focused, intent thinking.

last night, i lost more than an hour of sleep. i lost all senses and recollections of Who is in control.

i went to dinner with my old roommate, Carol.  in case you didn’t know…i have a power for helping people meet their spouses if they live with me. such is the case for Carol.  and many others–who might have been single, or just dating someone, but who moved out of our apartment (or wherever we were living) to move in with their husbands.

after carol  and i had dinner, i had all intentions of coming home and going to bed.  and at first, i did. i watched an episode of gilmore girls. i read for a little while. i turned my light off and turned on my whitenoise app on my ipod touch and lay silent in my bed, waiting for sleep to come.

my phone vibrated with a text message. i answered it. i waited for sleep to come. i waited. and i thought.

i’m really good at thinking. in fact, i should probably get an award for it. the trouble is that i’m not very good with turning my mind off. so i spent the next few hours in what i’d like to call “focused, intent thinking,” which is just a code name for the sin of worrying.

and just when i got tired of worrying about one thing, i could find something else to worry about instead–there were endless topics to exhaust.  where am i going to live? who am i going to live with? where will i work, when the twins move? how in the world am i going to have enough energy to work camp? what about this friendship, or that friendship? how am i ever going to pass this Hebrew exam? what about graduation and life after graduation? i love birmingham–should i stay here? should i go back to school and get my counseling degree? would i enjoy that? should i try it out first and do a year of CPE? how will i do that and work?

eventually, i fell asleep.  and then i woke up, because i thought i had heard someone knock at my door at 1am. i fell back asleep after an hour.  i woke up again at 4am, because i heard leaves rustling outside my window. this time i stayed awake for over an hour–i remember seeing light before i fell asleep. in fact, i had to get up to convince myself everything was fine, and once i was back in my bed…wide awake, worrying again.

i write all of this to tell you that i’m really good at sinning. i’m exceptionally good at worrying. i know other people deal with the sin of being reckless, and thoughtless, and doing things without meditation–but that’s not me. sometimes i wish i could be more rash. and sometimes it’s good to be thoughtful. but sometimes–like last night, it’s a sin.

today we sang so many songs at church which focused on the hope we have in Christ, and we read Romans 8 responsively, and i began to think about the hope that i have in Christ. if i trust him for forgiveness–if i trust his death on the cross–if i trust the provision he has supplied through his blood…do i trust him in these areas? do i trust him to be sovereign and to work? do i trust him to provide for a job? do i trust him to reveal his will as i walk obediently in his ways? do i trust him in my relationships–whatever they are, or are not, and trust that he is indeed Lord over those? do i trust him to take care of me, even when my human inclination is to worry and fret and fear?

the heidelburg catechism’s answer to this helps illuminate what i ought to remember in the dead of night, when i hear rustling leaves and vibrating phones and fake knocks and my heart pounds so loudly that i begin to panic–not as i think of imminent danger, but as i fear the unknown and what lies ahead:

“I trust Him so much that I do not doubt He will provide whatever I need for body and soul, and He will turn to my good whatever adversity He sends me in this sad world.  He is able to do this because He is almighty God; he desire to do this because He is a faithful Father.”

conviction. Lord, help me to believe these things.

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