I’m A Big, Fat …

Olive Tree

I haven’t been in a particularly good mood this week.

I’ve grumbled. I’ve complained. I’ve been impatient. And at the root of it all, I’ve been anxious.

Two weeks ago, I resolved that I wouldn’t let a graduate course throw me off of my faith game. I was determined not to be anxious. I was determined not to be a perfectionist. I was determined that I wasn’t going to let an eight week class get the best of me.

Well, it did.

Why do I do this to myself?

Why don’t I remember who I really am?

Why don’t I remember where I really am?

Why don’t I remember what really is most important?

I’m such a ding dong.

Thankfully, the word of God and my long-suffering husband who listen to my frustrated rants and hear my heavy sighs, don’t let me get away with it for long.

John asked me forthrightly yesterday, “What is your name?”

I replied, “My name is anxiety.”

John challenged, “So, how and when are you going to change that name?”

Good question.

Then this morning so as not to give me any wiggle room about remembering who I am, my trust study led me to these verses:

But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God;

I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.

I will praise you forever for what you have done;

In your name I will hope, for your name is good.

I will praise you in the presence of your saints. Psalm 52:8-9 NIV

An olive tree is a fruit-bearing tree that grows fat and large. It lives for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years.

In these verses, I am reminded both who I am and where I am. I am like an olive tree that flourishes with the fruit of the Spirit in the presence of my God. I am rooted in strength, joy, peace, love and perseverance. My life is not based upon meeting the expectations of a graduate course. My life is rooted and grounded in the faith and confidence in my God and His grace and mercy.

Sometimes, I just need a good kick in the side of the head to bring me back to my senses.

My God’s love for me endures. Always. Even at this current time when I become discombobulated by APA requirements, locating and citing electronic references, and understanding assignment expectations.

My God bestows His mercy and lovingkindness upon me at all times and in all situations. This mercy never runs dry. Never. Never. Never.

I just need to remember to trust in that enduring love, mercy and grace and not allow my anxiousness to shake me up and off of the firm foundation of the house of my God; where I find my identity, my purpose and my joy.

Psalm 52:9 encourages me to live today, tomorrow and every day with a heart of thankfulness and holy joy. I praise my God for who He is–my Loving Father, my Merciful God, my Everlasting Hope, my Good Shepherd and my Peace.

I still have a paper to write today. The topic is one that I’m not too jazzed about; especially when I have to make sure I am adhering to every APA standard of scholarly writing. Perhaps that is my problem. I love to write. It brings me joy. This scholarly type of writing has zapped some of that writing joy away. I’m writing to meet a class expectation.

Hmmm. Really, now?

Like I said, sometimes I need a good kick on the side of the head.

My God has just illuminated the root of this issue for me. I am writing to meet the expectations of a class, rather than writing to bring honor and glory to my God. No wonder I am frustrated and anxious. My priorities are askew.

Please forgive me, my precious, merciful Lord.

Well, then. It’s time to remember where my roots are planted. I am a big, fat, flourishing olive tree. I cannot be shaken; not because of me, but because of the enduring mercy and powerful strength of my God. It’s time to get writing again, not for me, not for my professor, but for my merciful, great God.

The word of the LORD says:

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. 

He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with His love,

He will rejoice over you with singing.  Zephaniah 3:17 NIV

How grateful I am that my LORD quiets my anxious spirit with His love and joyfully sings over  me.

Now, I just need to remember that.

Photo by icklerosie of Flickr

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