Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:6, NIV*
Sunday morning I watched the blowing snow and thought about the 6-hour bus ride Wise Guy Son had booked for that afternoon to go back to university. The route includes a section of highway noted for its whiteout conditions.
I knew I could spend the whole day fretting about his safety, and the only thing I’d gain would be muscle tension. Been there, done that.
It took several times of consciously stopping to commit the situation back into God’s hands (and to remember that the bus driver is a trained professional who presumably dislikes death and lawsuits) but I was able to join in morning worship instead of worrying, and to relax in the afternoon instead of checking road conditions online.
The bus reached its destination safely and almost on schedule, and I’m praising God for the answer to prayer but also for the progress He’s making in my heart.
Usually my prayer is something like, “See the problem, God? Please help.”
I thank Him for His power and love, and for being with us. I thank Him for the plans He’s already made, that whatever the situation is has not caught Him by surprise. But I keep aware of the problem.
Now I see a bit more to the “with thanksgiving” part of today’s verse. I need to thank Him with expectation that He will act. Not to decide how He’ll act, because that’s His call. But after committing the need to Him, I need to stop looking at it and trust Him.
He reinforced the lesson by not bringing this devotional together until Tuesday mid-afternoon. I schedule them to post early Wednesday mornings, and this particular week has no time Tuesday evening to write.
He’s been giving me a Wednesday devotional thought every week since He nudged me to start blogging in March of 2008. It’s not usually this close to the line, though.
My prayer wasn’t “Lord, do You have something to say?” so much as “Lord, help me not to miss what You say.” Still, there was a definite choice to make. Would I go through the day reminding Him of my need, or would I look expectantly for His reply?
To me, there’s a difference. The first way still has the tension, the uncertainty. The second has a confidence that God will do what He planned, even if I don’t see it yet.
Father God, Your plans for us are good, and You love us. We don’t always like what happens to us, nor do You. But You are our Creator and Sustainer, and Your patient grace teaches us to trust You. Give us the confidence to pray with thanksgiving and with expectation that You have heard… and that You will act. Thank You for your grace.
Here’s another song from the newsboys that expresses our confidence: “Strong Tower” from their Devotion CD.
*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Thank you for the reminder that we can always come to God in confidence and expectation.
It’s such a comfort, as well as a source of hope!
“Do not be anxious about ANYTHING” is such a challenge in this world where everything can seem to go wrong…. Yet, in the seeming ‘wrongness’, God has a rightness of working His ways in our hearts…. And then to think, we won’t be able to figure it all out until we reach our heavenly home…. God knows how to make us grow in the areas only He can see that need growing…. He is the God of many miracles.
Thank you for this post.
“God has a rightness of working His ways in our hearts” — Amen, Margaret. It’s all about trusting God even if the circumstances aren’t what we’d choose.
This is such a good Word, Janet, for any time, but one that lots of us are probably relating to even more in this particular season.
Thanks, Mary. And yes, between weird local weather and international news, lots of us are in the same space. But God is with us.