Moving the Needle

Have you ever had one of those days when your problems seem to line themselves up in front of you and say out loud “Have you looked at me?”, one right after another, like in a line up? And I’m not talking about one or two, think five, six, seven or more! I was weighed down with that yesterday, and the weight was considerable. And I use the word “weight” because that is exactly what it felt like. A heavy weight, a debilitating weight, an all consuming weight that pretty well stopped me in my tracks.

I know we all have problems. Situations which cause us to become anxious, lose our confidence and detract us from our focus. Normally I can handle them, but not yesterday. The weight was heavy, real heavy.

So I did what any self respecting sheep would do, I went to prayer.

Philippians 4:6-7 NASB
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Fancy words aren’t required, I just laid it out on the table. Reminded Jesus that He knows exactly how this feels and that I needed His intervention. The thought crossed my mind that Satan could be involved so I threw in a “The Lord rebuke you Satan!” for good measure. And then I left it there, because I can’t fix this. This is beyond me.

And the weight was lifted! It didn’t happen right away, I’m not even sure how much time went by, but the weight lifted! The needle moved! I find that amazing! It was like a tooth ache that just stopped aching. Gone!

My problems are still there, but the weight is gone. God’s got it.

I love those words; “AND THE PEACE OF GOD, WHICH SURPASSES ALL COMPREHENSION, WILL GUARD YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS.”

And the thought crossed my mind; “How does that happen?” I don’t honestly know, and to be frank with you, I don’t really need to know. I just know that our God can and does lift that weight when we call out to Him, when we become anxious, in the name of His Son.

A lot of times, these problems that we allow to make us anxious, have to do with tomorrows. They are the “what if’s” and the “how can’s” that line up before us. Yet Jesus actually told us not to do that, but just focus on today. In Matthew 6:34 NASB Jesus says: “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Obviously Jesus knows something that we aren’t always aware of, and He has given us this “rule of thumb” to save us from unnecessary anxiousness and worry.

I recommend the “one day at a time” mindset to others, but evidently I forgot to follow my own advice, yesterday. Our hearts and minds can too easily follow the humanistic tendency to project those “what if’s” and “how can’s” into problems that often don’t materialize or are going to be addressed by God. And when one stops to think about it, this is a “trust” issue, at it’s core.

What Jesus said prior to Matthew 6:34 also needs to be considered, as in Matthew 6:25-33.

Something to think about.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!



33 comments

  1. Bruce, I know all about this. Last week was high stress for me, and I told myself, my formula, when I feel like the situation is hopeless – “Take one hour at a time”. Sometimes I need to say “Get through this minute”. The passage you cite from Matthew is one of my favorites, and I will use that as well next time. Jesus was the Lord incarnate, and He taught us how to live our lives while we can. Imagine how much care He will give us, when that is all over!

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  2. It’s amazing, isn’t it, Bruce? Even seasoned believers like us can forget to give our burdens to the Lord. Like when I’m straightening up and on my way to put away a couple of things, I see something else and pick it up “while I’m thinking about it,” then I see something else, and before I know it I’m trying to carry a dozen things, dropping them and feeling idiotic. This is especially embarrassing when people are around, like in the grocery store when I stop in for “just a couple of things,”🤦and I should have availed myself of the carts that are right there. God is right there, too, so why do we insist on trying to carry everything?

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    • Well you got me there, Annie! Guilty with the grocery cart and my flight path often resembles one of those rubber duckies floating on water at a fair ground shooting gallery. I think I understand the root problem. It’s summed up in the phrase “Nice boy, but not too bright!” 🙂 Blessings!

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    • Oh my goodness… I do that too, Annie. In the house, in the store. There is a full length mirror at the end of the hall that runs down from our kitchen. When I catch my reflection as my arms and hands and sometimes even my knees are full of things, it’s all I can do not to laugh. Can’t laugh though, or everything will fall to the floor. With at least one dog often trailing me, dropping stuff is never a good thing, lol!

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  3. “I’m an old man now and have known many troubles. Most of them never happened.” Mark Twain

    “I have been young and now I am old, but I have never seen the righteous forsaken or his seed begging bread.” King David

    These two guys were on to something. And so are you, Bruce. Blessings!

