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Audio Credit: http://www.eckiefriar.com

Part 1 Undoing the Way We See Things Now

Lesson 47 God is the strength in which I trust.

  1. If you are trusting in your own strength, you have every reason to be apprehensive, anxious, and fearful. What can you predict or control? What is there in you that can be counted on? What would give you the ability to be aware of all the facets of any problem, and to resolve them in such a way that only good can come of it? What is there in you that gives you the recognition of the right solution, and the guarantee that it will be accomplished?
  2. Of yourself you can do none of these things. to believe that you can is to put your trust where trust is unwarranted, and to justify fear, anxiety, depression, anger, and sorrow. Who can put his faith in weakness and feel safe? Yet who can put his faith in strength and feel weak?
  3. God is your safety in every circumstance. His voice speaks for Him and all situations and in every aspect of all situations, telling you exactly what to do to call upon His strength and His protection. There are no exceptions because God has no exceptions. and the voice which speaks for Him thinks as He does.
  4. Today we will try to reach past your own weakness to the source of real strength. Four five-minute practice periods are necessary today, and longer and more frequent ones are urged. Close your eyes and begin, as usual, by repeating the idea for the day.  Then spend a minute or two in searching for situations in your life which you have invested with fear, dismissing each one by telling yourself:  God is the strength in which I trust.
  5. Now try to slip past all concerns related to your own sense of inadequacy. It is obvious that any situation that causes you concern is associated with feelings of inadequacy, for otherwise you would believe that you could deal with the situation successfully. It is not by trusting yourself that you will gain confidence. but the strength of God in you is successful in all things.
  6. The recognition of your own frailty is a necessary step in the correction of your errors, but it is hardly a sufficient one in giving you the confidence which you need, and to which you are entitled. You must also gain an awareness that confidence in your real strength is fully justified in every respect and in all circumstances.
  7. In the latter phase of the practice period, try to reach down into your mind to a place of real safety.  You will recognize that you have reached it if you feel a sense of deep peace, however briefly. Let go all the trivial things that churn and bubble on the surface of your mind and reach down and below them to the Kingdom of heaven.  There is a place in you where there is perfect peace. There is a place in you where nothing is impossible. There is a place in you where the strength of God abides.
  8. During the day repeat the idea often.  Use it as your answer to any disturbance.  Remember that peace is your right, because you were giving your trust to the strength of God. [1]
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Notes and Personal Application (2019):  God is the strength in which I trust.  These feelings of boredom with A Course in Miracles, God is the strength in which I trust.  These feelings of being inadequate to write Grover Good and the Stone Chateau, God is the strength in which I trust.  These feelings of being unable to be a good friend and to love people properly, God is the strength in which I trust.  These feelings of not being able to forgive people for how they have hurt or disappointed me, God is the strength in which I trust.  These feelings of being afraid of growing old and no longer that interesting, just being a boring person and not wanting to do anything, God is the strength in which I trust.  Three minutes of sinking to the kingdom of God within, that place of perfect peace…God is the strength in which I trust to arrive home safely.  God is the strength in which I trust that I can handle all that this world throws at me.  God is the strength in which I trust my marriage and my love relationships with.  God is the strength in which I trust to heal all broken relationships.  God is the strength in which I trust to grow old in wisdom, health, wealth, joy, and happiness.  God is the strength in which I trust to protect me from all evil – from burglars, rapists, wild animals, stinkbugs, and killers.  God is the strength in which I trust to protect me from all diseases, harmful bacteria and germs, evil intentions, lies and back stabbings, ill will, and evil plots in all forms and from all sources.   God is the strength in which I trust.

Notes and Personal Application 2020:  Loving the fact that having our morning coffee has become associated with devotions and sharing our Course lesson for the day.  After prayer and reading the idea for today, we did the first exercise.  I set my watch timer for two minutes and we set about thinking of situations in which we have invested with fear.  I had to use some old fears because I could not think of too many new ones.  One fear was of getting fat (I should say fatter.) My fear stems from being fat as a child and being teased, mocked, and scorned for it within my family.  Nobody else gave me a hard time about it, just the ones I loved and trusted to defend me.  Identifying with them, I really have a hard time with my obesity or anyone else’s for that matter!  So today I used my fear of obesity to remind myself that God is my strength.  It’s not just obesity that I am afraid of – it is the fear of everything that I associate with obesity – the difficulty in getting up and down the stairs, the tight squeeze behind the wheel of my pretty red sportscar, sore feet, double chin, and wheezing, being mocked or lectured about how much I eat. God is my strength. 

