There are many nights that I lie in bed trying to slow my mind down so that I can catch four or five hours sleep (at best). It often proves to be a difficult task for me to shut out all of the thoughts, to do lists, worries, and responsibilities though. But last night, it wasn’t my mind racing that I battled. Last night I was troubled beyond the typical clean ball uniform, crazy practice schedule, grades due worries. Last night my heart was full…full of anger and hurt feelings and resentment. I am human and as much as I fight those types of feelings, they attack me still. And last night they weighed so heavily on my heart that it was nearly too much for me to carry.
Too much for ME to carry…
So why am I trying to carry it alone?!?
Why is my need to be in control so strong that I don’t allow God to carry my burdens for me? Jesus tell me to come to him with my heavy burdens and he will give me rest. He doesn’t want me to struggle through life – or even through one night – carrying a load that is unbearable. I get so frustrated with myself for carrying around feelings that I know are not…good and right (for lack of better words). And so I shared my feelings and concerns with my amazing Godly husband and did my best to sleep.
When I woke up this morning and prepared my mind and heart for my daily walk in the word, I was “guided” to Galatians. To this passage in Galatians “16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.” In this case, my sinful nature was my thoughts and feelings of anger and resentment. But if I let the Spirit guide me that sinful nature…those ugly emotions become this…”22But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control.”
Personally those sound like much more attractive traits to be carrying around. And the Spirit is in me because of God’s love for me. I have to get out of the way and let the Spirit lead…it comes down to my stubbornness and control. I am not capable on my own to rid myself of the sinful ugly stuff. I don’t have to be strong enough to do that because God IS strong enough.
I am so thankful for the gentle voice of the Spirit that guided my heavy heart this morning. I’m no longer carrying so much of the heavy ugly stuff…but rather I am letting the Spirit lead me as I learn to produce a new, more appealing fruit…and it’s much lighter to carry.
Recently I heard the song “Ocean” by Hillsong United. There is a line in the bridge of this song that has resonated with me so deeply. It has been playing in my mind since I heard it. The words are “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders…” It’s one of those lines that as a writer myself I wish I had written. The image conveyed by these words is so powerful and meaningful to me. But I think that’s really just one reason that the words have been with me for days.
I earnestly believe that God reveals things to us as He feels we are ready for them or as He sees that we need them. Most mornings, before I jump into my daily walk in the word, I pray and thank God for His blessings, and I ask for guidance and wisdom as I open His word. For the past several mornings I have found myself reading and studying in the Holy Spirit. I believe that I personally do not rely nearly enough on the Spirit in my every day life. I know what the Bible says about the Spirit in us, but in my day to day life I’m not sure that I allow it to work in me. But I continue to study and grow in that aspect of my Christian walk. I think that just the words “Spirit lead me…” really spoke to me. I can’t ask the Spirit to follow me…or tell the Spirit which way I would like things to go…or guide myself. It has to be “Spirit lead me.” That is God’s plan. His perfect plan. He sent us the Spirit to dwell in us. Somehow it’s very comforting to think that if I honestly allow that to happen in my life then I don’t have to be the one trying to find my way, because I have the Spirit to lead. We are told in Romans 5 that the Spirit will also fill our hearts with love. The Holy Spirit we are told will also help us in our weakness, and plead for us in accordance with God’s will. (Romans 8).the power of the Spirit is best exemplified in the following verse from Galatians. “…the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” What an amazing God we serve who loved us so much that He sent his son to die for us while we were still sinners…and then He blessed us with the Spirit to keep us In his care. I know that I have barely tapped into fully understanding what a gift the Holy Spirit is, but I do know that I will continue to study and learn and to follow the Spirit’s lead.
The second part of this beautiful phrase is probably my favorite but of figurative language ever. Trust is difficult for many of us. Very few people could honestly say that they trust anything or anyone completely, fully without reservation. But even if we did speak of that kind of trust, there is something about the image of “without borders”. Picture that…endless, infinite, open, ongoing, without borders. Nothing restraining or confining it. That is such a beautiful picture of what trust should be. I love the thought of trusting without borders when it comes to people.. Unfortunately there are very few people out there in our Iives that we could truly say that about. I am so blessed to have a husband in whom I can put that kind of trust. It is such a feeling of peace and contentment to trust without borders in the mate that God chose for me. And as much of a blessing that that is, trusting God without borders is even more of a blessing. God has a plan for my life and though sometimes I try to control it (okay…even obsess) I trust in His word and His plan for my life. He proves His love for us in endless ways every day of our lives. He gave us the Holy Spirit to guide us in each stage of His plan. Our part of the deal is that we allow ourselves to be led and that we trust in our God as He provides for us. But not with the kind of trust that we as mere humans are only capable of…but with the kind of trust that the Holy Spirit can instill in us. Trust without borders.
By the way, the rest of this song is beautiful in its language, imagery and message. I thank God for revealing those words to me in His timing, and I pray that I will keep them with me and allow them to remind me echo day that the God I serve loves me…without borders.