Worry’s Abrupt Ending (in my life)

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!”

Isaiah 26:3

For the last few months, I have been fixated on a passage in 2 Corinthians 3, where Paul tells the Corinthian church that they are “a letter from Christ” written “not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.”

Last week, I met a letter from Christ. Her name is Tiffany.

Motivated to spend some extra time with my almost sixteen-year-old daughter, I happily agreed to drive for service day at her school. Our team’s assignment was to help organize a clothes closet in a church in an underserved community. Shortly after we arrived, we were greeted by a tall, beautiful, glowing woman, who I perceived to be about half my age. It turns out, we are precisely the same age and one of us spends a lot of time and money trying to look younger. I’ll give you a hint – it’s not Tiffany!

Tiffany gave us few instructions, but many thanks for helping us with this overwhelming task. As we sorted through the clothes, the girls asked if it would be okay to play some music. Tiffany told the girls to select any music they would like, because she is in a constant state of prayer and probably wouldn’t hear it anyway.

A few minutes later, Tiffany pulls out a dress from the pile of clothes. “This is perfect for my event tonight!” She said with a smile. Tiffany turned to me and said, “You know, I don’t worry about anything. God always comes through.” And she meant every single word.

I found myself longing for Tiffany’s perfect peace, that is promised in Isaiah 26:3. The power of the Holy Spirit speaking through her life, was a beautiful letter from Christ to me.

I decided not to worry. I mean, I really decided not to worry. And, in true “Marnie-fashion,” I have been telling everyone who will listen, the story of Tiffany, a woman who believes Jesus when He says,

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your Heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you more valuable to Him than they are?” Matthew 6:25-26

As I type this, I noticed the verse before, and immediately feel convicted (in a good way, of course, since I don’t worry anymore!).

“No one can serve two masters. For you will either hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.” Matthew 6:24

I cannot serve God and be enslaved to money. Or fear. Or people-pleasing or anything else. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. A letter from Christ is worth a thousand sermons. Tiffany is free and we can be too.

If I Really Knew Him

He was in the world – the world came to be through Him – yet the world did not know Him.”

John 1:10

I felt sad while reading the above verse this morning. It was not sadness for the people who didn’t recognize Jesus as Messiah so long ago, though that is certainly tragic. I felt sad for how little I actually know Jesus. I do know Him and believe in Him and trust Him for my salvation. But, really, I don’t know Him like I want to know Him. If I really knew Him like I want to know Him, then everything inside of me would be at complete peace. I would be overflowing with love and joy and give more grace to myself and others. My mind and body would be healthier because I would be free of all anxiety. I would be so full of the fruits of the Spirit that others would be shocked by my kindness (Galatians 5:22-23). 

When thinking of the actual results of knowing Jesus more completely, I cannot imagine why my focus would ever stray elsewhere. I want to receive the free living water He so longs to offer me. The good news is that I can. We all can.

I can imagine Jesus whispering to me what He told the Samaritan woman at the well.

“If you knew God’s gift, that is, who it is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink of water,’ then you would have asked Him; and He would have given you living water.” John 4:10

I reply to Him as the Samaritan woman did. 

“Sir, give me this water…so that I won’t have to be thirsty…” John 4:15

The prophet Isaiah spoke of the living water the Messiah would bring about 700 years before Jesus came to earth.

“All you who are thirsty, come to the water! You without money, come, buy, and eat! Yes, come! Buy wine and milk without money – it’s free!” Isaiah 55:1

I want the living water Jesus offers me, and yet I keep trying to find satisfaction and in my own abilities and accomplishments. Anything that gets in the way of knowing Him actually puts me at a disadvantage. The apostle Paul says the very same thing after listing his achievements. He says this,

“But the things that used to be advantages for me, I have, because of the Messiah, come to consider a disadvantage. Not only that, but I consider everything in comparison with the supreme value of knowing the Messiah Yeshua as my Lord. It is because of Him that I gave up everything and regard it as garbage, in order to gain the Messiah and be found in union with Him, not having a righteousness of my own based on legalism, but having a righteousness which comes through the Messiah’s faithfulness, the righteousness from God based on trust. Yes, I gave it all up in order to know Him, that is, to know the power of His resurrection and fellowship of His sufferings as I am being conformed to His death, so that somehow I might arrive at be resurrected from the dead.” Philippians 3:7-11

Dear Jesus,

Please give me a heart that wants to know You above all else. I know I want the living water You offer, and yet I keep trying to find satisfaction and in my own abilities and accomplishments. Anything that gets in the way of knowing You puts me at a disadvantage. Thank You for being so patient with me.

*All the above verses are quoted from the Complete Jewish Study Bible. I love reading Scripture as if I were there, recognizing Jesus (Yeshua) as the Messiah, after looking for Him so many years!