After hours of chasing my four-year-old around at a social gathering we attended, I felt exhausted and sank into the passenger seat for the long ride home. Just hours before, we had pulled into a new subdivision to gather for a birthday celebration, looking forward to visiting and relaxing with some friends.
Laughter and squeals of delight filled the air for the duration of the visit. Our kids ran and played with rambunctious energy, scampering out the front door, around to the backyard, over and over again. Upon arrival, I had taken an anxious mental note of a small retention pond on the property that was visible from the house. By the end of the night, I was beyond tired. After the candles had been blown out and sticky little hands and faces wiped, we loaded into the car. The realization that my nerves were shot after hours of hyper-vigilance, hovering over my daughter to assure her safety, had certainly taken it's toll.
Several days later I was enjoying peaceful silence that calms my mind and heart. While driving on long stretches of highway, I often experience some of the most meaningful times of prayer and connecting with God. With the radio turned off, I can really be alone with my thoughts. On this particular day, I was trying to find a way to express the feelings threatening to overwhelm me in this current season of life. In fact, I was putting pressure on myself to find the right words to speak to God so he knew what was on my heart. Then it dawned on me that God doesn't need particular words, only a willing and open heart.
My spirit urged me to stop striving so hard in prayer, and instead, just BE with God. As my mind slowed, the scene came to mind of chasing my daughter around the friend's house to keep her safe. An immediate understanding downloaded into my heart, and I knew what the Lord was trying to say in that moment: If I am capable of being so concerned for my daughter's well-being that I do not take my eyes off of her, how much more capable is God as the perfect Father? After-all, I am but a flawed and earthly parent.
God is aware of my every need. He never sleeps nor slumbers. He never fails. I felt Him whisper to my heart, “I already know. I know what you’re feeling. I know what you’re worried about. I am always aware of what’s going on with you, and if my eyes are always on you, then everything is going to be okay.”
Matthew 10:29-31(NIV) reminds me, " Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." If God watches over the sparrows, He must really watch over me!
FOR FURTHER THOUGHT
In times of discouragement and feeling overwhelmed, I have often felt as though God were distant and unconcerned with my situation. In those moments, I have to separate my feelings from the truth, and lead my heart back to the promises found in scripture. In Romans 8:38-39 (NIV), it says, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." My circumstances cannot separate me from God. Neither can my feelings or my actions. There is nothing that can separate me from Christ.
Father, thank you for being the good Father that you are, one that loves His children more than any of us could ever fathom. Thank you for the reminder that you are always with me, are aware of my circumstances, and that you remain in control. Help me to surrender my circumstances and to trust in you. Amen.
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