Lord, you said:
"Jerusalem will be told: 'Don't be afraid. Dear Zion, don't despair. Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you. Happy to have you back, he'll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs. 'The accumulated sorrows of your exile will dissipate. I, your God, will get rid of them for you. You've carried these burdens long enough.'"
Zephaniah 3:16-18 (The Message Bible)
Thankyou for the friend that sent this to me today. Thankyou for sending it.
I believe this is what you're telling me today - us, today - as well as to the Israelites who wandered round and round for years instead of getting where they were going. Just like them, I'm going round in circles with the same old problems and worries and falling into the same old traps of anxiety and getting it wrong.
Just like them I find myself looking for you and hiding behind you when things are going badly and then wandering off on my own when things seem more manageable only to have my life go badly wrong all over again. Just like the Israelites I keep thinking I know better and I don't. You do. Just like them I grumble and complain and stamp my foot. Just like them I concentrate on what I had, what I want, instead of what I have.
Just like them, you love me and you'll always have your arms open when I turn back to you. Just like them, I know that you have a plan for me and just like them, I know that you will bring me safely home.
Help me not to keep on carrying my burdens but instead to leave them with you. Help me to show who I am as your child by managing my worries in a way that is different from the way all those around me manage, who don't know you. Help me to trust in your never-ending love instead of saying that I trust and yet acting as if I am on my own. How can I claim to be saved if I am miserable with worry instead of joyful? Clearly being saved doesn't make me very happy - but it does. The most important thing of all is my eternity and I know that I am going to be with you; what can be any more compelling than that? Yet what I say to the world is, 'I know that God loves me and he died to save me, yet that pales into insignificance in comparison to the fact that I have no pension. I know that he loves me but it's down to me to solve all my problems or I am lost.'
Makes no sense, does it?
So how come these two beliefs run concurrently in my life? How come I can believe one thing - You, and yet that belief doesn't cause the other things to evaporate like mist when the sun comes up? I really don't know. I don't want it to be this way.
More faith. More trust. More courage.
Thankyou that I am dear to you.
Thankyou that you are present.
Thankyou that you will always have me back.
Thankyou that you are a great warrior and that you promise to save me.
Thankyou that you calm me and cover me with your love.
Thankyou that you will delight me!
Thankyou that you promise to take away my sorrows.
Please take my burdens for I've been carrying them a while, now.