Friday, July 12, 2013

IS IT JUST ME? by Tony Manley

Is it just me, or does everyone else hear that loud screaming?!! Repetition is an excellent teacher. I live by it as a person and as a teacher. I have a repetitive habit pattern in the morning. I tend to park in the same area at the same places. I go over and over (repetition) the plan of whatever I do. I even believe when the same subject keeps bumping in to me, there is a nugget of value to be grasped! Thus, the loud screaming Voice in my heart this weekend!!!

I have intentionally lived the month of June as my “restful” time. July is going to be a whirlwind in my life…at least the part I know about. Only God knows the “rest of the story.” I have said to myself, “I want to be so prepared for whatever comes, that I ‘can laugh at the days to come’”(the virtuous woman dreamer speaks :). But for whatever reason, Friday morning I allowed the natural mind to begin this nudging of “whatabouts,” “how,” ”how much will it be,” “am I capable,” “are you sure this is going to work out” questions to answer the door and invite my old running buddy, Fear, to come in, unpack, and stay awhile. Can I say I despise this friend! She is one toxic and mean girl. I had no idea she was coming to this heart. She came very unannounced and uninvited. Add rude to the list of who she is.

By Saturday morning, Fear and I had turned nudging into an irritable, worried, dreading, and just down right “everybody leave me alone” heart. Thankfully, my “Who” I know was louder and is more trustworthy than my heart guest, Fear. God in His unfailing, everlasting, patient, forgiving, present, and perfectly confronting heart began the work of repetition of His truth to my heart. And yes, He had to go to the level of screaming…I am not so good with a soft whisper, I am one of those that needs to be taken by the shoulders and shaken while being screamed at “hush up”!  I can be quite hysterical and dramatic.

Peace, peaceful heart, rest, abide, dwell. Words of truth and comfort. God is my Shepherd. Psalm 23 is a place of rest. Saturday morning while Fear and I were mapping out our plans, the Friend who sticks closer than a brother broke in with “He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.” (Psalm 23). A one sentence verse that spoke all I needed for that moment, day, and future. Sunday, the sermon was Psalm 23. The Shepherd again spoke. This morning, words of encouragement to concentrate on the Shepherd who is able to care perfectly for his sheep. I DO NOT HAVE OR KNOW ALL THE ANSWERS! I DO NOT HAVE TO BE IN A MESS BECAUSE I DO NOT HAVE OR KNOW ALL THE ANSWERS! 

So yesterday, I began to pack my uninvited guest’s (Fear) bag and once again sent her packing. I was so angry with myself for letting her come and stay this weekend. I immediately invited my Shepherd to move in and overtake the place – the heart of this sheep. I need to rest, truly rest – lie down - and let Him care for me…all the “whatabouts”  “what ifs”  “can we affords”  “how will it come together.” The Shepherd knows each sheep and is trustworthy.

Father, wash this sheep in the truths of Psalm 23 and John 10.  May I follow, rest, and listen only to You, my Shepherd.  Amen

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