Category Archives: Don’t Worry

Enforced Hermit-hood Makes Me Feel Rebellious ~ Sort of

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As much as I like being alone, I’ve found that it’s a different feeling when you choose to be alone, as opposed to when you’re forced to be alone because of a government-enforced quarantine.

Hermit-hood is a lot harder to maintain when someone else is forcing you to do it. It doesn’t make me want to run out and stage a wild party or anything like that, but I’m finding myself entertaining some unfamiliar feelings. Things like, I don’t WANNA stay inside! Or, WHY do I have to stay inside?! I wanna go out and PLAY!!

Then I did my daily Bible reading from Philippians 3 and 4,

I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through [Christ] who gives me strength. ~ Philippians 4:10-13, NIV.

I’ve read this passage of Scripture many times, but this time God helped me to put a different slant on it simply by reading verse 13 in context with the rest of the passage. I don’t think I’d ever done that before ~ and what a difference it made! Philippians 4:13 says,

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4:13, NKJV.

I say this verse to myself all the time, for instance, when I’m climbing the stairs from my garage to my apartment with a load of groceries. As I’m huffing and puffing up the stairs, trying not to drop the bags of food, I mutter under my breath,

I can do all things through Christ who is my strength (Philippians 4:13, my paraphrase), huff, next step, shift the bags from hand to hand…

I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10, my paraphrase), puff, next step, shift the bags again…

God is my strength and power, and He makes my way perfect (2 Samuel 22:33), huff, next step, again, shift the bags from hand to hand…

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13, NLT.), puff, shift the bags yet again…

Repeat until I’ve made it all the way up the stairs and reached my front door, thank God!

If all that sounds a bit arduous, that’s because it is. I usually have four or five bags of groceries, but I hate, and I do mean HATE, making more than one trip getting them up to my apartment. It just feels wasteful, and ridiculous as it sounds, I feel lazy doing it that way. So regardless of what I have to do, I manage to haul ALL my bags up at the same time. It may take longer because I have to do it one step at a time, but I get it done, Scripture verses and all.

My point in relating that long tale is that I meditate on Philippians 4:13 all the time without really being aware of it, as I’m sure many Christians do, at least partly because I talk to myself (the only time it’s bad if you talk to yourself is if you have to ask yourself what you just said ~ hehehe!). But how many of us have ever looked at that verse in context with the rest of the passage? In context puts a completely different slant on it. It doesn’t change the meaning of it at all, but it takes on a whole new and deeper significance when you look at it in context.

Let me explain.

Taken alone, it’s true that we can depend on Christ to strengthen us so we can accomplish whatever tasks we need to get done. He is completely trustworthy and will always keep His promise to fulfill His Word,

“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with My word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. ~ Isaiah 55:10-11, NLT.

And,

God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? ~ Numbers 23:19, NLT.

So Philippians 4:13 could be taken as a standalone verse.

But you can’t ever take any one verse by itself without considering that verse in context with the verses around it (which I suppose I just did with the verse above. Hmm…). So regardless of the circumstances I’ve learned to be content ~ whether I’m hungry or well fed, in need or well supplied. And I’ve learned the art of contentment because I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

God is amazing!

How cool is that!!

Not So Bad After All

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Well, here I am again, writing about everything and nothing at the same time ~ but at least I’m writing. It’s early on a Sunday morning, and I wonder if I’m trying to waste time so I won’t be able to make it to church. God forgive me, I don’t know why I’m doing it, but I’m not sleepy so I haven’t gone to bed yet, and it’s 7 a.m.

I don’t want to go to bed after the sun comes up!

I wish I could break out of this frustrating place! I’m stuck, and I don’t know why I’m stuck, or what I’m stuck on. I just know that I’m stuck. I can’t seem to be consistent or disciplined with anything. Or maybe I’m disciplined at not being disciplined, to wit, I’m being consistently inconsistent.

I seem to be really good at sabotaging myself, and not much more at the moment, though at least I’m writing about it, which is new and different. I never used to do that. I used to just sit and stew about it ~ or hit myself ~ if I was stuck, so I suppose this is an improvement, albeit a small one. Though maybe it’s not so small, because I’m not only writing about it, but I’m also not hitting myself, and that right there ~ not hitting myself ~ is a huge accomplishment.

So, while there are some negatives, there are also some positives. But as I was sitting here earlier in the evening, goofing around, I had the feeling that I should just be patient with myself, and cut myself some slack.

Even though it feels like I’m not making any progress at all, that’s simply not true. Even though it feels like I’m just sitting around all the time being incredibly lazy, that also is not true, though I can’t see how. And even though I’m not doing any regular Bible reading, it’s okay. And the reason it’s okay is because it’s all temporary.

Each of these “Even though…” problems I just listed is temporary, and God wants me to stop worrying about them. In other words, I’m doing better than I think I am.

I’ve always been my own worst critic.

I can sort of see why the one about Bible reading might be okay, because even if I’m not actually sitting down and reading a chapter everyday, I’m interacting with Scripture on a regular basis in one form or another.

So, God, please help me to show myself the same kind of grace that you’ve given me! Help me to not be so hard on myself! And thank you for setting me free from self-abuse! I praise you that I’m no longer hitting myself!

I love You and I praise You!!