I have shared before that there is a cluster of negative thoughts that feel like constant and irritating adversaries. I’ve elsewhere called them the four horsemen: anxiety, fear, self-doubt and insecurity. In my less awake moments, I see them like the ring wraiths riding those dark horses in Lord of the Rings. In my more awake moments, I realize they might actually just be hobbits riding Shetland ponies (for all the actual harm they are able to do to me). Here is a passage that spoke to me in this place of continue struggle:
“O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying to me, ‘There is no help for you in God.’ Selah” (Ps 3:1-2 NRSV)
Though there have been a few I might call enemies rising up against what I’ve written in An Unhurried Life, they aren’t causing me much concern at present. But, there is an enemy voice that whispers in my ear, insinuating that there is no help for me in God. This voice is not the Spirit (duh!), and it is not my truest voice which echoes the truth of what God says. Instead…
“But you, O Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, and the one who lifts up my head. I cry aloud to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy hill. Selah. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, for the Lord sustains me.” (Ps 3:3-5 NRSV)
I have the help of the Lord’s protection, and the grace of God’s glory. The Lord lifts up my head when it is bowed down with weariness, discouragement, doubt or insecurity. I have a ready and present help in my God. I can sleep restfully and awaken with energy, hope and new life.
As I listen prayerfully, I sense the voice of God speaking to my anxieties, fears, insecurities and self-doubts:
“Alan, you did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear good, lasting fruit. I want this even more than you do, and I am working to make it reality. Do not keep looking at your shortcomings, your weaknesses, your wearinesses. Look to me. Gaze into my face so full of grace, love, joy, peace, and confidence. See me, and you will see everything you need to see for this day. Come to me. Walk with me. Work with me. I’m full of life, and my Spirit is in you. There is no reason you cannot become that one from whom flows rivers of living water.”