Monday, December 18, 2017

Walking in Circles

September 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

Walking down a shady neighborhood trail not long ago, I breathed in the air of a refreshing seventy degrees. Starting slowly, I took some time to praise the Lord and enjoy the peace and alone time. I quickened my pace, and anxious thoughts began to jog alongside me. “God, please help Annie on her tests today.” “Don’t let her fail again.” “She studied so hard.” “I’ve got so much to do. I shouldn’t be walking.” “I’m going to get behind on everything else.” “Why am I always a step behind on everything?”

My worries completely took over my steps, and I’m sure my heart rate went off the charts. Ministry at church. My son’s issues. Not meeting people’s expectations. Emails and phone calls to return. Decisions my husband and I needed to make. Kids and families my heart is grieving for. Not enough hours in the day…

Then, one thought hijacked the others: I remembered something that had recently hurt my feelings. I didn’t think my legs could go any faster, but they did. I bit back at this person in my mind. I defended myself. I informed this person through telepathic communication that her actions were immature and hurtful.

Huffing in mind, spirit and body, all of a sudden, I noticed that I’d passed my starting place and was walking around the same trail again, by a long ways. The thought of going around a second time was quite an exhausting one, so I stopped for a moment, leaned the weight of my body via arms on my knees and caught my breath.

Do you really wanna walk down this path again?

This was the thought that stopped my elevated “worry pulse,” and I’m positive it was from the Lord. He had my full attention, seeing as He had given me a real-life scenario to think it through (not to mention, plenty of time).

It took the rest of the trail (a second time) home to allow the Lord to do some counseling with me. He gave me incredible insight into just how far He had brought me down the path of anxiety. He reminded me that I struggle with it so much less than I ever have before. He recounted instances of situations past where He has worked out each and every problem, hurt, fear or disappointment for His glory. He testified of all the ways He has worked in me to grow me up spiritually.

By the time I got home, my hurts and “but hows” had taken a hike, and the Lord had carried my numb legs through the door. I was where I needed to be: in the hold of His strong and capable arms. That’s when my prayers and praises started me down a new trail—the one they should have veered on about an hour earlier. I had gone full circle, and now it was time for His Truth to speak.

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.
Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—
everything you heard from me and saw me doing.
Then the God of peace will be with you.”
Philippians 4:6-9 (NLT)

What trails keep you running around in circles? Are there any issues in your life that you need the Lord to “stop you in your tracks” over today? Take a few moments to remember His faithfulness on the treaded trails of your yesterdays. Do any of those give you hope for your footsteps today?

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You.”
Isaiah 26:3 NIV


Lord, we praise You, for You are true and honorable, most worthy of praise. I pray that You would work Your Spirit in and through us, helping us to put your Word into practice on our faith walks. Guard our hearts and our minds with Your perfect peace, I pray. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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