When the timer went off, I reset the timer for three minutes in which we used to go to the inner peace.  Letting go of all the things that churned and bubbled on the surface of my mind, I did my best to get past all that and to that perfect peace and certainty of God and His strength.  My biggest hurdle after all that fear of obesity was in not focusing on what I was going to prepare for our breakfast.  I kid you not!  All I could seem to think about was the leftover steak we had in the meat tray of the fridge and how I could cut that up into strips and fry it in butter with onion and that leftover baked potato and put some eggs on top of it.  But I just laughed about it and reminded myself that God does not judge me for being human and having these compelling drives and so I shouldn’t judge myself either!  I am seeking and I will find. 

God is my strength.  My desire for and near obsession with food may seem a trifling thing to fear, but nevertheless it loomed large in my mind today and so I reminded myself often – God is my strength.  My love and trust in God will give me what I need – always.  He is my strength. 

When I trust in my own strength, I have every reason to be worried.  My metabolism is slowing down with age; nearly all the functions that I am called to and enjoy doing require long periods of focus, concentration, and sitting, and yet my drive for food seems to be increasing.  Any diet and exercise plan that I try to follow makes me feel cheated, despondent, and antagonistic after a while.  There is nothing in me that points to the right solution or provides me with any guarantee that it will work. 

In other words, I cannot keep up the fight against obesity in my life.  To believe that I can, Jesus says, is to put my trust where trust is unwarranted, and I will experience fear, anxiety, depression, anger, and sorrow.  It is impossible to put my faith in my ego’s resolve, in my own flailing determinations and vanity, yes, vanity, and win. 

Today, Jesus says, we will try to reach past our own weakness to the Source of real strength.  I shared the struggle of it with James, even though he did not want to share any of his own insights or processes.  I did this with a sense of courage, because I was up against two ego challenges by sharing:  Number one, he might say, “Oh, you don’t have to worry about obesity and that is nothing to fear,” therefore discounting my truth telling by making light of it. “ I will love you, no matter how fat you are,” he could say.  And of course that wouldn’t be the point of this exercise, would it?  Or he may respond by giving me a lecture (as he is known to do on such matters) about how I need to go hungry and exercise more…

I am no saint; I would probably respond by telling him to practice what he preaches and pointing out his pot belly, and that is not the point of this exercise either.  But I shut down the fear of opening up, stressing that this was the fear that came to me today in our exercise and that I used it to remember the lesson idea.  We talked about how acceptable it seems to blame obesity on lack of willpower, character, and determination, and yet leaving God out of the equation in our efforts to combat it does lead to feelings of ongoing deprivation in order to “win” a battle that is going to end in death anyway.  This would certainly account for the sadness and depression I experience after following any disciplinary plan to reign in my appetite and get more exercise. 

Jesus tells us today that it is not by trusting in my self that I will gain the confidence I need, but by trusting in God as my strength.  This is my entitlement, Jesus says. 

I began to understand a concept then that has always baffled me.  Religious people in my life are quick to remind themselves and others to “give glory to God.”  Compliment them or remark about something good about their person, and they’ll say, “It’s not me, it’s God!”  I have often wondered what kind of egotistical deity they thought God was, that He would always demand credit for every little thing no matter how hard one would work to accomplish or accumulate or earn.  Not that I resent giving God credit where credit is due, but honestly if I clean my house and someone tells me that I am a good housekeeper, can I not just say “thank you,” instead of giving God the glory? 

But today I realized it is not God seeking glory and credit and putting us down to lift Himself up.  Jesus is telling us a simple truth.  Without God we can do nothing but flail and fail.  We have made a world apart from Him.  We have made bodies with drives that will get them into trouble!  We are never entirely happy with our bodies – they are always lacking in one way or another and will end up in the grave.  We have made warring systems that promise to bring healing and peace while extorting us for unending donations, taxes, tithes, offerings, and sacrifices – turning us upon one another to the death.  While we jealously guard our little treasures, moths, rust, thieves, and the government come to swipe it away.  We have made a world that is upside down, a shadowland of God’s Kingdom and we have every justification to fear because it is a world with a foundation built upon what is not love, and so it is nothing.  When we say God is the strength in which I trust, we are saying, This world cannot make me afraid.  My body cannot make me afraid.  I am not in charge.  God is the strength in which I trust. 


[1] A Course in Miracles. Workbook for Students. Lesson 47 God is the strength…Foundation of Inner Peace, Second Edition. (1992). pp. 75-76.