Monday, 15 June 2009

Turn your Eyes to Hope and Joy

It was quite a few years ago that, something like 10-15 years ago, that I went through a particularly trying time in my life. Living at the edge also meant that I was living at the edge emotionally, too; and at times found the stress and trauma totally overwhelming.

There were several incidents, during that time, whilst driving my car that I would get myself into a full-fletched stressed-out “tizz”. I am not a one that aggressively shouts and swears at other drivers, but during that time of severe testing my nerves were strained and I overreacted jumping at the slightest noise or sudden perceived threats or danger. I would tighten and close-up up on the outside but on the inside I was a mix between an automated corpse, functioning like a robot, and a wasp caught in a jam jar. My reactions and behaviour, though not aggressive and abusive, were inappropriate none-the-less.

During those times I was very grateful to my son who understood me, who understood that the only way to snap me out of that mode was to reconnect me to my intimate times with the Lord and get me into His presence.

My son loves music, a very wide variety of music, and so do I. However, during those moments he knew only one type of music would do: intimate worship.

The moment he would play that audio tape (yes that was prior to CD’s or MP3s), I uncoiled, unknotted, relaxed and started to breathe again. It was like I had turned my eyes away from the ‘wall’ and gazed into the smiling eyes of my Eternal Lover and my Heavenly Father, and I knew all was ok, again.

The analogy and story of a trainee racing driver has almost become proverbial. Apparently if for split seconds a racing driver looks at the wall, he’ll crash. The story I heard was how one trainer literally had to quickly yank the head of his trainee around so he would not look at the wall, and back on the track and his goal before him.

In our daily walk we are faced with many walls – walls of unhappiness, grief, trauma, and turmoil, walls of literal or perceived threats, losses or impending losses, the various fears we are presented with in this economic climate, or health scares we hear about .... or even when things just don’t go our way and we are facing the wall of grumpiness, or pity-party. The only hope we have of not crashing against whatever wall we face is to yank our head around and gaze at the One who is Hope, Love and Joy.

There are times when we need to snap out of our emotionally and spiritually negative state and enter into rejoicing and celebrating on purpose, by choice, and not waiting for the situation to change first.

The people in Nehemiah’s day had to learn this lesson:

9 "Nehemiah the governor, along with Ezra the priest and scholar and the Levites who were teaching the people, said to all the people, "This day is holy to God, your God. Don't weep and carry on." ....
10 He continued, "Go home and prepare a feast, holiday food and drink; and share it with those who don't have anything: This day is holy to God. Don't feel bad. The joy of God is your strength!"
12 The Levites calmed the people, "Quiet now. This is a holy day. Don't be upset."
12 So the people went off to feast, eating and drinking and including the poor in a great celebration. Now they got it; they understood the reading that had been given to them."
- Nehemiah 8:9-12 (The Message)

It’s quite easy to get into a pattern of fear and all that is associated with it. To disrupt that pattern, we need to first recognise that there is God, and that He is bigger than the problem we face. We also need to recognise that He calls this day, this time in our life, holy! He has decreed that this is your day and my day which is holy.

The dictionary defines ‘Holy’ as: health, salvation, happiness, sacred, whole or sound; belonging to or derived from or associated with a divine power.

God, who is Love and hope, declares that the day we are facing is whole, sound and sanctified with His divine power. As we yank our heads and eyes away from our wall and gaze at Him, we step into His reality of holiness and saving divine power, and come into agreement with this.

Next, we need to ‘feast’ and ‘celebrate’ and share it with those who don't have anything.

This does not necessarily mean a literal feast, although it could be. Much rather, think of a smile, a loving word of encouragement or a genuine hug as something we can share it with those who don't have anything. There are provisions for our feasts and celebration all around us if we only chose to stop and look. Can you see the butterfly, hear the birds, or see the little flower in the crack of a pavement?

When we are in a negative state our heart closes as if to protect it, a bit like that jam jar that entrapped the madly buzzing wasp, we entrap our pain, hurt, anguish, anger, etc. thinking we can protect our heart. When we chose to turn our heads and eyes from the ‘wall’; when we chose to open our heart and see our life as ‘holy’ gazing at Him, and celebrate with thankfulness the feast he has already provided, then it is like the lid of that jam jar is removed, that nasty wasp can fly out.

Away from the ‘wall’ and back on track, we then truly come to know that the joy of God is your strength!

“You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand. “
- Psalm 16:11 (New International Version)


Joyfully,






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© Copyright Angelika Regina Heimann – inStrengths Ministries – The Journey Of Intimacy 2009. All Rights Reserved