+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?