Write Something, Because One Day it will mean Something

Photo by  Trent Erwin  on  Unsplash

Photo by Trent Erwin on Unsplash

The last time I counted, I had over 30 journals. All of which, contain my thoughts, dialog, and emotions I was experiencing at the time. Each year, usually in the evening, I like to look back to reflect on what was going on in my life. This timeline process allows me to see God’s love, faithfulness, and sovereignty in my life. It is often humbling, but as a man of HITOP, would I expect anything less than God giving me lots of opportunities to be humble?

Today’s post is to encourage you to write something daily, weekly at a minimum. Why such an invest? Well, as I am about to show you, it will mean something to you one day, and show you how God was close even when you may have felt Him to be distant.

May of 2013 - Journal Entry

At this time, it has been nearly three years since I had a life-changing panic attack which paralyzed me in fear. As I continue to struggle, I am seeking words, direction, comfort, and meaning Lord. I heard you again Lord, gently whisper “Get Up.” At first I thought I was dreaming, but somewhat in faith and certainly in fear I got up and went to a quiet place to be with You. It is 4 am. For two weeks now, I have been struggling to sleep, wrestling with You, Lord, and talking in my sleep. Heather is frustrated and sleeping on the couch because she said I am keeping her up. God, am I talking to you? If so, what am I saying.  Am I not being obedient to You?  Lord, am I asking you for peace so that I can sleep? Why do I cherish my sleep over time with You, Lord?  

As I sit in this alone time, Psalm 37 comes to my mind. Is this You speaking to me? As I read it, I am led to, verse 3.

Trust in The Lord and do good, dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.  Take delight in The Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
— Psalm 37:3 NIV

You know my desire Lord, sleep, peace, freedom from fear and anxiety. I’m tired, I feel alone, I feel helpless. Rescue me, is my desire, Lord. Instead, here I am wrestling with You. You wake me to read rather than bless me to sleep. “I’m sorry Lord, I do not mean to speak to you that way.” What else do you want me to see, hear, think, read? Verse 7 comes to my mind.  

Be still before The Lord and wait patiently for Him.  
— Psalm 37:7 NIV

Patiently for what? For You to remove the fears I have?  For You to free me of the tensions that keep me up all night?  For You to hear my cry’s, settle my thoughts, calm my restless legs. What Lord!? Sorry, Lord, I’m tired. I do not mean to dishonor You with my frustration.

Please help me know what You want me to learn. What do You want me to do? Have you healed me, and I am holding on or are you waiting for me to do something to let go?  God, I do not understand. I need You!

As I continue to read, verse 23 catches my attention.

The Lord makes firms the steps of those who delight in Him. Though they stumble they will not fall for The Lord upholds them with His hand.
— Psalm 37:23 - NIV

As I process what I’m reading, I continue. Psalm 38 verse 7, stops me in my tracks.  For three years, the pain in my back has prevented me from fully resting. My tension from fear and anxiety has turned to searing pain. And I read:

My back is filled with searing pain there is no health in my body.
— Psalm 38:7 - NIV

I continue writing…

Lord, have the sins of my youth caused me to live in such pain?  What have I done? Am I under Your wrath?  It’s now that a rush of calm comes over me. I break into tears and remember that Jesus is full of grace. He has forgiven me from all my past, present, and future sin. I repeat, He HAS forgiven me from ALL my past, present, and future sin. He does not hold this against me, this guilt and shame are not from Him. At once, my mind calms. At once my mind is turned to “this is not about you, quit trying to fix it and wait patiently on God.”

Reflection

It would be almost another two to three years before I would see fully what God was orchestrating. In October 2016, HITOP LIFE was created. Since that morning in May of 2013, I have spoken on the topic of fear and anxiety half a dozen times to large audiences. I have mentored men of all ages in their bouts with fear. God asked me to wait on Him because the time had not yet come for me to do His work. I was in training. I was being refined, prepared, and equipped. Journaling reminds me of this. It reminds me of His sovereignty.

It Means Something

Tonight, as I write this to you, I am reading Psalm 40, nearly five years from the original entry.

I waited (past tense) for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in Him.
— Psalm 40 - NIV

My Promise Continues

The most frequent verse I read from 2010 to 2016 was Philippians 4:4-7.

Rejoice in the LORD always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The LORD is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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.
— Phillippians 4:4-7 - NIV

I will allow my gentleness to be evident to all. He is near me!  I will not be anxious for anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition I will present my requests to God and the peace of God which transcends understanding, will guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.  Knowing that God is guarding me, my heart and mind allows me the peace and comfort to sleep well.  He is my blessing.  He is my God. I will write about Him because He means something, He means EVERYTHING to me.

Prayerfully, 
Chris Hewitt
LOVE. LISTEN. LEAD