"I lean not on my own understanding, my life is in the hands of the Maker of heaven//I give it all to You, God, trusting that You'll make something beautiful out of me..."
I have probably started a blog post with these lyrics before, but I keep coming back to it. These are some of the words from a song called "Nothing I Hold On To" by Will Reagan and United Pursuit and it is a song that is always playing in some of the hardest and most confusing times for me. Today the words have been ringing in my heart over and over as the anxiety and worry subside.
It's amazing how one moment, comment, e-mail, text, call, thought, etc. can send us into a panicked frenzy, can unglue us, can make us question everything about our lives... Even though we sing every Sunday morning about how we have such a "Good, Good Father"and yet live as though it isn't true.
Isn't it ironic?
"And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm." Matthew 8:26 (ESV)
Oh, we of little faith!
We read over and over in His word about how God came through, every. single. time.
In HIS perfect way, in HIS perfect timing.
And we don't always like that as impatient, micromanagers who are use to the fast paced, "buy whatever it is you need" life.
But we were called to believe. To have faith. Such a simple concept, yet humanly difficult and a foundational part of our relationship with God.
I am so guilty of letting my panic set in 10x faster than my faith.
Of letting someone else's opinion, my own thoughts and worries, the world's perspective, even the facts of the matter, take over my heart and mind and overwhelm me to the point of anxiety and confusion, when the God of all creation is still here, still holding me, still listening, still being Himself, God.
How are we going to do the big, extraordinary things God has called us to do if we cannot trust Him and be faithful in the everyday, ordinary things? How is God going to use me to reach the lost and hurting, the trafficked, the enslaved, the abused, the suicidal, the possessed, the violent, when I worry over things like trying to graduate college on time, not knowing what lies ahead, family sickness, money, etc.? If I can't trust Him in those everyday things, how am I going to sit there and tell a girl who has been sexually abused by a family member that she needs to not worry? How am I going to preach the gospel, the truth and love of Jesus Christ, that He has a hope and future for everyone to someone who lost a spouse when I worry over little things?
It's time we have a change in perspective, a change in heart. It's time we wake up and remember what it means to believe in God. What it means to have FAITH in God.
At the school I work at there are so many examples of genuine faith in the children. Today one little pre-k kid got out of the line headed towards the classroom and started running towards the lunchroom. I stopped him and asked what he was doing and he, so matter-of-factly, told me that he was hungry so he thought he needed to go to lunch. After telling him it wasn't lunchtime yet and getting him back to his class, I thought about how funny it was that he thought he could just go to the lunchroom and there would automatically be food set up on the table for him.
I thought about this later and it made me realize again what Jesus meant about child-like faith. This child assumed that if he went to the lunchroom he would get what he needed. That the lunch lady or his teacher would get his food and he would sit down and eat till he was full. What if we were like that with our Father? What if we ran to His feet, to His word, and asked to be fed, to learn, to be given wisdom, faith, strength, hope, joy, peace, and comfort? If we went to Him automatically assuming He would answer our prayers and give us what we need, according to His will, in His perfect way and timing?
We must continually seek Him. We must pray for faith. We must give Him our every minute, hour, our daily, our monthly, yearly, truly give Him our whole life and all the uncertainties that may lie ahead.
We will grow up in our faith if we become child-like in it.
"And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3 (NIV)
I am not a parent, but I know that anyone who is a parent knows how a child completely depends on you and expects to get everything they need from you. In the same way, we need to completely depend on God, with no worry, but with assurance that He IS indeed a good Father and will give us all that we truly need and more.
Let's be children that trust our Father.
"But you, Israel, are my servant. You’re Jacob, my first choice, descendants of my good friend Abraham. I pulled you in from all over the world, called you in from every dark corner of the earth, telling you, ‘You’re my servant, serving on my side. I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’ Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you." Isaiah 41:8-10 (MSG)
"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
"But now, this is what the LORD says-- he who created you... he who formed you, Israel: "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." Isaiah 43:1 (NIV)
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” Luke 12:22-26
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
somewhere out there,