Sometimes it seems as though the same old things are swirling around me day in and day out trying their best to steal my joy, trying their best to make me doubt God’s goodness and his prayer answering power. I ask and ask and this stuff of life just keeps coming at me. What do I do? Where do I go? How do I balance prayer and not worrying?
I have family things that keep me concerned, a sister who is blind and pretty much bedridden without a lot of help. I have a nephew who just cannot seem to get it right and has been in jail more than he has been out. My daughter struggles with an Autoimmune disorder that she must be on Chemotherapy for, good friends with cancer and the list could go on. In other words, stuff, weighty thought-provoking things. They want to steal my joy, these things of life try to tie themselves to my garments (so to speak) and make me look more at them and their size than I do at God.
Is there a fine line with being concerned and going to the Lord in prayer and carrying them each and every moment of the day, Yes, there is! Scripture tells us that God wants to hear from us, he wants us to unload the stuff of life into his capable hands and wait for him to do what he does best, handle it, answer it, move us through it.
God has it all, the ups and downs, the sickness and troubles. He is master over everything. He already has a plan set in motion and his desire is that we turn to him and unload the burdensome stuff. He longs to make our burden light and the path clearer. He wants us to surrender our will, way and wants to his will, way and wants.
1 John 5:14 “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
1 Chronicles 16:11 “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.”
I have found that when I look to the Lord, the mountains of stuff in my life diminish. My strength is renewed and the stuff of life seems lighter, manageable, taken care of. My mind stops lingering on the negative and starts focusing on the positive. Hope rises in my mind, soul and very being. I get excited at what God is doing in these lives that I was once weighted down with concern for. Why? Because he has a plan for their lives, He loves them and He longs to be their everything. He will do whatever he needs to do to bring them to the next place that he wants them. And just like my life, If they are still here, he is still working and they are in the best place they could ever be.
The stuff of life never looks or feels like I think it should (which is a good thing) because I am looking through my eyes and heart, my human perspective much of the time. I need to focus on Jesus, every moment of every day. I need to surrender my stuff to the Lord daily if need be and I need to remember his faithfulness in my life and all the answered prayers that are already behind me; then I will trust, walk in faith for this new yet the same stuff and I will find my faith growing and that of the ones he is working in.
So, when I feel this troubled stuff of life I pray, James 5:13 “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.”
The last part of this verse is what I love to be and to do, Be happy and sing and worship Jesus…He is love, He is the answer…He is….(you fill in the blanks), because He is whatever you need…I promise!