“I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
Isaiah 55:8 (The Message)
I love how God is so personal. I love that God wants me to grow even more than I want to grow. And I love that He takes the gentle approach to teach me.
This past summer, God has invited me to take some truths I already knew from head knowledge to heart knowledge. It takes time for that transition to fully form roots and a permanent change to occur, and God knew I had a little extra time this summer to practice.
I’ve been learning that control is an illusion. If God doesn’t try to control us but offers us free will, how much more should I respect those I love and not try to control them either? I’ve also learned to embrace joy and choose to create intentional “happy” memories whenever possible. Life is meant to be enjoyed and when I choose to create moments of “joy” in the lives of those I love, I please God.
The last truth God wants cemented into my heart is that worry/fear is sin. It’s not just a bad habit. It’s not just a negative emotion. It’s sin. Time to call it out for what it is. It’s also a choice. When I choose to worry or live in a state of fear, I’m telling God I don’t trust Him. Is that really what I want to tell the God of the Universe? The God who created everything? When I worry or allow my mind to focus on fearful thoughts, I’m essentially saying, “God, I know You created everything around me – from the solar system to the intricate details of flowers, animals and even my digestive system. But, my finances (insert your worry here), health or relationships – I’m not sure if You have an answer good enough to solve THAT problem I’m facing.”
Kind of sounds a little silly when put that way, doesn’t it? If God can speak, not have to draw it out on a whiteboard first to make sure all the details fit, but if God can speak or just think the thought without speaking outloud and the solar system aligns or the world is created in six days, why do I think He can’t take care of whatever issue I’m facing in life?
For me, it’s always been more a matter of Does He want to? Will He answer the way I WANT my problem answered or will He answer in a way that hurts, disappoints or brings pain?
God loves us, plain and simple. He desires good things for His children and wants to bless us. But, just as with our earthly children, sometimes what is “good” for us doesn’t always look good from our perspective. Getting cavities filled, getting stitches or having an operation doesn’t “feel good”, but in ways our kids don’t understand, it’s what’s best for them.
As the verse above states, we will never have the wisdom and understanding God does this side of Heaven. Therefore, we need to choose to trust. Trust that even when outcomes aren’t as we desired (sickness, debt, death, catastrophes, natural disasters, crime) we can trust God still loves us, He is still in control and He can bring good from the pain.
Worry is sin. Fear is sin. God deserves nothing less than our complete trust. There is no one else I would rather trust than Him. And I would rather live my life with joy, trusting God, than filled with worry about things that may never even end up happening.
I’m a work in progress. I didn’t realize how much I pepper my conversations with “I’m worried, I’m scared, I’m ‘concerned’” or how much that speech is prevalent among Christians in general until God opened my eyes and showed me. God reminded this summer if I choose to live in worry/fear, I’m choosing to sin. Living a life of trust is more peaceful but definitely takes practice. When I remember the promise which states God ultimately loves me and wants to bless me, regardless of what situations I’m facing, it makes trusting Him easier and choosing to take worry out of the equation doable.
I’m making that choice – what choice do you want to make?
© Cheri Swalwell 2018