ENCOURAGE EVERYONE IN THE HILL CITY AREA TO HAVE A CLOSER RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST!
Wings of Hope by BJ Reese
“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust; His truth shall be they shield and buckler.” ~ Psalms 91:4
Because I am easily distracted, I try to keep things in my life fairly organized. Certain things belong in certain places, and I feel disoriented when they aren’t there. With some things – kitchen utensils, coffee mugs, and my refrigerator magnets – I’m nearly obsessive about their locations. This trend helps keep me focused and keeps the distractions to a minimum. Unfortunately, it also tends to make me resistant to changing the way I do things. If everything stays the way it’s always been, I have nothing new to adjust to, and that’s usually fine with me. Oddly enough, there are some changes I adapt to very well. A last minute change in plans rarely upsets me much. For instance: an unexpected car repair that requires me to adjust some other aspect of the budget in order to accommodate that repair; or a guest we’re expecting has to cancel at the last minute. In these types of situations, I bend with the breeze fairly well. They don’t really ruffle my feathers too much. Other things in my life tell a much different story, however. A certain friend or relative develops a pattern of stopping by to visit and have coffee on a fairly regular basis. Perhaps she’s begun to regularly turn to me for advice on various issues in her life. I get used to that connection. I count on it. If something happens to interrupt the relationship, I’m thrown completely off-balance. It can take weeks for me to adjust to the loss of that relationship.
My relationship with my older sister, who lives in another state, is a perfect example of this. For many years now, we’ve talked on the phone every couple of weeks or so. Our conversations rarely last less than an hour, and we talk about everything. She never, ever makes me feel judged or criticized, and she’s always honest and straight-forward with me. I truly treasure that about her . . . it has made her one of my very best friends. Now, her health has put her in a situation where we can’t talk as often – we’ve talked only twice in the past two months. Without our regular schedule, I feel an incredible interruption in our connection. Consequently, I’ve had a great deal of difficulty focusing on anything . . . and I cry frequently. Do you sense the control freak emerging? I do. I’ve come to recognize that about myself in many aspects of my life. As I’ve worked on my relationship with God over the years, I’ve been made aware of that character flaw more and more. I struggled through many challenges when I learned that I would have to surrender control of my life to God. Eventually, that has become easier for me . . . once I accepted that I wasn’t the one making up all the rules. I guess I thought that would be the last of it: get comfortable giving control to God and you’re good to go. Not true. Recently, some unexpected (AND uninvited by my inner control freak!) changes in my life have revealed something disturbing. Well, okay, it’s only disturbing when you operate under the delusion that you have control over the way things are done in your world! What was this startling discovery? I’ve begun to recognize that every day – sometimes several times a day – there is something else that I need to hand over to God . . . - When I couldn’t reach my sister on the phone for several days, I needed to give Him my FEAR. - When I became frequently offended by stupid, little things, I needed to give Him my OFFENSE. - When I imagine what life might be like without my sister in it, I need to offer Him my SORROW, my WORRY, and my SELFISHNESS. - When I obsess over past mistakes and regrets, I need to offer Him my GUILT AND ANXIETY, and - When some unfair situation upsets me and completely takes over my thoughts, I need to give Him my ANGER. All of these insidious emotions threaten the most wondrous thing about surrendering to God: my JOY. Through His magnificent Holy Spirit, the Lord can fill my every moment with nearly unspeakable JOY. But, when I allow ANY of those negative thoughts to occupy my mind, that amazing joy vanishes in the wink of an eye. When that happens, the pain and sorrow are overwhelming. Fortunately, I now know there is only one way to cure this devastating scenario . . . turn it ALL over to God. When the enemy grabs hold and traps me in that tangled web of negative thoughts and emotions, I can run to my Father. In the protective shelter of His Loving arms, I can cry all the tears and express all the fears and worries. In that humble state, I can ask Him to take them all away . . . to replace them with His Peace. And He does. So long as I genuinely surrender those inner demons to God, He WILL lift them away. And, when I don’t FEEL sincere about that surrender, I need only be WILLING to be, and He will do the rest. Many times, I’ve cried to Him desperately, “Father, I truly DO want to let go of this, but I’m SO afraid! Father, PLEASE lift this burden from me!” Every time, He is true to the promise I read in Isaiah 41:10: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed, for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
The enemy is determined to tear us away from God by any means he can. Learn to recognize his interference in your life. Notice the ways in which he tries to steal your joy. That joy represents the power of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The light of that power is beyond compare, and the enemy does not want us to stay there. He wants us in his camp, not God’s. But you don’t have to fight him alone. Whenever you’re battling negative thoughts and emotions, RUN! Run straight into the arms of your Heavenly Father and share them all with Him. Hand them over. Surrender them ALL to Him, and let Him restore Peace and Joy to your life.
See you next time . . . To His Glory……………..BJ Reese
Hill City Area Ministries, Inc.
A South Dakota Non-Profit Corporation
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