once did my quest for solutions to questions that had no answers improve my situation. In addition, I was grew aware the question “WHY?” was making everything worse. Mentally my mind was more mixed up and my spirit was exhausted from trying to work my way to intellectual interpretation.
Thankfully, like so many times during my healing, God used His words to carve some sense into my thinking. However, trauma has a way of scrambling your brain for months and months, reading was a struggle, comprehension next to impossible. Therefore, I really had to slow things down to understand this scripture:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ.”
Separating it into phrases clarified each set of instructions and set me on a path to straighter thinking. With my own words at work, I imagined what God might say to me through this scripture. When I broke the segments apart, my interpretation went something like this:
Do not be anxious about anything, – “Elizabeth, you don’t need to be bedeviled by all this. However, I already know how you are going to act when you are confronted with a situation you can’t understand. So let Me remind you, rather than worrying, fretting and working to find answers you will only be told when you get to Heaven, there is another way of dealing with all of this.”
But, in every situation, – What I want you to understand is, no matter how twisted things seem, whatever it is you want to understand, but can’t explain, no matter what the circumstances are that make you ask, “Why?” …
By prayer and petition – I want you to come talk to Me about it. Let Me know how you feel, tell Me the desires of your heart and ask Me to meet your needs. Know that a wrestling match is OK as you work to accept what aren’t able to understand.
With Thanksgiving – And while we are wrestling, don’t forget to worship. Be grateful I’m here to listen and to offer help. Let me know the things you are thankful for. By doing this, you will become aware that some things are going right and that I AM already at work.
Present your requests to God – And, when you talk to me don’t just give me a laundry list of desires and details. Instead, I want to hear from your soul, so I can heal your spirit. It is important to turn your troubles over to Me, then to trust I will institute the best outcome. Please understand, there isn’t a man on earth that can work all this out.
After many slowed readings, I began to understand, it was only after I fulfilled God’s instructions, then and only then could I experience His reward. As always, a relationship works from both ends.
The first sentence in the scripture clearly told me what I had to do.
I accepted, I needed to honor and adhere to His ways!!!!!!
The second sentence in the scripture told me what I could expect, if and when I followed Jesus’ ways.
Only then, would my heart be healed with an everlasting hope.
And the peace of God – And I promise, the sensation you will experience will be like nothing the world has to offer. You won’t have a high like buying a brand new race car. Instead, you will have a sense of unity on the inside, a sense of being connected to something bigger than yourself, a sense of agreement with others and a peacefulness concerning your purpose. It is vital to remember, I AM the only one who can promise this phenomenon. It only happens when you let ME handle it.
Which transcends all understanding – Then, after you do as I say and experience contentment with your circumstances, your need to have answers will gradually go away, the desire to understand all things will disintegrate and instead of asking WHY? you will rise above the need for earthly interpretation. Replacing your constant quest for details, will be close companionship with Me. (THIS WAS MY AH-HA MOMENT)
Will guard your hearts and minds in Jesus Christ. – And when you are in this peaceful state of mind, your thoughts and concerns will become mine to tangle with. Therefore, leaving your soul and sanity in a state of rest.
There isn’t much more to report after this. Once I pieced the passage back together, I understood what I had to do. And that is where the action comes in.
Reading the words and understanding their meaning, simply laid out the plan and made me aware of the promise. Next, I had to put into play my part of the equation.
I hated when WHY? had the upper hand. Therefore, I went to work handing over control to Christ, by honoring and implementing the Great Counselor’s wise direction and it work!!!
No longer is WHY? my war cry.
Instead, peace of heart, peace of mind and peace of soul is my proclamation!
Yes, this requires work and a daily devotion to my Deliverer. Yes, I must follow Jesus’ detailed, yet straightforward instructions so that I can taste the reward.
Mental and emotional discipline is required, but living free from anxiety makes it well worth it!
Truly, I have experienced that complete TRUST in Christ, wipes away the wrestling need to know WHY?
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