Over the past couple of weeks, I have realized just how much I want to be in control of my circumstances. But God is asking, “Will you trust Me?”
1. One day at a time is enough. God has not asked me to live in the future. In fact, He has commanded that I serve Him today instead of being anxious about tomorrow’s troubles (Matthew 6:24). Today I don’t have to be able to make it through this year, or this month, or this week. Today I only have to make it through today. I often try to measure the day’s tasks with my own strength, and then it seems impossible. But with God, all things are possible. He is my strength. He will help me get through and enjoy today! Psalm 68:35 “Awesome is God from His sanctuary; the God of Israel—He is the One who gives power and strength to His people. Blessed be God!”
2. God is in control, so I don’t have to be. God is in control; therefore, I can rest. I struggle with the ongoing idea that I need to be in control. Why? I want to make sure I am prepared for whatever comes in the future. I don’t want to be surprised by anything. I have come to the humbling realization that this is sin. By dealing with life in this way, I am giving myself the role of God. If I am self-sufficient and all-knowing, I have no need to trust a Savior. I need to let go and allow God to have His rightful place in my life. It is Satan’s lie that I need to be in control. What comfort to understand that I don’t have to be! God is. Instead of exhausting all my energy trying to control my life and circumstances, I can rest.
3. I don’t need to “fix” anxiety; I need to trust the Lord. This realization has been huge for me. I know that the Bible has the answers to my problems. Many, many times I have tried applying Scripture to my problems, hoping that they will just disappear. I become frustrated when Scripture “doesn’t work.” I am re-reading Edward T. Welch’s book, Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest. From this book, I have gained a new understanding of Scripture. It is not a how-to manual to make my life easier. The Bible is living and active, teaching me about the character of my God. The point is not to “fix” my problems; it is about a relationship. While I am busy trying to use the Bible to control my own life, God is still asking, “Will you trust Me?” I need to let go and trust the Lord with all things. My security and comfort are in knowing Him. Instead of finding Scripture verses to control things myself, Scripture gives me more and more reasons to trust this God who is sovereign, all-knowing, and all-powerful.
4. I serve the Lord Christ. Being a teacher is a hard job. I have recently been getting frustrated by the difficulty of it. I can’t control my 32 students to make them behave well or learn. I am utterly exhausted by the end of the day and feel as if the day was a failure. But even if my day doesn’t go the way I expect or desire, at the end of the day I know I have done my job. Even if the classroom felt like chaos, even if students chose to mess around or daydream instead of pay attention while I was teaching…I did my job. God’s definition of success if different than mine. He is working in the hearts of those around me and is using me to spread His character to hopeless and broken situations. It is ok to be exhausted after a long day of work. Have I used my energy to serve the Lord? God will use my efforts for His glory when I strive to serve Him above all else. Colossians 3:23-24 “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.”