Monday, August 20, 2007

"Do not Be Anxious"

Sleep has been pretty difficult of late.

I have trouble falling asleep. I am restless, tossing and turning and waking with a start several times a night. About 4:00 a.m. every morning I open my eyes in the darkness and know I am not falling back to sleep.

Our regular contract calendar begins next Monday, but I started working today. It’s a program called “Jump Start,” designed to help incoming 6th graders make the transition to middle school. We (myself and another teacher) have about twenty kids who have not excelled in elementary school.

Every year there is that moment when I first step in front of a group of kids and for an instant I am anxious about how well I am going to teach. The moment passes. I launch into my lesson, guiding the discussions, the lectures, the activities, while keeping an eye on each student’s reactions and behavior, creating an atmosphere of learning, a space in their minds and hearts where knowledge can settle in.

It feels good to be back at work. For five hours today my marital concerns were pushed aside while I guided my charges along careful, fun, paths of learning.

After work I ran over to the local access cable station and picked up some carpeting and curtains donated for the TV studio I am building.

I stopped by home. Brenda was cheerful, reserved. I became anxious over whether or not she had called the other man, waited for the opportunity, and checked her cell phone’s recent calls. None today.

I do not like that sort of behavior in me. I do not like being sneaky. I do not like being anxious. It seems my heart is always racing just a little, my breath is a little quick.

I knew I needed to pray. I slipped away to the prayer room at the church. I sketched out a new image, began to pray:

I lift up my eyes to the hills
Where does my help come from
My help comes from the Lord
Maker of Heaven and earth
O Maker of Heaven and earth

Your foot shall never be moved
You'll never stumble
Or slip no never
He who watches Israel
He never slumbers or sleeps
No He never slumbers or sleeps

The Lord will keep you from harm
He watches over your soul
He will watch you come and go
Now and forevermore forever
Now and forevermore

O Maker of Heaven and earth
O Maker of Heaven and earth

It’s a song I have heard. I wrote the words into the image on the wall. And then I began to pray spontaneously, writing what came to mind...

The Lord is my salvation. If I ask for His help He will send it. He will never forsake me. If I seek his face he will lift me up with wings like eagles. I will not fear, for the Lord is with me...

I am looking forward to returning to finish it.

When I came home Brenda was on the phone. It seems that Jeremiah’s caseworker may have a place for him to live in a few weeks.

I became anxious.

Getting Jeremiah into a group home is the primary reason Brenda says she is still here. once that is accomplished she is planning on leaving. It was estimated that it would take six months for that to happen. However, moving him out before the citizenship comes through may throw the whole legal situattion into disarray.

I was hoping that Brenda and I could make some progress on our marriage before things came to a head. But, it may happen sooner.

She went to a neighbors for something and that is when I nervously checked her phone.

I slipped off and said a prayer asking for help.

A Bible passage came to mind.

Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. --Philippians 4:5-7

It is such good advice. And it is the sort of thing I usually do all the time. But, with a heart that is always racing just a little, and a breath that is a little quick, it is a little difficult to not be anxious.

None the less. this is direction from my Lord. He is my shepherd, my guide.

Lord, help me to obey. Help me to relax in You. I pray for my wife, I pray for my marriage. I know I cannot control what she does, but I pray that she learns to love me again, that she forsakes this other man. Lord, even now I fall back to anxious thoughts, I return to worry and concerns over which I cannot control. bless me this day Lord, that I may simply be obedient to you. --Amen.


wilsonian said...

You are clearly a gifted teacher. Your students are truly blessed to have you.

Lord, I pray in agreement with what has been prayed here. Hear the cries of your servant...

Anonymous said...

Father, many are the plans in a man's heart but it is Your purpose that will prevail. Father, i ask that You cover this marriage with Your Son's most precious blood. in Jesus' name, amen.

Amrita said...

You are in a difficult position Will.

Just a few days after my father died 4 years ago, we found out that my younger sister 's marriage was almost breaking down. It had been a loveless marriage from the begining. BIL being a very selfish arrogant man.There was suspician and jealousy and he had been carrying on with the housemaid since 4 or 5 years and my poor sister suffering without confiding in anyone, because he had imprisoned her with shame, fear and rejection.He was poisoning the kids minds against her.My poor sis was so timid she never told anyone, tried to be a good Christian.

We were devastated when we came to know. it was worse than my dad 's death.We launched into prayer and fasting and prepared to bring my sis and her little boys home to us and prepare for the legal battle.

My elder BIL travelled to india all the way from Canada for this.When he confronted the man, he relented and they decided to keep living with each other. What kind of relationship they have i don 't know. My sis is not ready to talk about it. She lives very far from here, we can only talk on the phone. i can 't visit her because I can 't leave my "nursing home care". but this i 've felt that my sis has drawn close to God, At one time she almost lost her faith.

She had been emotionally tortured and harassed so long by both of them and that village slut was living in the house all the time.

Life breaks us down Will, but the Lord is for us.Underneath are the everlasting arms.I was reading Ps I39 and thought of you.Even if I make my bed in hell, You are with me.

I just had to share this.

Amrita said...

glad you are working, will keep your mind occipied and relieve stress

bjk said...

You are living in a nakedness that is frightening.....a nakedness that can only count on His protection...I am praying that for you...

onionboy said...

I am for very, very different reasons under an intense amount of long term stress and facing uncertain futures. Waking up at four am, yes, I get that. God bless you and your charges and the small hours of your day. God bless your home. I add my Amen to the words of your prayer.

O | |

ukok said...


Thank you so very much for letting me know about this wonder visual expression of the prayers of your very heart. Once more, I am awed and most grateful for the medium of internet which allows me some small share of such wonderful beings as yourself.

God Bless you!