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  4. I experienced that “peace that passes understanding” when my daughter went to Africa for 6 months. Sometimes I think it can be easier to trust Him with big things than with everyday things. Great post! Blessings, Bruce!

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  5. This was good. Thank you. I have been sick for two weeks with a bad headcold and cough. I thought the cough was leaving me a few days ago but it came back. I keep praying for healing but the healing has not yet come and so daily I have to keep turning it over to the Lord, trusting he will heal me in his timing.

    This has been a tough year for me. Got sick by mice last fall and was still feeling the impact of that 8 weeks later when my right knee went out on me and now I am using a walker to help me walk and now I have this headcold and so it does feel like it is piling on me and so I have to keep giving it all to the Lord trusting he has a purpose for it all.

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    • Sorry to hear that, Sue. It seems just about everywhere I turn, a lot of our brothers and sisters are going through some rough times, some more critical than others. And yet, God’s grace prevails. A bad head cold and cough are never fun. You do know that men suffer more with those bad colds than women, right? My wife told me that if men were to give birth, families would only have one child. I’m not sure but I think there was some sarcasm hidden in there! I’ve been praying for you and Rick daily, sincerely hope you’re feeling better soon! And yes, I’ll be mentioning that bad cold of yours in my prayers! One day at a time, hang in there Sue. Love in Christ – Bruce

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      • The Lord must be getting us ready for his soon return or else he is preparing us for more tribulation to come and he is strengthening us in our trials so that we will be ready for the next level. Certainly he is pruning us and disciplining us for our good that we may share in his holiness.

        Yes, I picked up on your sarcasm immediately. I concur that men don’t appear traditionally to handle as much pain as women but perhaps it more depends on the type of pain. They seem to handle self-inflicted pain from working physically hard better than they do sickness which is something out of their control. At least that is my observation.

        Thank you so much for your prayers. I have been praying for you and Peg (that’s her name, right?), too. I have a childhood friend Martha who is now the caregiver for her husband Don who has a particular kind of dementia and she sometimes shares how difficult it is, but she is a trooper.

        Yes, one day at a time trusting the Lord. Amen! Love in Christ – Sue

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      • Hi Sue, yes, my wife’s name is Peg (Peggy). The birth pains that Jesus spoke about, that I think we are experiencing, (Covid, Ukraine, extreme weather, school killings, etc) certainly do seem to be coming in, in waves, and it does affect everyone, I am sure. And then there are the circumstances that are even more close to home. But God’s grace is sufficient; if we stay close to Him. One day at a time indeed. Thank you for your prayers Sue, sincerely appreciated. God’s continued grace and blessings to you and yours. Love in Christ – Bruce

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      • Lol! This is just one of many reasons why I wrote “I’m Too Silly For My Hat” on my profile image. That picture was taken in December 2009. I probably should change it, now that my hair is all white. But I really can be very silly sometimes, so it still fits. 😀

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      • I’m pretty sure that if Jesus can call James and John “Sons of Thunder”, we can still have a little fun with one another. I’m still going for the visual! And just so you know, sometimes that being a little silly, is what is endearing! Blessings!

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      • Silliness helps a lot, especially in my marriage, where we both have PTSD. My husband took my profile picture on the day after we were driving through the mountains, late at night, in southern New Mexico — and suddenly we were stopped by the border patrol and several police and sheriff cars, and we were arrested — with assault rifles pointing at us! Thankfully, after they ran our ID, they realized that we weren’t the people they were looking for. But, oh man…. that was an experience!!! Sometimes you have to be silly to stay sane!

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  6. Your analogy of God’s peace being like a tooth that just stops aching made me smile, that is so true! Don’t know how or when it happens, but the peace comes, and we notice we’re not anxious (achey) anymore! 🙂

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    • Hi Jo, it seems as of late, what with all that is going on around us, far away and even close to home, that need for release from that weight, can be almost a daily need. But again, God’s grace, mercy and strength, is available and new every morning! One day at a time, indeed. God’s grace, peace and blessings to you and yours. Love in Christ – Bruce

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