I think I’m going to lose my job. It’s not official yet, but I’m waiting for that inevitable phone call that will put my future in jeopardy. I made a mistake, a huge one, so let’s not mince words, okay? I know I messed up. I’m not denying it. On a busy Mother’s Day, I contaminated some meat accidentally and didn’t bother to throw it away like I should have, like I’ve been trained to do. Someone saw me and called the head of the HR, and they called me into the office several days later, questioning me like I murdered somebody. They were slick, too, asking me questions, then tripping me up on my lies. But they weren’t really lies. I just hadn’t remembered the specifics, being several days past the incident.
And then when I get my walking papers (which I know are coming), what next? What will I do? Where will I go? How can I get a job with a limited skill set? I’ve worked in the meat department for twenty years. That, and writing/editing are all I know. Who will possibly hire me? How will we survive financially if I can’t make what I’m used to making, if we were barely paying the bills before? These questions are what ties my stomach in knots by WORRY, that gleeful monster who loves tormenting me, making me stress over things that are out of my control.
There’s a battle inside me between the flesh and the spirit. What did Jesus say? The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak?
My spirit says to have faith that God has a plan for all of us.
My flesh says that it’s hard.
My spirit says that God feeds the birds of the air and clothes the lilies of the field. Aren’t we more important than they are?
My flesh says that I’ve sinned too much, I’ve been unfaithful, and there’s no way God will ever bless me.
KO! The spirit is knocked back by a powerful jab to the face and stumbles to the ground.
My flesh lifts its arms in victory.
Then a wonderful thing happens.
I get reminders of God’s love through the spirit, the Word, through faithful brothers and sisters. Someone I know through my Facebook writing group has posted my predicament, and people are rallying around me with prayer. Someone at church reminded me of their benevolence fund, a fund to help people who are struggling financially. My wife is being incredibly supportive, and is a lot more faithful than me in this moment.
My spirit battles back. Pow! Bam! And this time, it’s my flesh who sinks to its knees. He won’t stay down long, though. He’s resilient. And sneaky.
Yes, I worry about things that are out of my control. But why should I? I can’t control them. But you want to know what I can control? What’s within your control? How you respond to the situation. Are you going to let fear guide you? Or are you going to trust in God, who promised to care for your basic needs?
I know I’m not perfect. I make mistakes. I doubt. A lot. There’s this battle inside me even now as I’m writing this, reminding me of my failures. I have to make a conscious effort to fight back, remind the flesh that God is in control, that He will work everything for good for those who love Him.
He can do the same for you, even as Satan whispers in your ear that you’re not worthy. You are. We all are. If we weren’t, God wouldn’t have sacrificed his son for a people He didn’t love.
So, the next time fear wants to cripple you, think this:
God loves me(John 3:16).
Bap! Sock that flesh in its kisser!
He feeds the birds of the air and clothes the lilies of the field. We are more important than they are. He will certainly care for us! (Matthew 6: 25-33).
Bam! Flesh stumbles back from another blow.
God will work all things for good for all those who love Him. (Romans 8: 28).
Kapow! Flesh crumples to the floor, defeated.
When your flesh rears up again, knock it down again. We use a weapon called the Bible. Daily scripture reading is important. You can use that when fear threatens to overtake us or doubt or insecurity, brandishing the sword of truth to defeat it again and again and again. And raise your arms in victory each time. For we are victorious in Christ. Amen?