Thursday, September 15, 2011

Struggling with “What ifs”

Writing is often therapeutic for me, and this week I need a lot of therapy! I’m trying to tease out new strategies to undermine my old self self-hatred and re-imagine my life through the lens of the new creation beloved son. Recently this involves a situation at work that I’ve been very anxious about the past few days. It involves being thrown in to a very important task that I don’t feel prepared for, and feel sure to fail. When I think about it, the darkness around this anxiety feels like a consistent shot to the gut. I just want to run.

I was reading something this morning that is helpful in combating this dynamic.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?

Or where shall I flee from your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, you are there!

If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!

If I take the wings of the morning

and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

even there your hand shall lead me,

and your right hand shall hold me.

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,

and the light about me be night,”

even the darkness is not dark to you;

the night is bright as the day,

for darkness is as light with you. (Ps 139:7-12 ESV)

The Psalmist David is trying to imagine out loud the most distant, dark, and unlikely places to imagine God being, and what he finds there is – God! Indeed, darkness is as light to God. When we can’t see in the dark, he can see everything clearly and plainly as in broad daylight.

This text invites me to bring my unique dark places, those places of pain, anxiety or sorrow that I just can’t imagine God dwelling in. God is there. I think of the “worst case scenario” of what I’m worried about and try to remind myself, “even there [at this particular – unique-to-Scott Holman dark place] your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”

It’s difficult to unravel habitual self-protective habits of thinking and doing! But God is patient, calling to me from this text, wooing me into a little more ownership of who I really am – a beloved son with a more-than-capable Father to care for him.

No comments: