Today I want to focus on grounding and prioritizing. One of yesterday's readings says, "Accept your situation exactly as it is and then simply place it with your whole heart into the hand of your covenant God."
This is a great exercise for me in 'being present'. Meaning, not looking behind or ahead, not dreaming of something I don't have or a situation I don't have, not wishing things were any different than they are, not running away from or turning away from the things/situations I don't want to see. This is a mouthful! I think part of my survival is to not look at the things that seem overwhelming or scary or confusing. Because if I knew how to prevent these things from happening, they would not be in my life. But since they are in my life, and I don't know how to prevent them from being here, or 'fix' it, my automatic reflex is to just 'look away' and focus on something happier. This has it's place for sure, because some things just need a new perspective and focusing on the positive can help you be grateful instead of discontent, but it is not the right reaction when God is trying to teach me to 'cast all my cares upon Him'. In order to do this, I need to face and admit the cares and concerns that hold me down or burden me. To do this, I need to stop looking away and look directly at my situation, the fears I see in it, the stresses, concerns, unanswered questions and confusion in my attempt to understand why these things are happening in my life.
Later in my reading it says, "Talk to God about whatever may be pressuring you and then commit the entire matter into His hands......From that point forward, exercise quiet sweet diligence in your work, recognizing your dependence on Him to carry the matter for you."
This is another key thought for me because it reminds me that I will not be able to be diligent in my work unless I have let go of the pressures that distract me. This exercise is a great way for me to identify when I truly have not given something up to God. Some days I struggle so much that I break down my day into bite-size pieces and say to myself and in my prayers to God, "Please help me make it to work safely", or "Please help me make it till lunch time", or "Please help me get through this day". All of this in my attempt to break down my struggles into bite size pieces so I can handle them the best way I can. But this is all leaving out the wonderful blessing from God that HE will take these burdens from me if I will let Him.
So while breaking things down into bite-size pieces can be a good exercise, I think the better and more beneficial exercise is to give it ALL to God and let HIM handle it. Because when I do it this way, I am completely submissive to Him and His will and have to let go of my own will, wishes, desires and focus on what is most important to God instead of what is important to me. I also have to admit and face what is currently happening that I don't like and look at WHY I don't like it. I can't hand it over to God until I can 'hold' what I"m handing over. In this way I am also so much more grateful for HIs help and support in getting me through it. If I have never allowed myself to see the magnitude of my problems, how will I be appropriately grateful for the help in making them better or getting through them?
I believe this is why I need to be present, see things/situations as accurately as I can, and pray about them and hand them all over to God. He has ALWAYS made things better than I could have imagined when I do this.
"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33