1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)
Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares for you.”
Last week’s article, Broken, reminded me of an article that I had originally written around six years ago. It’s just as true today, so here it is republished …
You know, when people ask you, “how are you?” you will often hear – or give – the answer, “I’m fine,” or “I’m ok, thanks.” Don’t you wonder what that actually means?
For me, “I’m fine” means something like this …
“Well, thank you for asking, but are you asking about my physical, mental, emotional or spiritual well-being?”
“If you are asking about my physical well-being, I’m great, thanks – really well. Although I do get the odd niggle every now and again – mainly in my shoulders and neck, sometimes my back, and sometimes elsewhere. My knees aren’t as good as they used to be – especially the left one, which feels a little weak at times – especially if I go running. I can’t run as far or as fast as I used to be able to, and if I overdo it I can get an ache in my calves, which have been strained by too much running in the past. I don’t have the energy I used to have, and I seem to need an awful lot of sleep – at least 8 hours or more a night. Even then, I sometimes wake up a little bit tired. My blood pressure is far too high – which I have ignored for years – and I trust that it won’t cause me problems with my health in the future. I seem to have a really good immune system – I don’t get head colds very often at all – although I do seem to get the odd cold sore when others around me have colds or sniffles, or even the flu. Other than that, my physical well-being is great, thank you.”
“If you are asking about my mental well-being, I’m great, thanks – really well. I am blessed that I haven’t succumbed to depression, although there are times in my life when I have been really low, it hasn’t become a problem, and on the whole I am really positive. I can be a little anxious at times, and even neurotic, and do have a degree of OCD. (Just going to wash my hands now, and check that I put the oven off this morning. Joke!) My OCD isn’t a problem – at least for me – and nobody else has mentioned it, so I guess it’s not really a problem for anyone else either. Other than that, my mental well-being is great, thank you.”
“If you are asking about my emotional well-being, I’m ok, thanks. Not great, just ok. My personality is that of an eternal optimist. For me, the glass isn’t half empty; it isn’t even half full! It’s completely full – half with liquid, half with air! However, at times I get a bit down – not enough to be depressed – but just a little down in the dumps. I get lonely at times, which I find a struggle, and that gets me down. I spend a lot of time crying, and crying out to God! In many respects I have made a bit of a mess of my life (actually, a huge understatement). I had some really bad habits that I struggled with, but are now under control – praise God, because it is only through Him that I have been delivered from them. I have a number of hurts from the past, that still haunt me at times, and a few hang-ups that I struggle still to deal with. I really have to work hard to get over myself at times! I find it difficult to laugh – really laugh – because of the under-current of sadness and loneliness I feel in my life, and there are only a very few people that I have had the privilege of feeling close enough to and feel safe enough with to be myself, and to laugh and really enjoy myself without having to worry about what they think of me. I have a number of flaws, faults and failures, that have caused me to flounder throughout my life; and I am constantly aware of them, and at times struggle to cope with. I get cross with traffic, when it’s too slow; I get frustrated sometimes at the lack of progress in my own life; I knew I shouldn’t have prayed that God would give me patience – He just keeps giving me more and more opportunity to develop patience in myself! Aaaargh! So, other than that, my emotional well-being is ok, thank you.”
“If you are asking about my spiritual well-being, I’m also ok, thanks. I have a strong faith – very strong, in fact. I truly believe, without any doubt whatsoever, that I have been saved: released from my old life and old habits, redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, reformed through the Word of God and the transforming of my mind, and that I am being restored. I am impatient at times, and struggle with the restoration bit! It has been a slow process, and one I feel that is continuing – slowly – very slowly – too slowly. You get my drift? I shouldn’t have prayed for patience! At times, because of my impatience, I do struggle to trust in God’s promise of restoration. I have complete faith in God, but sometimes a faltering faith in His promise to me personally. I sometimes struggle to hear God, to know what He would have me do – in specific situations and in my life generally. I struggle to read the Bible every day! But I do speak to God constantly throughout the day – even if it’s to ask for forgiveness for my impatience as I get cross with slow traffic! I feel that I am growing spiritually, but still feel a complete novice and completely out of my depth at times. I pray constantly and fervently about certain things and situations, and struggle when there is no change in those situations. And that’s hard at times. But then I remember what God HAS done in my life, and those things and situations that He clearly had a hand in dealing with, and how different life is now compared to even just a few years ago. So, as for my spiritual well-being – it’s ok, thank you.”
So, now you know! The next time you ask me, “How are you?” I will give you the short answer, not the long one: “I’m fine, thanks for asking.”
How are you?
May we pray: Thank You, Lord, that know our struggles; you know how we really feel when we say to people, ‘I’m fine!’ Lord, You know what that really means. Thank You that we can hand our worries over to You, and that You will care for us. We ask this in the precious name of our Saviour, Christ Jesus; Amen.
If you’re struggling right now, we would like to pray for you – please get in touch. Don’t feel as though you have to battle alone – Jesus wants to take your worries, and He wants to care for you. May God Bless You.
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