My prayers went full circle this morning. Last night I was struck by my husband’s negativity. It wasn’t about one specific thing, just a general outlook on the future. He had a long and tiring day with lots of pressure and worries. His attitude when he came home was a negative, pessimistic one.
I was praying about his attitude this morning. Yes, that’s right… praying for HIS attitude. That’s when I heard the Holy Spirit whisper, “This is about you.” Hmm … God has a way of turning the tables on me.
For me, my negativity is related to fear. Fear has been MY struggle for a while. I’m sensitive to it in my husband because I battle it in myself. In my walk with God, He so often takes my prayer, my worries and requests and uses them to show me something lodged deep in my own heart.
The Bible says to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. My thought trail was focused on my husband’s character, not my own. I’m so quick to judge wrong thinking in him and not in myself. And what about this fear and negativity that I struggle with? What is that really all about?
Just this past week I had been thinking about Psalm 21:7: For Jackie trusts in the LORD; through the unfailing love of the Most High she will not be shaken. That scripture struck me because it connects trusting in the LORD with His unfailing love for me. Usually when I think of trusting in Him, it’s linked to my faith and trying to manufacture more of it. This verse, though, links it to God’s love: His unfailing love for me. Could my struggle with fear, my feeling like the “other shoe could fall at any time” be conquered by knowing His unfailing love in a deeper and more personal way?
In Scripture when the words “unfailing love” are used they are often interchanged with the word mercy and lovingkindness. The Hebrew word for love like this is hesed. Hesed means a persistent and unconditional compassing and loving kindness—all wrapped up in God’s strength and faithfulness according to His covenant relationship with us. It has all the strength and power of God behind it, pouring out on us. It’s the idea of the strength of His love extended to us as a gift, which we can never earn. In Psalm 23:6 it talks about God’s love pursuing us and chasing us down (not merely “following us”). Lamentations 3:22 can be translated, “Your hesed never fails; it is new every morning. Great is your faithfulness.” And in my verse from this past week (Psalm 21:7) the hesed of God for us (His unfailing love) is the strength that will keep us from being shaken and afraid.
So, this week I am choosing to remember God’s compassion, unfailing love, and many lovingkindnesses strongly pursuing me, chasing me down, and being poured out on me. I’m thankful to Him for counseling me about my own heart, not my husband’s. I’m humbled when I consider His almost scandalous, doesn’t make sense, I could never deserve it, love for me. With this love being poured out on me today, what have I to fear?