Last night, though, after catching up on some reading homework for school, I needed to reset my mind. Nighttime tends to be highly emotional or worrisome for many of us, and I'm no exception. If I let my mind wander, it usually ends up in worst-case-scenarios or jumping-to-conclusions or guilt-ridden-doubts...not exactly conducive to sweet dreams! (Ya hear me?)
There's only one reliable source I know to turn to where I can always calm my anxious heart and find peace, and that's the Word of God. Too often I turn to it as a last resort rather than my first resource...but, last night was a perfectly timed reminder that it is absolutely the best place to seek my refuge.
Sometimes I feel like I avoid the Bible because it seems too daunting - I don't know where to start reading. It seems confusing. I don't want to think that hard, I just need hope right now. Do you ever feel this way? I know I'm not alone in this! Even after years of studying it and reading it, I have to combat doubts that keep me from it's active, living truths. Then, as soon as I start reading it, all those doubts drift away. The Holy Spirit breaths new life into the words my eyes see and my heart starts to interpret the truths before me.
It's not always tranquility and hope that stir my soul. Sometimes, it's conviction. The active, living Word of God is meant to MOVE us, to get us looking inward, outward, and putting into practice the faith it restores. For some reason, I was led to read Galatians last night. I chose The Message translation because it was 3am...and my brain needed to just rest in the easy absorption of a new lesson.
Anyway - it moved me. It reminded me IN BOLD PRINT that I'm not in control. It spoke to me so clearly that it might as well have begun "And, EMILY, this is for you..." So, I'm sharing it with you today, hoping some of these words are meant to hit home for you as well. I encourage you to read the whole chapter, the whole book of Galations...well, the whole book of the Bible for that matter! But, for right now, just let God rock your heart with these verses below.
Letting go of control is a heck of a way to kick off the week! So, here we go:
Paraphrased from The Message, Galatians 3:
2 Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God’s Message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren’t smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it?…
5 Answer this question: Does the God who lavishly provides you with his own presence, his Holy Spirit, working things in your lives you could never do for yourselves, does he do these things because of your strenuous moral striving or because you trust him to do them in you?…
11The obvious impossibility of carrying out such a moral program should make it plain that no one can sustain a relationship with God that way. The person who lives in right relationship with God does it by embracing what God arranges for him.