A couple of days ago, I opened up my oh-so-convenient email devotional and got this scripture:
Philippians 4:6 (The Message) 6-7
Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
Then, that same afternoon, my husband sent me a text with the same scripture. I didn't really pay attention at the time. But this morning, at 4:15 am - when sleep escapes me, I am paying attention.
I woke up with a start at 2:00am. You know, when you get that terrible feeling, like when your plane is taking off and you can't remember shutting the garage. Or when your phone rings in the middle of the night. Or when you just know you have forgotten something really important. I laid there for a moment, then realized what it was. Matt and I were paying bills the night before and after we were done we were in suprisingly good shape. (By the way, even though I am still receiving a paycheck, we are not touching it so we can get used to living on one income. ) I realized at 2:00 am I had forgotten to write down our mortgage and our monthly giving to the church. I got up and refigured what was left for the month. Let me just say friends - it's bleak. Very bleak.
I want to take control of the situation. I want to crunch those numbers into submission. I want to go back up to my principal and tell him I have changed my mind and that I don't know what I was thinking. I want to take in more foster kids. I want to ask Matt to take a job that maybe he loves less but makes more. I want to take control. That's what my flesh wants to do.
But then I read:
Philippians 4:6 (The Message) 6-7
"Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. "
James 1: (The Message) 5-8
"If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves. Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open."
And that sounds pretty good. I mean, "People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves." Who wants to be that girl? I will be honest folks, I do not trust God to provide but I want to. I have been self-reliant for too long. I think the more we rely on ourselves, the smaller we make Him in our lives. The more capable we think we are, the less capable we think He is.
I want to be smaller, I want Him to be bigger in my life. I want to value what He values. I want Him to determine what my needs are and how they are gonna be met.
When I was in college, I worked at an orphanage one summer in Matamoros, Mexico. Sixty-something kids all cared for by one couple. They lived in abject poverty. One day, one of the caregivers at the orphanage prayed to God that he would have orange juice for the kids. The next day, a truckload of oranges pulled up from a local produce dealer.
God is big, and good. He cares if orphans have orange juice. He cares for me. I mean, He is the fishes-and-loaves God. He can make my budget work. Heck, He is the bring-folks-back-from-the-dead God. He is the parting-the-sea, calming-the-storms, blind-can-see, lame-can-walk, Saul-became-Paul, save all of mankind God. That is a God you and I can rely on.