Contentment vs. Anxiety

Why has it taken so long for me to write this post?

It is not because I have been at my task of caring for Jerry. It is not because there are not enough hours in the day to witness of the Lord’s goodness ~ this is the reason I write.

Titles come so very easily, but the meat is not always simple to come by. We long to publish the truths of the Father’s kingdom, but it must come by experience. And so this is true of the subject matter of contentment and anxiety.

Growing up in an environment of anxiety stamps a person for life, until we encounter Christ and learn of Him.

Then, we are born and sealed with His Spirit of promise, sanctified, and set apart for His use.

But even as Jacob wrestled with the angel of the Lord, so we wrestle for the promises that are ours in Him. This wrestling is the work of the Holy Spirit within us, bringing us to know the promises through God’s Word, claiming them, and working through life with the two-edged sword to destroy the strongholds that have have been set up in our lives.

There is as much difference between contentment and anxiety as between day and night. The difference is as light and darkness; as good and evil. And each has its ownership and connotations.  Books have been written, messages spoken and songs sung, and we could say more, but we post very simply today of how the Lord brings us from the anxiety of this life to contentment in Him.

The Source and the Fruit
Anxiety is the abnormal attitude of human beings; the seed thought of every man; flowing from the spring of unbelief.

“O, ye of little faith.”

“Yes, Lord, I hear you. I recognize your voice. I acknowledge my lack of faith.”

“Why do you doubt?”

“I have no excuse. My thoughts carry me where I do not want to go. They seem to have a power of their own.”

“Have I not proven that I love you and am able to provide all that you need?”

“Yes, Lord, I am guilty of forgetting you and your goodness when my thoughts wonder away from you. When times are difficult I am carried away by the moment. I am still learning to be content in every circumstance. I confess my sin, and ask that your Spirit keep me in your Word, to always remember your promises. Let me not dwell on the things of the world, and the power of the enemy. But let your Word be the source of my thoughts, to do its work. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation and the contentment that is ours in you. Bear in and through me the fruit of your Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, temperance; the fruit of holiness, righteousness, truth, grace, and humility. Fill me with your fullness, so there is no room for doubt or fear, but only thoughts of you, your grace and your glory.”
Fran

image: Google

The Master Gardener

Let me show you my beautiful garden
Although it no longer belongs to me.
With all my toiling, sun up to sun down
My garden was not meant to be.

Little did I know of the seeds,
Seeds of deception and lies—
Until one day a stranger asked
“Why the despair in your eyes?”

“I’ve tried,” said I to this gentle man.
To water, to nourish,
the seeds which were given to me.
For fear of ridicule at what HE would behold,
I hesitated when HE said, “May I see?”

“I love gardens,” HE said,
“Where comes from the earth.”
The most beautiful of things!”
As I opened the gate and said “Come in.”
I thought I would see him cringe.

For row upon row, stood the harvest of my years.
Fear, distress, and worry, watered by my tears.
“Oh, look there.” HE said,
as he pointed to the corner of the field.
“What a beautiful bud, and a healthy plant.
What delightful fruit it will yield.”

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“But,” I said. “It’s only one—so unlike the rest.
I have given it no time.
I didn’t think it worth my effort.
Neither did I think it mine.

Blown, perhaps, by some distant wind,
From where I knew not of.
Left to itself—it was its own—
With nothing for me to solve.

The others required all of me—
And I’ve given all that I know to give.
With nothing in return—no delight—
No reason for me to live.”

HE knelt beside me in the dirt.
As I crouched and poured out my tears.
From His eyes came the same.
As if HE knew my fears.

“What can I do dear Sir—kind man,
For these, my plants, my friends?
Do you have plants? Do you have a garden,
To which you must attend?”

HE said, “I thought you might need help.
That’s why I came along.
Yes, my child, I have many gardens
To which I belong.

They were given to me
By friends who knew my art
Of taking gardens just like yours
And giving a new start.”

“What will you do with mine?” said I.
“What give you in return?”
“The fruits of my labor.” He said,
“More seed, more beauty
than you could ever earn.”

“What are you saying dear man, kind Sir?
A garden is meant to grow?
What else can you tell me?
What more do I need to know?”

He sat with me then and told me the plans
His Father had given Him
For gardens that flourish, reflecting His care—
Knowing and touching each stem.
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F. R. January 1993

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Where Do We Go From Here?

(We are closing our website, Father and Family Books, and concentrating all our efforts here and on Facebook, as we continue to proclaim the legacy of God’s kingdom. Our first ministry of writing (second to caring for Jerry) will still be through the publishing of our books, but we will maintain this blog as a means of sharing what our heavenly Father gives for the edifying of His people. And so, we will seek the blessing from Him as we post in the future.)

As we wrote in an earlier post A World in Crisis (before the election) we now see the scenes of this reality unfolding in our country. Even as God’s people, we wonder where He is and what He is doing.

In the next few posts, I want to document for our legacy as God’s children things that we need to remember so that we see God’s work unfolding in the middle of the chaos of this world. How can we maintain our faith, hope and joy in such times as these?  We are challenged not only to endure; not only to strive, and to survive, but to thrive through all things, in the power, the love, the wisdom and grace of our God and our Lord Jesus Christ.images

Growing up I was often reminded that when we see the devil’s work, we can be assured that God is doing something greater. We are distracted by the physical elements of the world and how Satan works in and through men. God, our heavenly Father teaches us to look beyond what we can see with the physical eye, to catch a glimpse of His greatness and glory. In this we can see the working of His grace and goodness. The Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation happened at the same time. There were two kingdoms operating from two perspectives, which is the history of this world, since the antithesis began in the Garden with our first parents.

Let us, as God’s children, be about the Father’s business in the only kingdom that will survive all generations, until in the fullness of time, all things are united in Christ, “things in heaven and things on earth.” Ephesians 1:10

Dear Father in heaven, we need you, by the power of your Holy Spirit, to reveal your presence and power to us as your children, as we live in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.  Give us your love, joy, and peace; shine your light through us to draw others to Christ.  Make us an open door to your kingdom.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

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A Day of Grace ~ for God’s Glory

“Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness;

Fear before HIm, all the earth.”

Psalm 96:9

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“O worship the King all glorious above.

O gratefully sing his pow’r and HIs love;

Our shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,

Pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.”

Robert Grant 1833  ~  Based on Psalm 104

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“Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face,

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,

In the light of His glory and grace.”

Helen H. Lemmel 1922