Keep Calm: I am not the performer, I am the stage

keep calm

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God’s grace…may He equip you with all you need for doing His will. May He produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ

every good thing

that is pleasing to Him.”

Hebrews 13:8-9, 21

 

I made it to Florida safe and sound and was swept into hugs and greetings and excited wedding preparations. This morning, laying awake and listening to the rain at 4:30 am (thank you baby kicks), I noticed I felt nervous and wondered why.

As I journaled out my thoughts, here’s what I came to:

I am emotionally full, loving all the activity and surrounded by the relationships I have missed so sorely. But at the same time, I feel the tension of every task I want to be a part of and every conversation I want to savor pulling on my limited physical reserves. In short…I’m still fighting nausea and weakness, I run out of steam at the end of the day, and I’m worried that what I have to give is not enough.

My sister and her kids are driving an hour and a half just to spend the afternoon with me today, and I’m afraid I’m not exciting enough to make the drive worthwhile! I fear being a disappointment. 

I asked the Lord to help me settle my heart and I came across these verses in Hebrews.

I loved the reminder to stop looking for new ideas or strategies or rules.. Jesus Christ hasn’t changed and so neither has my answer to the challenges and demands before me. Always, always, the answer is Christ. There is no new way to approach this beast called life.

I need Jesus. He is the best I have to offer. And He is enough.

My strength comes from Him. He offers the grace I need so badly. He produces, through His power, good things that please Him in my life. He does not look to me to come up with kindness, humility, selflessness, trust…He produces them in me. He IS all those things in me. The qualities and characteristics of a beautiful, holy life are not out of reach for me, they are mine because of Him.

I was reminded this week of the people of Israel, backed into a corner with an approaching Egyptian army on one side, a vast sea on the other, and no way out. Moses’ answer to their panic was this:

“Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”

Exodus 14:13-14

No matter what has me panicked, the roles haven’t changed.

His job: Rescue. Fight for me. Prove His faithfulness. Be impressive.

My job: Stand still. Wait. Watch Him work. Keep calm. 

Always, the Lord is drawing us into difficult and tense situations, not so that we will perform, but so we can see HIM work. The tension is a test to prove His strength, not mine.

If I was the main act, there would be good cause for worry.  But He does the equipping and the producing and I am not the performer here,  I am just the stage on which His incredible life shows itself. 

I do not have to worry that I will disappoint. I can just ask Him to be who He is in my life, and I know I’m offering the very best.

 

Lord-

Thank you for working with my life, my heart. Help me to stop my endless strategizing and people-pleasing and worrying and just behold you. You are more than enough for all this day holds.

 

 

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