Bob the Tormato
The sirens blared. Eli and Abby had polar reactions.
Eli, in his three year old innocence, considered the events quite exciting.
“Don’t be scared,” he squealed, “Bob the Tormato is coming!”
He believed that he was safe and his calm demeanor reflected his honest assessment.
Abby, however, cringed in fear. Her tiny little body rolled into a tight ball. And she was sweating from the tight grip on her pillow.
She, no doubt, believed she was in imminent danger.
I did not understand, until recently, that my actions, or reactions, reveal exactly what I believe.
In fact, only a few months ago, I remember being totally bewildered when my counselor told me that he didn’t think I understood that my anxiety directly connected to my spiritual state.
After a long period of a discombobulated silence within my soul, conviction finally tore down the barriers of my heart. And I realized that he was, indeed, correct.
I failed to grasp that my anxiety – my reactions – revealed what I truly believe about God.
Simply put: I did not believe His promises. My actions confirmed it….
When my daughter, Abby, was an infant, she had acid reflux. Because of her excessive projectile spit up, each feeding necessitated a change of clothes for both of us and a shampoo for the corresponding area. However, she didn’t simply cry in pain – she also aspirated her spit up and needed me to clear her airway.
Understandably, the situation created an edgy spirit in our household. I constantly feared that she would drown in her own spit up during a moment I wasn’t specifically attending her. The moment she started to spit up, I panicked and my heart started racing as I scrambled to locate a bulb to suction her throat. I never left her. Not even with my husband. I constantly woke during the night. She slept upright in her carseat. But my increasing spirit of fear revealed distrust in God’s limitless power and sovereign control.
So, instead of taking necessary precautions and leaving the situation to God, I carried the burden. My anxious and urgent spirit prolonged getting her the necessary intervention. It was quite obvious the pediatrician considered my concern to be first time mother jitters and he quickly disregarded my complaints. So, I considered my concerns invalid and I did not consider God concerned. I knew He could interfere if He wanted but I believed that my job was to manipulate my circumstances for the best possible outcome. I unnecessarily carried it on my shoulders.
So, to fast forward eight years, it only got worse. I continued to distrust that God was concerned in the details of my life.
But, when I realized that I didn’t actually believe God’s loving promises, my heart ached. First of all, I was quite embarrassed that years of being a Christian could result in such a deficient faith. And most of all, I had no idea how to fix it. Knowledge was not the problem, my heart was the problem.
Simultaneously, my counselor asked me to begin a project of reading the bible from beginning to end. And I got an unexpected result.
I found a love story.
I couldn’t stop reading. All these static promises suddenly became part of a story about God’s unending, jealous pursuit.
And that changes everything.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
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