Wednesday, March 7

Know When to Hold 'Em

I do not understand what I do. 

For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

Romans 7:15

This verse kicks off one of those passages where the apostle Paul proves he has a dizzying intellect. Once you figure out the complex sentence structure, the whole thing is alarmingly on target with my life.

I spotted a problem area in my life recently where I was doing what I didn't want to do and that I knew was wrong. And I knew what to do. Take every thought captive, like James says. So I did. I took that errant thought captive and held onto it for dear life. When the next thought came along, I put into practice my juggling skills and captured that one too, still holding on.

Then one day, when my right eye started twitching--seriously--it occurred to me that I might have missed something in my efforts to do the right thing. 

Why, when I was trying so hard, and succeeding, to the casual observer, was my jaw clenched too tight? Why did I feel like I could barely breath? Why was my eye twitching?! I knew one way to relieve my tension: let those captive thoughts go. Put them into words and spread them all over the place. But that wasn't the right thing to do. It's not what Jesus would do.

He would forgive and forget.

I was trying, but it wasn't working. This system seemed very flawed.

Turns out I was missing something. I didn't read through all the directions.

Granted, Paul makes about as much sense as the how-to-assemble of an Ikea Lerberg shelf unit, but once you figure them out...

For I have the desire to do what is good, 

but I cannot carry it out. 

Romans 7:18

Oh. Paul couldn't. I can't either. No wonder I'm twitching. So how does this work? Pardon me while I hop out of context for a moment.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 

1 Peter 5:7

Here I was trying to do the right thing, holding on so, so, so tightly to those errant thoughts that I was getting overwhelmed. When what I needed to be doing was to be handing them off to God immediately.

Once I started doing that--easier said than done, I might add--it all seemed to come together. I felt myself relax in the knowledge that He was taking care of it, and my eye isn't twitching so bad.

Thanks be to God who delivers me 

through Christ Jesus our Lord! 

Romans 7:25

Written by Andrea Lunde

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