“And we know
that all things work together
to them that love God,
who are the called
according to his purpose.”
This week seems overwhelming. Two schools, three English classes three kids clubs, one bus ministry, an entire center to keep up, and various other things to do. Sure I'm not doing it alone, praise the Lord I'm not the one managing the care of the center, that is too much for any one person. I have my whole team around me. Still it seems overwhelming. There is constantly things falling apart around me, a leak in the wall of my room is a constant reminder that things are not always ideal. My family has it's own struggles that I can only catch bits and pieces of.
This verse is the fridge magnet, book mark, wall hanging, in every bible promise book, A-typical christian verse. I may be in a bit of a funk because I'm tired and feeling like I have accomplished far less than I wanted today, but my heart has become dull in understanding this verse. Yes I don't feel like everything is working for good. Right about now I feel like everything is working to show all my faults, failings and inabilities. To show how much less I am than everyone else.
And maybe that is what God wants in a way, to remind me that I am not supposed to be carrying all of this on my back. That I am not the key and sole piece needed for this ministry. To let me fall on my face when I try to do it alone so that I can find out I was never the one doing it in the first place. Feeling overwhelmed is simply the symptom of being in the mindset that I'm the one in charge and responsible for everything going smoothly.
Today I need to know that I'm not the one who is in control.
That's what all this comes down to, the struggle for control. You know the verse that says “Be still and know that I am God.” Can be better translated “take your hands off, and know that I am God.” In other words stop trying to manipulate every situation.
It all comes down to trust, when I ask someone for help I have to trust them to do what I ask. However if I'm constantly hovering over their shoulder watching their every move than I surely am not letting them help, and I'm frustrating them with my own anxiety.
I can do the same with God sometimes and imagine I am the one managing my own life and think of God as my staff. Now I recoil to think that I would ever assume such a position, yet my anxiety and actions prove that is what I'm doing.
Here's the good news about all of this, as much as I overlook the meaning of this verse most days I don't have to today.
This verse says that those who love God, God will work everything together for good to them. That immediately confronts and challenges my heart. Why? Because I know love is not just a feeling, it is an action. What is love? I've heard it said love is putting another's needs before your own. Love in this case is obedience. God desires obedience through faith. Not through our own striving, but through belief in the finished work of Christ, and as we believe in all He did we cannot help but be changed by it. For “the commands of the Lord are not burdensome to those who love him.”
“And to them that are the called according to his purpose.” The called, who are the called? The called is every person. The gospel of Christ is to every person and God calls every person to repent and be saved through Christ. What can I derive from this verse? God is working everything to the salvation of souls. How does that affect me? Everything I am going through has meaning, there is no wasted tears, no wasted pain, no wasted sorrow, no wasted grief.
God is sanctifying me through each situation, or using it to bring me or another person closer to Him.
What does this mean? This means I don't need to be anxious about anything. Even if what I deem to be the very worst thing that could happen happens I can know that in God's eyes it is the best. I have a finite view, He an infinite. When everything seems to be falling apart it's actually falling into place, even though I can't see how.
I confessed to God that I had been trying to do things in my own strength, and asked for him to be my strength instead. Each day this week until Sunday I will make a point to recognize my need before God for his help, strength, and trust him to provide the words and discernment for each situation I am worried about arising.