It’s Thursday. The day is bright and the air is cold. My office is warm. All of January’s bills are paid.
I had my first financial freak out last night. Christopher points to a spot on his arm and says, “We need to get this checked out. It might be staph infection.” I ask him where his antibiotic cream is. He doesn’t know. Mind you, we went through something similar a couple of months back and got the cream at that time. It’s not cheap. I just got laid off. An appointment at urgent care is $125. I have money saved for his eye appointment and glasses, I can’t use that money. I say, “What? You can’t find it?!? Do you realize how expensive that is? I DON’T have a job. I don’t know what to do and I’m certainly not going to tell anyone so that they’ll pay for it!!!” So, I had a few moments of despair and pride. The room went silent. I went into the bathroom and started cleaning and organizing the drawers. He comes in there soon after and quietly says, “I thought it was up here behind the mirror.” Yep, that’s where it’s been. Sweet relief.
Here’s the thing, though. I didn’t trust in that moment. I feel good because my bills are paid for the month. One small bump in the road and I freaked out. (Although, I did get an organized bathroom out of it and that had been on my to-do list for about a week.) I want my trust in God, my Provider, to be unwavering. I look back at last night’s scene and know I could have reacted better. I reacted in fear.
The verse I’m focusing on for this week is from Hebrews 12:1 – “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Emphasis mine.)
Throw off – something you do on purpose, it takes effort, it’s a choice.
So easily entangles – it’s like when you’re traipsing through the field with your dog and kids and suddenly you trip because a sticky, prickly vine has grabbed hold around your ankles. You didn’t even notice it until it was too late.
The Bible also tells us to cast our burdens on Jesus. When one goes fishing you do not simply drop the line at your feet when you’re standing on the shore, do you? You cast it. Throw it out there. (And this is where the analogy breaks down because it’s not helpful to reel your burdens back into you! Though, I guess I could say that in return He gives you peace so you can reel that in and take it.) The point is that to cast our burden, it takes effort. We have to make that choice to do it.
I have more time to think these days. I’m mostly thinking about what it looks like to throw off everything that hinders.
A few weeks back I had a weird dream. I have those quite often, this one made me laugh. I saw myself on sort of a mountain or hill, but it wasn’t a snow-capped pointy one, it was made of red clay and they were more flat. I saw that I needed to leap over a canyon to another place. The only thing I remember is that I was unzipping something and taking it off of me. Here’s the silly part…it looked like a light purple penguin sort of costume. It was puffy. I remember thinking that I couldn’t go on if I had that on so I unzipped it, shrugged it off my shoulders, and stepped out of it.
It seemed so easy. I guess it is simple, right. Oh look, this hinder me. Shrug it off, step out of it, and walk on. I’m wondering if it’s a trick of the enemy that makes us think that we need to actually struggle with it.
I think we need to recognize it and release it. Tell ourselves the truth. Walk in that.