Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Breaking the Boomerang: Give It Up and Leave It Up

Why is it so hard sometimes to let go? I mean, really let go. Why do we so often give things up to God, only to turn around and take them right back? I realize that this is a pattern that I operate in entirely too much. It’s as if to say that I don’t feel that God is big enough or that He cares enough to handle a situation for me.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I am a worry warrior. I will latch on to something and I will gnaw that thing apart for days, weeks, months until there is nothing left. Yet even as I do it I know in my heart of hearts that I am not supposed to be doing this. I am supposed to be remembering that God is all-powerful and His outcome will be so much better than any that I can think up for myself.

The Word says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

That pretty much takes us down to brass tacks doesn’t it? There are over 300 different passages in scripture that tells us to not be afraid and not to worry - yet for some reason we can’t seem to help ourselves. As I am sitting here today, catching myself once again gnawing on a situation, I realize that the biggest enemy to my personal peace is my own assumption that I should take control and not wait to see what God does.  I am worrying about the outcome rather than trusting that all will work out according to God’s will.

You see, sometimes I think we forget just how big a deal we are to God. We forget that He is up there actually giving a hoot about what we do and where we go. He actually cares about every aspect of our lives. A lot of people don’t believe that and allow themselves to believe that God is only concerned with big picture rather than with the details.

The problem with that line of thinking is that the bible tells us the complete opposite.

Let’s take a look at Psalm 139:

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.

God knows when we open our eyes in the morning and has every step we take throughout the day accounted for.  There isn’t a single second of our existence that isn’t marked and recorded to Him. From the moment we take our first breath to the moment we release our last, He is aware of every breath in between.

Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

Nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, in our lives comes as a surprise to God. No tragedy, no blessing, no mundane occurrence happens without His awareness. This is a comfort to me, for it tells me that there is nothing I will ever face that He has not already fixed or planned to carry me through.  He has not been blindsided or caught unaware of what the enemy or human existence will bring my way.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.

How amazing is it that there is not a single atom in this universe that exists without His presence in it? I mean, think about that! In our limited, finite human capacity, there isn’t an inch of earth or space that can be reached where we can be separated from Him. When we go to the doctor’s examining room, He’s there. When we go to the grocery store, He’s there. When we go to the battlefield, He’s there. When we go the prison cells, He’s there. When we go to the playground with our children, He’s there. The highest peak of the mountains and the lowest caverns and tunnels in the earth - they are all saturated with Him.  I cannot be separated from my God (Romans 8:38-39).

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

There is not a situation that I will ever face where the light of His presence cannot penetrate.  There is nothing so dark and bleak that His Spirit and peace cannot find me.  I’ve described in posts past about the troubled, dark times I have walked through and in every one He has come to me. In every one I can tell you the moment when His refreshing light broke through the darkness to guide me through it. The enemy will try to convince us that there is no light at the end of the tunnel, that the tunnel itself is all we will ever know. What the enemy doesn’t want you to realize is that the tunnel can be lit up like the fourth of July in a moment’s notice when we call out to Jesus. We may not always be taken out of the situation, sometimes we have to stay in the tunnel, but He will light it up and guide us out.

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

Every cell and molecule, every atom of carbon that makes up my physical body was hand-crafted by a Master. My body is not perfect by human standards, but as I grew from the moment of conception, there was not a hair placed or freckle painted on me that wasn’t thought of by the Artist. He took His time, He has all of eternity after all, to craft my bones and muscles and skin. He took His time to mix the palette of colors that make up my eyes and skin and hair. His creative license far exceeds anything that we can comprehend, and it is my job to step back and appreciate the beauty of His handy-work.

Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

It says elsewhere in the Psalms that He neither sleeps nor slumbers concerning us (Psalm 121:3-4). He doesn’t forget to remember me. He knows what my tomorrow holds for me because He holds it in His hands. He doesn’t stop thinking about me! Every detail of my life is a concern to Him.

If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
    Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
They speak of you with evil intent;
    your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
    and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
    I count them my enemies.

I have come to a place in my life where I am no longer willing to compromise my stance of faith. I do not hate my fellow man; I hate sin and what it robs from those around me. I will boldly proclaim my allegiance to the most perfect, loving, beautiful God of the universe because He cares for me on a level that can barely be comprehended.  

Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

Offensive. That’s really what our anxious thoughts are. They are saying that even through all of this, even after all we know of Him that created us; we still doubt that He cares. We still doubt His reach. My prayer is just like David’s at the end of this Psalm. Lord, look for those anxious thoughts that I allow to take the place of your peace and trust in You and lead me away from them. Take the doubt and worry and replace it with faith and belief that all of these promises are true. Remind me, Father, that you know the number of hairs on my head and that You sincerely care about every minute of every day of my life (Luke 12:7).

When I sit here and think through all of this, I realize just how silly it is to take back the control from God. I realize that in the large scheme of things, the details and threads are just as important as the overall tapestry that makes up my life.

I think it’s time to stop worrying and simply start enjoying the day in front of me.

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If you or someone you know is in need of prayer, please email me at lanne485@gmail.com or leave a comment below (comments can be left anonymously) and I will pray for you. 


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