Matthew 8:5-8 And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him, and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.” Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed.
Boy do I feel like the Centurion today in this scripture. One of the most powerful scriptures in my life is Matthew 8:8 when the centurion says to Jesus, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” Yesterday (in fact most of the night as I lay awake with great anxiety) I kept saying, “Jesus, I need you, but I am so not worthy of you.” It is a battle that goes back in forth in my heart and my mind. I need Jesus to bring me peace and let my anxieties go so that I can sleep, but yet, I know that I am not ready to let go of my anxiety. Sleep. No sleep. Sleep. No sleep. I weigh the benefits in my head. The thought crossed my mind to go downstairs and write out my anxieties, but I knew that was crazy. I needed to sleep. I had to get 3 kids up and going for school. I had things to get done on my checklist tomorrow. A sleepless night was going to really mess that up!
Why when I experience such great anxiety do I insist on controlling it myself? Why do I let myself think that I am not worthy of Jesus’ help? Why don’t I just allow Jesus to take them away? Swish them into oblivion. He will do it, if I just ask. He will do it, if I just let go. I couldn’t let go last night. I kept those worries close to my heart and I tried my darndest to figure out a solution for all my problems – I might add here on my own.
I took deep breaths because my head started pounding and my anxiety started rising up within me. I couldn’t let it go. I wasn’t worthy for the Lord to enter my soul and take them away. At least that is what I allowed myself to think.
Pete wrote a beautiful prayer a couple of weeks ago to help me let go of my anxieties (obviously this is problem that I have had for some time). It helped tremendously. So this morning, I asked him if he would send it to me via email.
One of the words that he uses to describe anxiety is paralysis. It was interesting that my favorite scripture also talks of paralysis (see above). I had been paralyzing myself with the anxieties that I have no control over. I have let once again the fear (false expectations appearing real) take over my life and push God to the side.
So after searching for what I needed this morning, I fell upon the Serenity Prayer. In the Serenity prayer it says, God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
When my anxiety reached an all-time high (like last night), I need to ask God for the serenity to accept what I cannot change. Not just plain old every day serenity. No, I need the serenity for those things in my life that I have no control over. Take them God. Take all my anxieties and fear and swish them away. I don’t want them to reappear any time soon. Take them for good.
Courage to change those things that I can. Oh do I wish I had that kind of courage. I admire the people who can stand up for what is right and just. I so wish I was just naturally like that. Unfortunately, I need Jesus for that. When it is possible for me to take charge of something, let me know, Jesus. I need a clear sign. Sometimes I need a lightning bolt. Whatever it is – be very clear with me.
Last night I was battling between these two parts of the prayer. Can I change it? Should I let it go? It was back and forth. I still feel that way this morning. Nothing has been resolved. So when the last part of this prayer comes in to play, I can see that making a little more room for God today may be the key. I can only have wisdom to figure out the difference, if I let God into my life. Last night I was pushing God out of my life. I wasn’t “worthy” for Him to come into my heart because I was battling to get back to Him. I was searching for peace, but I couldn’t stop the war that was going on within my mind.
I realize now that there is a time to just let things go. When I start trying to get what is “fair” then my anxieties go into full force. I have to move away from the “fair” attitude and move toward what is “right or just.” Sure people will push my buttons. Sure things will happen that seem unfair. Life is like that. Serenity will only come if I allow God to help me see that it may not be fair, but it is right. It is doable with Him at my side. He will allow me peace; if I just accept that the solution while it may not be my favorite solution is right and just.
When I finally came to that conclusion (as I was writing this), I realized God gave me the wisdom that I had been battling for all night long. It was that there is a solution out there. It can offer me peace and hope. It may not be my top pick, but it is the right option. I can fight it and let it take over my ability to have peace. Or I can allow God to melt away my hardness of heart and see that the answer is Him.