+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka
The urge to cough tickled my throat . . . and kept tickling. And forced me into hacking.
This wouldn’t have been a big deal, except that I had a minor procedure scheduled where I would be under anesthesia. And I needed to be able to breathe without difficulty.
Coughing makes this a bit tricky.
God has already begun teaching me a lesson about hope. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.
As I read Psalm 42 this week, verse five captured my attention:
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”
Granted my little bouts with coughing are not nearly as serious as the circumstances the sons of Korah faced in their lifetimes. I’ll own that.
What I realized though is that my soul becomes downcast and disturbed when I’m worrying about things. When I worry, I am looking to myself to “fix the problem.”
To “make things happen.”
But the truth is . . .
when I choose worry, I place my hope in myself.
Because, of course, I can do so much to heal my body on my own . . . right?
I put pressure on me to do everything I can to fix the situation.
I live as though I am ultimately in control.
Do you hear those “I” and “me” statements?
When it comes to coughing—and most things having to do with our bodies—how can we compel our bodies, our minds, our spirits to be ready for something?
There’s only so much we can do in our own strength.
When, oh when, will I realize that I don’t really control anything?
When we place our hope in God, we choose to trust Him and His timing. We yield our wills—our plans—to His.
Whether we’re facing a small life circumstance, or something that has the potential to change the entire course of our lives . . . we can worry, or we can hope.
When we let go of control and trust His plan for our lives, that’s when worry loses its grip on our hearts, our minds.
When I trust God more than myself, I discover a little more about hope and the peace it offers.
The other thing I love about the above verse is this: the sons of Korah chose to praise God, even in the midst of a tough situation. They knew putting their hope in God was what enabled them to have a heart that praised.
As I worked through choosing to trust God regarding whether or not I would undergo the scheduled procedure, my mind and heart settled. And, God cleared up the coughing enough so that the procedure took place.
Hope lesson this week: Worry and hope cannot dwell together. I’ll either live by one or the other. And who I allow to control my heart and my thoughts will determine whether I live by worry or by hope.
What about you? When has worry distracted you from hope? What is one lesson you have learned about hope?
Click to Tweet: When I choose worry, I place my hope in myself
This week I’m linking up with #RaRaLinkup, Jennifer Dukes Lee, and Holley Gerth
Sign up for monthly notes filled with encouragement, updates, and glimpses of how God shows up in each day. Receive free encouragement resources!
Great post! HOPE has been my word of the year for 3 years straight now. 🙂 It requires patience and trust… but our God is Faithful!
Wow, Lila. I can only imagine all that God has taught you about Hope. 🙂 I believe you when you say that Hope requires patience and trust. And yes, our God truly is faithful. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by!
When I have a cold, I get so annoyed that God would create our breathing passages all connected. Why would He do that because now I can’t breathe?! Maybe it’s to remind me that I cannot do things all on my own. Now you’ve reframed the way I view a cold. 😉 I love your ability to tie my most ordinary experiences to our divine God. Thank you.
Annie, I had to smile reading your comment. Breathing is kind of important, isn’t it? I love where you took this in when we are sick we’re reminded that we really, truly need God because we cannot do everything on our own. I am thankful for your encouragements, my friend!
So good and very timely for me as we wait for the birth of our first grandchild who is now 4 days late. A small worrisome result on an ultrasound on his due date had me wakeful and worried much of that night. What good did that do? Absolutely none. Thank you for reminding me about hope.
Oh, Stephanie. That wait must be so anticipatory and hard. 🙂 Maybe as I’m writing this, the wee one has made his entrance. I hope that he is born perfect and strong.
Love this post, my friend. Hugs and blessings!
Thanks, friend! Sending you hugs and blessings back!
I’ve found that worry is too often a default mode for me, followed closely by disappointment. What do we miss along the way because trust and hope are in such in short supply?
Jeanne, thanks. We can never have too much hope …
Bless you, friend …
What a great way to put it, Linda. Worry is a default mode. Yep. Been there. And with disappointment too. I guess we can both work on changing our focus so that we don’t miss the gems God places along our paths, right? So thankful for you!
Jeanne, I hope the results of your procedure are good. This line especially touches me – “When we place our hope in God, we choose to trust Him and His timing. We yield our wills—our plans—to His.” I need to remember that, too. I hope I can praise God even in the tough situations! Thank you, Jeanne. Love and hugs to you!
