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The windows were down low. It was the kind of day where the weather perfectly cooperated, neither too hot nor too cold, so I drove around with my elbow hanging out of the window. The pleasure of the sunshine on my face and the breeze whipping through my hair barely penetrated my thoughts, though, for they were occupied with many other things.
There are many ways, big and small, to let the joy get ripped out of our lives. This particular day I was doubting the path God has me on, but the truth is it could’ve been any number of things. Relationships, money, weight, performance, work, kids, politics, church, past failings, you name it – they all have the ability to pull us out of the beauty of the moment and throw us into an ocean of doubt, fear and even self-loathing. We come up sputtering with anger, or get swept up into waves of emotions that threaten to swallow us whole.
I had music playing in the background on that particular morning. Somehow a line from a song shot out like an arrow and penetrated my thoughts. Hillsong United sang, “God of Your promise, You don’t speak in vain. No syllable empty or void.” It struck me, and like a flood many, many scriptures came to mind:
“The word of the Lord is flawless” (2 Samuel 22:31). “The unfolding of Your words gives light” (Psalm 119:130). “For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does” (Psalm 33:4) “Heaven and Earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
God speaks over and over and over again about His faithfulness. The Bible is filled with story after story of God coming through time and time again. It doesn’t always happen the way people expect or when they expect it, but His promise is good and true; His timing, in hindsight, is perfect. I have experienced this personally in my life times too numerous to count. It has shown up in the timely word of encouragement I needed, the unexpected blessings, both tangible and intangible, and the many open doors I have been blessed to walk through. It has especially shown up in my times of trial, God’s hand right there beside me, guiding me through the storm to make it to safe pastures, richer for the journey. In all ways and at all times He has been faithful to me, even when I have felt faithless (another promise He gives – 2 Timothy 2:13). God is incredibly good!
My worry evaporated in the light of His truth. God has me. He really, truly has me. And He has you! You are valued. You are treasured. You are worth immeasurably more than you can imagine to God. Nothing in your life escapes His notice or care. He has actually carved your name into the palm of His hands (Isaiah 49:16). He never promises we won’t have trials or storms in life. He actually says we will. But God has overcome the world, and the more we learn to lean into Him, the more powerfully we live at peace in His presence, trusting He has our backs and knows just how to guide us past whatever obstacle it is we face if we simply let Him.
Secure once again in His loving care, my shoulders relaxed and a smile crept onto my face. I noted the sunshine; I felt the wind. Most of all, I remembered to place my burdens squarely where they need to be–into my God’s loving, powerful and mighty hands.
For Further Thought: Jesus said, “Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me–watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep me company and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:29-30). True rest and peace is found with Jesus. This week: 1) What does that phrase, “learn the unforced rhythms of grace,” mean to you? How can you apply that in your life? 2) Think of the challenges in your own life you hold onto. Prayerfully offer them up into Jesus’ capable hands. Remember that surrendering doesn’t mean a lack of action. It means trusting God with the outcome. He will protect you.