by Christine Brown

Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.
-Jim Elliot

Don’t strain your eyes to see the future –
for you will not be able to see clearly what God wants you to see now.

-Elisabeth Elliot

Looks like the Elliots had a good handle on contentment…living life to the fullest. It sounds like they didn’t worry much. I’ve a note written in the back of my Bible that our pastor mentioned in a message: “If you worry, your view of God is that He is not there”.

Wow. When fear invades thoughts, do I believe that God is there?

My husband and I were saying that other day that this Air Force life is one of extremes. Extremely adventurous and exciting things…extremely hard things.

I have to admit, sometimes I find my thoughts in these places:

  • fear of the future
  • fear of deployment
  • fear of having to handle life ALONE
  • fear of failure in being all my son will need me to be
  • fear of the danger in flying
  • fear of the unknown
  • fear of moving overseas
  • fear of moving across the country by myself

I am sure that your fears are very different from mine. Perhaps you’re worrying about needing a job, singleness, or other strains are bearing down on you.

When stormy thoughts and imaginations of what things could possibly be like come, it drains you. You can’t “see clearly what God wants you to see today”. You miss out on HERE and NOW. I am not the wife my husband needs me to be, or the mommy that my son needs when my thoughts are out there getting lost in worry.

Fear is abuse of the imagination as you picture worst that can happen, when the best may very well be what is in store.

So many times I want to know what is down the road. I am a very organized person—planning is essential. Right now we don’t even know what is 4 months down the road!  Will my husband be off training somewhere without us? Will my son and I be able to go along? Will he be in survival training which is pretty much a horrible time? Will we still be living in here or moving very soon after graduation? What state or country will we be living in next?

I think that if we knew the future, we would faint at the very thought of it. If I had known what 2008 would be like I would have most likely had a nervous breakdown!

But here’s what God’s Word says…

…and as thy days, so shall thy strength be. (Deuteronomy 33:25)

God gives strength for each day when that day comes, not beforehand. What a realization this was! When saying goodbye comes on a deployment day, I will have strength for that day. When I have to handle life alone, I will have strength for that day. If we move overseas, I will have strength for that day. And not only for these big things in life, but in everything HE GIVES STRENGTH! What a promise from God!

Are we assured that we are safe in the hands that hold the stars? Can we wholeheartedly surrender to God, leaving quietly with Him all of our ‘what ifs’ and ‘but what abouts’? ALL can rest quietly in His very capable hands.
-Elisabeth Elliot

In my flower garden, some plants have been flowering beautifully while some are bent over, brown, dried up. How disappointing the brown ones are! I have put such time, attention and love into those little seeds, then the little plants, watching them grow and practically cheering them on. It was so exciting to think of how beautiful all the different types of flowers will be!  Now, pitiful describes them best.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Bloom where you are planted.”  I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.

Am I blooming right here, right now, where I am planted? Am I bringing beauty into my little corner of the world? Or am I dried up and pitiful from the strain of worry? Am I a disappointment to God, to Him who has planted me here? Is He looking down thinking…”how beautiful you could have been!”

As I’ve been reflecting on life and where God has us right now I am realizing more than ever that I need to leave EVERYTHING in His hands. Worrying and becoming fearful will accomplish only one thing. It will steal my joy. It will filter out the beauty and only allow the negative is seen. It will prevent me from living life to the fullest today.

I can rest in Him and find joy in the everyday things of life. In where I am right now—even with all of the uncertainties of the future. My eyes are not clouded by worry anymore. God has a perfect plan that only HE could plan so wonderfully! Whatever comes our way will have gone through His hand first. Nothing can touch us without God being a part of it. I can trust Him…in all things. Life is beautiful.

My name is Christine Brown and I’m 24 years old.  The love of my life is a pilot in the Air Force, and we have a 1 year old boy, Tyler.  Some of my interests include decorating, cooking, photography, and scrapbooking.  Loving God more and loving others as He did is my continual pursuit.

photography copyright Philip Ivester, 2007

7 Comments

  1. Kirsten C. says:

    “…as thy days, so shall thy strength be.” Thank you so much for sharing this verse, Elisabeth Elliot’s quotes, and your thoughts – I’m blessed!

  2. Reading your article made me feel so relieved, as if I had dropped a heavy burden that I didn’t know was so heavy on my heart: worry. I just have started visiting the YLCF site, and I like what I see so far. Thank you so much for your encouragement.

  3. Dealing with job trouble, health problems and an unknown future that I can’t plan all in the course of a year has made your words especially welcome today.

  4. Thanks for this post. It is so refreshing. I am going through this now. I am trying not to worry about my future. Its a constant battle.

  5. wow – awesome post!!!!!! Thank you!!! bloom where you are planted… great encouragement. i love those elliott quotes!!
    God bless!

  6. That first quote by EE — so poignant. Great thoughts here. I’m guessing they are very timely thoughts for many, many YLCF readers. Nice to “meet” you and thanks for sharing your heart with us.

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