Thursday, April 11, 2013

Devotion: Just Chill Out! I've Got This!

In Christ we were chosen to be God's people, because from the very beginning God had decided this in keeping with His plan. And He is the One who makes everything agree with what He decides and wants. We are the first people who hoped in Christ, and we were chosen so that we would bring praise to God's glory." Ephesians 1:11-12 

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Blue lights flashed behind me. "What in the world did I do?" I was practically frantic. I was going under the speed limit; I turned my blinker on; I did everything I was supposed to do. So when the officer came to my window making me aware of a busted tail light, relief flooded through me. That is until I reached for my proof of insurance. It wasn't there! My heart rate immediately went sky high. Instead of a basic warning, I was actually going to get a ticket. So for three weeks my stomach ached at the thought of going to traffic court. All I had to do was show proof of insurance, and I was going to be let go. But all that kept floating in my head was that the last time I got a ticket, 15 years ago, the officer said the same thing, but then basically called me a liar in court, in front of a judge, in a room full of people. I had to pay the ticket anyway. I was just terrified that was all going to happen again. 

The morning of my court date I was a mess! I couldn't eat. I couldn't drink. My hands couldn't stop shaking. I know this sounds crazy, but I never get in trouble. I work real hard to do what is right because getting in trouble literally makes me sick. My husband, who takes everything in stride, was trying to calm me down. I begged him to come with me. "Why?" He said, "They aren't going to talk to me." I needed his presence, someone with me to give me a bit of confidence. I was on the brink of a panic attack when I shakingly told him, "I just need you there! I don't know where to go! I don't know what to wear! I don't know what to say that won't get me in more trouble!" I nervously alternated drinking my cold coffee and biting my nails. "I'm freaking out because I feel like everything is out of my control, and I can't get a solid hold on anything!" As those words came out of my mouth, realization dawned on me. Those words were so true! Everything was out of my control. I received a gentle nudge from God at that moment. He was in control. Whether I was going to be released of my ticket or not, He was in control of the entire situation. I needed to get my confidence from Him, and not myself. There are going to be circumstances in my life where there is absolutely nothing I can do anything about. I have to have faith that God knows what he's doing. When we pulled up to the court house, my husband and daughter prayed with me. Peace washed over me. I took a breath that for the past few hours I could not take. The Lord was going to take care of every little aspect of my life. 

We all go through circumstances in our life where we feel out of control. Some may be minor incidents like mine. You may get a ticket; your dinner party isn't coming together like you wanted; everyone cuts you off on the way to work on a morning you are already late. Or the circumstances may be major. Your daughter is sick and in the hospital; your finances are a mess and the debt collectors have your number on speed dial; you lost your job. The important thing to remember is God is in control. Of EVERY circumstance. His plan is greater than ours. One thing my pastor said the other night at church is this: "God does not cause bad things to happen. But he does allow things to happen in order for a purpose." He quoted scripture from Exodus. Joseph as sold into slavery by his brothers, falsely accused of a crime, and was moved all over the place, away from his family. God's purpose was to have Joseph be the 2nd in command in Egypt when the time was right. The Israelites needed him to be there when the drought raged through Egypt. 

Maybe God's sole purpose for my ticket and anxiety was for me to be reminded how much I needed to rely on Him. I needed to remember that I'm not in control. Letting anxiety overcome me was a stumbling block for me, and I needed to get back on track with my Lord. If anything, I can do what the key scripture says and "bring praise to God's glory." 

My you find peace in the Lord today, trusting in His plan for your life. 

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