A little while ago, something was troubling me, in fact it had been troubling me for some time, but I kept trying to rationalise it away. I wonder how many of us have done that? I’m guessing I’m not the only one!
In the end, without any real prayer of explanation, I waited on the Lord. I was surprised by His quick response, as I sensed Him saying, “I am with you always, I’ll never leave you”. Receiving His comfort, I replied, “Oh thank You, Father, for that reminder.” I was about to move on then and get on with life, when, unexpectedly, I sensed Him speaking again, saying, “I didn’t mean it like that!”
It was His loving conviction. I knew what He meant. I was taking His comforting words that He wouldn’t leave me, like a plaster and sticking it on top of a wound. In a sense, I was saying, “That’s ok then, You’re with me, so everything’s OK.” In one way that is true: when we have received Jesus in our lives, we are held safe, we are loved, and to know that, is a huge comfort and blessing. However, His presence is not an instant cure-all.
How easy it is for us to mistake it for that, and how sad that in the process we depersonalise our Father God. Through Jesus, He is our Father, and we are His children. Yet we can be so religious! But He doesn’t want religion, He wants a real relationship with you and me, one where we let Him into the hidden depths, through opening our hearts and pouring out to Him the good things and the bad things, the joys as well as the worries, the concerns, the things that weigh heavy. The Bible tells us, ‘Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you’ (1 Peter 5:7).
He cares about us. That’s a truth we need to allow to sink deep down inside. Our Father God cares, and His care isn’t a passive blanket to cover over the things that trouble us. He knows they would simply fester in the hidden place. How many of us have experienced gnawing anxiety that feels like it’s eating us up inside?
Thankfully, our Father God understands, and His care is active, but it does necessitate us being active too. When we open up, we let Him in. We facilitate Him speaking back into the real issues of our lives, bringing His words of comfort, conviction, reassurance and love. This is His care, which mercifully meets us in the place of our worries and anxieties and replaces them with His inexplicable peace.
So, let’s be encouraged by Paul’s words today: ‘Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand’ (Philippians 4:6-7).
Prayer: Father God, I’m sorry for the times I’ve taken Your words of reassurance and just put them like a blanket over my worries. All I’ve done is cause them to fester even more inside. Thank You that You really care about me, and about the things that trouble me. Please help me to really know that deep inside, and to talk to You about my worries and concerns, and to hear Your voice as You speak back into these hidden things. Help me to come into a more intimate relationship with You, where I can experience freedom from anxiety and worry, and live in the peace that only You can bring. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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