The First Challenge

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Gentle Reader,

The moment I decided that I wanted to pursue the peace that comes with a mind ruled by God was the moment that I should have steeled myself for the challenges that were sure to come.

Today:

Difficulty waking up.

Couldn’t catch a break at work. 

Chris’ truck broke down. Again.

Our English carnal in Romans 8:6 is the Greek word sarx, meaning “literal flesh, the body, natural origin, sensuous nature, a living creature, human nature prone to sin and opposed to God.” Despite my desire to live squarely and safely under His authority, I can tell you that I was pretty opposed to the idea of shunning anxiety. Fretting is natural. In an odd way, it is comforting. Familiar.

I want the life and peace that He promises via the rule of His Spirit, but it took about five seconds of wakefulness this morning to realize that such…submission takes WORK.

When it hurts to get out of bed and I can barely open my eyes, I must stop. Breathe. Thank God for this body that He has given me, warts and all. Breathe again. Thank Him for keeping me safe through another night. Stretch. Remember that I can choose to be positive.

When my heart starts to pound and my mind beings to race because I can’t possibly do all the tasks that I think I need to do in an 8-hour shift, I must stop. Breathe. Remember that I am only one person, that I only have two hands and that others must meet their own responsibilities. Breathe again. Remember that life is about so much more than a job. Hold in a deep breath and let it out slowly. Remember that God says I am His child and that my identity is not wrapped up in pleasing others or meeting every single expectation they have.

When I feel the irritation rising over the truck’s issues, I must stop. Grit my teeth and remember that God has always met our needs. Every. Single. One.

This anxiety? It is entirely an issue of who is in charge. It’s time to settle that.

My journey to faith. (15)