Resolve to Make Your Chin Shrink
I resolve to make my chin shrink.
Well, in a roundabout way. Some people get high blood pressure when they're stressed. That's too normal for me; my worry goes to my jaw. My muscles tighten, and this tightening has recently produced hard, visible knots in the muscles around my chin. As I type, the lower section of my chin is bulging. I saw a specialist, and even she had never seen anything like it before. It looks rather funny, and it's making me laugh—but I'm also taking it as one of God's reminders.
Resolution: I will worry less about my circumstances. I will turn my problems over to God instead of trying to handle them on my own.
I wouldn't even have to pause to name the circumstances in my life that keep me awake at night. Fear is the white magic marker that reveals all the hidden colors of my heart. It shows me what I prize and what I trust; my affections, desires, loyalties, and idols are naked in its light. What do your fears say about your treasure and your security?
What is the first question I ask. The second is why. Edward Welch put it well in Running Scared: "There's that question that undergirds so much worry: Why am I so concerned about me?" (p. 180). That one strikes deep, doesn't it?
Paula talked about the answer to my anxious fixation with circumstances and self in her latest video blog. Beauty is the only remedy potent enough to counter my anxiety about my problems:
Worry scans the universe looking for more worries to accumulate; it needs to be directed to what is most important.... Beauty is just what worry needs. Worry's magnetic attraction can only be broken by a stronger attraction, and David is saying we can only find that attraction in God himself." (Running Scared, pp. 152, 154)
Look at the moon. Examine a raindrop. Watch the flames dance in your fireplace. And as you do, reflect on the Word of the One who created all beauty. Some of my go-to chapters for a change in perspective are Job 38–42, where God describes His absolute uniqueness and glory. I'm never more carefree than when I'm absorbed in meditating on the beauty of our King.
We can hardly talk about God's beauty without mentioning praise as well; doesn't loveliness always compel a spontaneous response of admiration?
I received some very practical advice from a dear friend the other day. She said, "Linds, you're thinking about this situation too much. When you start to worry, stop and sing instead." So simple, and so helpful. My mind flew to several supporting Scriptures. One was Philippians 4. Verses 4–7 urge me to:
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The reasons to rejoice and thank Him just don't stop—it's no accident that the promise of God's peace is couched in three commands to praise Him. He's beautiful, He's kind, He's our Father, and He cares for me with profound, holy affection. There's a subject worth singing about if I've ever heard one.
I'm massaging my still-abnormally large chin and smiling. All my tense attempts at problem-solving have always been in vain—and He is always so worth praising. He's giving me peace enough for each day... and with the Holy Spirit and the help of a sock filled with warm rice, I'm keeping my facial muscles relaxed.
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