John #62, John 12.35
We say we trust God. And we believe it too. Why, we can easily quote Proverbs 3, verses 5 and 6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.
Okay, good. Perfect. Except the anxiety is still in the pit of our stomachs.
Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going, Jesus said here in John 12. And so I reasoned with myself. I prayed and thought about it: are we really trusting God if we have the physical manifestations of something far different in our bodies? Anxiety, sleepless nights, etc. Huh.
You know, we talk about leaving our worries and concerns at the foot of the Cross; we talk about carrying our adult children who are far from God to the Cross; then there is our heartache, those we need to forgive, that which is threatening to break us down . . .
But why put them at the foot of the cross? It is symbolic of giving our concerns to God. When we bring our cares to our Father, he is moved to compassion. When we offer our prayers to him, he hears and he answers.
I am reminding myself regularly that it takes the same amount of energy to worry as it does to pray. But worry leads to panic, while prayer leads to peace. I must choose wisely!
Thinking about this last night, I went to my backyard to retrieve an old rough-hewn cross that my friend John had built for my street ministry days in Long Beach. It is really heavy, but there is something kinda beautiful about putting my right shoulder under the crossbeam and carrying that old cross. Then I maneuvered it into my car to take down to T.H.R.I.V.E. this morning - our outdoor gathering to draw people together and to Jesus. (picture from this morning above)
Here’s what I know: when we remember the immense greatness of our God, we will be more apt to really trust him. Our minds cannot truly grasp his enormity, but here is a link to a short read that will help: http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?article=4686.
I do like the thought of understanding God strictly through what he has said about himself, including Isaiah 55.9 - “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
~By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. Psalm 33:6
~He counts the number of the stars; he calls them all by name. Psalm 147:4
~He has made the earth by his power, he has established the world by his wisdom, and has stretched out the heavens at his discretion. Jeremiah 10:12
“Okay, okay, I get it. I remember,” she said. “You’re totally right; God is not just good but he is powerful and mighty.”
“So why not give yourself totally to him? Not just your cares and all that, but your desires, your will, your future. That is what James meant when he said,
“Submit to God.” James 4.7. It is what Paul meant when he said in Romans 12 we are to present ourselves as a living sacrifice.
We are meant to surrender our all to him.
Wave the White Flag!
That is when he carries us.
That is when he carries what concerns us,
the very reason Jesus taught us to pray, “THY will be done.”
There is such peace in that. There is such comfort, knowing that the all-knowing, almighty, all-loving God of eternity has us; we are not alone, and we need no longer struggle.
I am smiling as I type this last verse to give to you, remembering that when you:
Delight yourself in the Lord,
He will give you the desires of your heart.
Therefore, we commit [surrender] our way to him.
Trust in him and he will do it. Psalm 37.4-5
And the crowd went wild.