The inspiration for today’s post comes from Big Fat Mama over at http://www.cookingupfaith.com/. For the past 21 days she has been focusing on and blogging about John 15. Her posts for days 20 and 21 just spoke to my heart in such a profound way that I found myself thinking about it throughout the day. After the birth of her fourth child she started experiencing anxiety and sought the Lord about how to deal with it. She writes:
Then I was able to take a little drive with just myself and God. I drove and saw hills in front of me with the sun setting and I had this thought –
What if I didn’t try to control people?
What if I didn’t try to control every situation in my life?
What if I didn’t worry about if I was doing or being enough all the time?
What if I let go of my grudges?
What if all I did was love God and love others? What would that be like?
It would be pretty nice. And if all I did at the end of the day was love God and love others I would have done enough.
“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Live within my love. When you obey me you are living in my love, just as I obey my Father and live in His love. I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your cup of joy will overflow! I demand that you love each other as much as I love you. And here is how to measure it – the greatest love is shown when a person lays down his life for his friends; and you are my friends if you obey me.” John 15: 9-14
If we really grasped how much God loves us we would have no fear, no guilt, no loneliness, no self-serving attitude. Our joy would overflow! When we stop trying to fulfill ourselves with the worldlythings, and let God, the only one who can genuinely love us, then we can start being productive and He can use us for his glory. Big Fat Mama
WOW! I’ve probably read those scriptures countless times. I know we are supposed to love God and love others. I know that our obedience to Christ is a reflection of His love. Its the JOY part that I’ve missed all this time. You cannot be joyful and anxious at the same time. Really, truly, deeply practicing this love results in obedience and JOY. Receiving HIS love is JOY. Showing HIS love is JOY.
Sometimes I get so caught up in my own head. I complicate things. Not only in my daily routine but also in my devotional time. Am I doing enough? Am I doing it right? What if I’m missing something? What if while I’m doing this I should be doing that? It is hard to experience God’s peace when we are constantly trying to measure up and wondering if we’re falling short. So often I feel like it is never enough, like I’m never enough. I never identified that feeling as anxiety or controlling but IT IS. It is also self imposed condemnation. Sure, our motives are good: we are supposed to love and care for our families and their needs. That’s okay. In the striving to do it well, I find that I cross over to perfection- as though somehow if its not all perfect it means that I love them less. I know…its crazy. At least I am sane enough to remind myself to lighten up. That nagging feeling persists, though – even if it is in the background.
Her posts reeled me in, so to speak. It is that simple: its about the love – that’s all. Love – period. When I focus on the love of Christ the details of my life will fall into place. Thank you, Big Fat Mama for sharing your journey. Sound revelation of God’s love – of the JOY of God’s love – erases all doubt. God’s love is enough. My living out that love is enough. His love makes me enough.
I encourage you to hop over to her site to read through her journey. I’m sure you will be blessed by it.