So sorry it took me a few days to respond, Trudy! The results were good. Yay! May we both walk in the yieldedness that will draw us closer to Jesus. Praising Him in the hard seasons is a deliberate choice, don’t you think? I’m so glad you stopped by. Thank you, sweet friend!
Hope…can’t live without it. #hopechangeseverything
“When I trust God more than myself, I discover a little more about hope and the peace it offers.” Learning trust God can be such a process. Wonderful words, Jeanne.
I agree, Tammy. Learning to trust God is, for me at least, a life-long process. Thank you so much for stopping by!
Worry and hope cannot dwell together.
I love that!
It’s true, isn’t it, Sarah? 🙂
I struggle with this, thank you for this good encouragement.
Lisa, I struggle with it too. I’m sure that’s why God brought it to mind and into the forefront of my heart this past week. 🙂 thank you for stopping by here. 🙂 I’m always thankful for you.
Your words about control really hit home with me. There is something about me that always thinks I can do it better so why let go of the task to someone else?? God has shown me more than once that life would be easier if I trusted Him the first time and let Him be in charge.
My word this year is surrender. I know that process is going to be hard but also amazing. Hope is such an overarching word that filters into every part of life. I pray God teaches you well this year.
Mary, I have struggled with those same thoughts. I’m getting better at trusting Him, but there are still many times when I choose to trust me over Him. Sigh.
Surrender is a beautiful, hard word. I can only imagine the beauty that will be sown within you through this year. I am praying I will learn well this year.
I need this news flash every single day: Hello, self! You are not in control of the universe!
It’s such a comfort to struggle alongside someone who describes the conflict so beautifully! 🙂
Michele, you and I both need this reminder. I feel like God continually has to remind me that I am not in control. Not really. I’m blessed by your words, my friend. Thank you so much for stopping by!
Dear Jeanne, what a terrific word…hope! I had never thought about worry being about vanity. How enlightening:) Years ago, I heard Joyce Meyer say “you can be pitiful, or powerful, but never both at the same time.” Same principle, and what a game changer. Pray your year is off to a hopeful start. Blessings!
Alice, Hope seemed like a common word to me, and I was afraid it might feel cliché. But, almost as soon as God showed me this was it, He began showing me new facets of Hope in His word. I’m excited to explore and develop a deeper understanding of what hope is and how to live it out well.
That’s an interesting quote by Joyce Meyer. It does seem like there are certain things that directly oppose each other, yes? My year is off to a hopeful start. Thank you!
I agree, it is so easy to put our hope in ourselves to fix things and feel like it all depends on us instead of trusting in God. I so easily fall into worry too. I’ve been thinking on similar lines to you this week but in connections with my word for the year which is “focus” and the need to focus not on the worries and problems but on God. I think the two go hand in hand. Where we focus is where we are placing our hope. And I definitely want to live hoping in God, rather than worrying!
We’re like a camera: what we focus on is what will develop. God bless!!
I think you’re right, Lesley. These two words/concepts do seem to go hand-in-hand. I’m with you on living life focused on God rather than worrying. Thanks for sharing here!
Jeanne, Psalm 42:5 has been one of those season-marking, perspective-altering verses in my life for a long time. I’m glad your coughing settled down for the procedure, but I’m also glad these thoughts came out of that experience. Praise always seems to have a way of loosening our grip on those things we want to manage and control, doesn’t it? I’m so thankful God has given us the way through when our souls our disturbed and downcast. New year blessings to you, my friend. I love your new word, and I’m looking forward to seeing where God takes you with it in 2018.
Lois, I like what you said about praise having a way of loosening our grip on those things we want to control. It’s true. I guess praise reminds me that God is much better at guiding and controlling my life than I am. I’m thankful for you, friend!
Discouragement and doubt can be hope-squashers for me! But your words hep me realize that the hope-squashers come from when I am relying on just me. Faith and trust and hope-builders aren’t they? I’m glad you were able to come to peaceful place before your surgery! And that all is well.
I like that, Lynn. The hope-squashers have access to our hearts when we rely on ourselves, don’t they? Thank you for your words here today. My procedure went fine, and all is well. 🙂
In a land now without hope, most important thing is discipline, not to fall apart and give in.
I care because I cared once and can bend my will to that memory, even when it feels like God doesn’t.
Awww, Andrew. I sooo wish I had the perfect words for you as you endure this terrible season. I’m praying for you, friend. You’re going forward with what you know (the discipline). I know you know God cares, even though it must be almost impossible to see in the midst of such pain.
Know that I am praying for you.
You words even in hard times are very inspiring to me, thank you, Andrew.