February 26, 2014: Spoon-feeding the Soul

~by Louis Templeman

have been suffering from relentless anxiety. Last night while talking to myself I voiced my fears. My wife said, “Do you realize how often you use the word ‘horrible’? Don’t you realize your heart listens to your mouth? Your subconscious self is taking notes. Your words could actually increase your fears.” With that said, she gave me homework. I was told to do some reading, chiefly Scripture, and edify myself. “Strengthen yourself against this anxiety. Feed your soul and mind something healthy. Stop saying everything is horrible.”

I had my orders. I was to spoon feed my sick soul. Not bad advice. I did just that the next day. About 1:00 p.m. I was feeling horrible. I had just opened the mail to discover I may have only five weeks to live in my house, due to foreclosure. I found a reference to legal services for the unfortunate homeowner, me, and made the call. In about twenty-four hours I will know if I have means to lengthen my stay. My wife has been trying to offset this difficulty by buying a home for us about ten miles away on a short sale. We have been dealing with her attempt to make the purchase for nine months. It’s been horrible. No joke.

Even if I had a stable home with two cats in the yard and flowers in attractive display I would still have huge troubles. This business of having to move soon with no place to go is really horri. . ., I mean really not nice. At 2:00 p.m. I returned to my reading. I chose the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s account. I found, surprisingly enough, some very appropriate words. I went into the reading with this question on my mind; does God really involve himself in matters such as housing? I am feeling lately like my pitiful situation and looming homelessness is my miserable problem. Not his.

God will feed the hungry overseas, receive the martyrs in troubled countries and help the illegals hide from U. S. Border Agents I thought but, actually help me get into decent housing? I know he will be with me when I set up a tent under a viaduct somewhere along the 295 bypass. For some reason I have confidence there. I won’t be alone in my horrible suffering. He will be there to improve my character through suffering.

The more I thought this way the more I wanted to give God the silent treatment. Nevertheless I found these words from the mouth of Jesus: “Blessed are the poor in spirit . . . . Blessed are those who mourn . Blessed . . .,” because, as I understand it, because God has them queued up for his help.

Then I found this: “. . . your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” I hope, in these promises, Jesus means he is going to break us off a piece of his bounty before too long. I want to embrace them but it is hard not to feel they are mocking me. A horrible thing to say, I know. Then I found even more extravagant promises:

. . . Do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. . . . Look at the birds of the air . . . your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value that they? . . . Consider the lilies of the field . . . they neither toil nor spin . . . . Therefore do not be anxious. . . . But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow . . . .

So that is where I will stand. It would be a horrible thing if I could not believe such wonderful promises.

~Louis Templeman

Louis writes from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his old friend and wonderful bride, Joy. They transformed their friendship into the sacrament of marriage on August 30, 2012. They share their home with two self-absorbed, playful, twin cats (Flo and Jet) and one very allusive and arrogant cat named D.

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