Sunflower blossoming at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Listen when God reminds you He’s in control

Worry is one of my besetting sins. People wouldn’t know it, though. I’m silent in my anxieties. I keep them to myself. But I’m the best when it comes to thinking of the worst case scenario. Even though I hope for the best, you can bet I’ve planned for the worst.

People think I’m organized, but I’m not. I just have a vivid imagination, and I’ve been burned by Murphy’s Law a lot. So I’m ready when people are running late or approvals don’t come through or things that have been promised don’t happen. I’m not surprised when life turns upside down or everything goes wrong.

One, that’s life and life happens. Two, I’m usually prepared for it because I already expected it to happen.

And maybe that’s not a good way to live, but it’s served me okay so far. The problem that stems from living that way, though, is anxiety and a lack of trust in God’s plan. See after you’ve handled enough crises on your own you can be tempted to think that you can manage without God’s help. Maybe you can make it a fair distance with that thinking, but what happens when a challenge that’s bigger than you comes along?

Oh, they’re out there. Scores of them. Challenges greater than your greatest fears. Troubles bigger than your worst nightmare. Events and circumstances that even we overly prepared, negative thinkers don’t expect.

What then?

One of those recently blindsided me, one of those surprises in life you never see coming. There’s nothing you can do to fix it. You just freefall and hope and pray you land somewhere soft.

And worry. That’s what I do. Worry worry worry. It’s ridiculous because worrying doesn’t accomplish anything. It just turns your hair gray and makes you a miserable person to hang around.

Sometimes God just lets us sit there. He lets us stew in our anxiety until we get it through our thick heads that we aren’t helping our situation any. Eventually, once we finish our pity party, we open our eyes and realize we aren’t as bad off as we thought.

Or, sometimes, God comes down and pokes you really, really hard. That’s what He usually has to do to me. Because I’m stubborn. And that’s what He did. He poked me so hard yesterday morning I couldn’t ignore it and I couldn’t deny it was Him. The real kicker? He used somebody who doesn’t even follow Him.

Sunflower blossoming at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Sunflower blossoming at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Today’s verse is Isaiah 54:10.

“For the mountains may move
and the hills disappear,
but even then my faithful love for you will remain.
My covenant of blessing will never be broken,”
says the Lord, who has mercy on you.

Does God ever go out of His way to remind you that He’s got everything under control? Well, maybe it’s not out of His way. But when He shows up just to point out the obvious to me, I know He didn’t have to do it.

This is God, remember. Creator of the universe. Master of everything. God. And He loves me enough to take time to remind me of something I already know?

God isn’t required to let us know that He’s working our problems out, but more often than not, I see Him show up in my life in random ways through random people all for the sake of encouraging me. Or reminding me in a way I can’t ignore that even though life is nuts right now God is still on His throne. It’s good to remember that all may not be right in the world, but someday it will be.

So wherever you are today, don’t shut your ears to what God is trying to tell you. You never know how He might show up. It could be in a fellow believer. It could be through something you hear on the radio. Or it could be in something a non-believer says. God has no limits. So don’t go putting Him in a box.

Whatever you’re worrying about today, stop. And if you can’t stop, listen when God shows up to tell you to knock it off. Even if you worry silently, you’re still worrying, and that wastes time and energy on something you can’t change. Isn’t it better to use your resources to do something?

Watching over us

I’m a pretty independent person. I usually get frustrated when I feel like people are clucking over me too much. Most of the time, I just want to do things myself, and I don’t want people to worry about me or help me. But there are times when it’s nice to know that if I need help, I can ask. It’s nice to know that if I want to hang out with people, I can. And it’s really nice to know that no matter what I do or where I go, God is still keeping track of me.

Psalm 121:7-8

7 The Lord keeps you from all harm
      and watches over your life.
 8 The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
      both now and forever.

There’s no really big revelation today. No majorly deep theological thoughts. Nothing intense or really inspiring (I don’t think). This is just a simple, good-to-know fact.

God is watching over us.

He knows where we go. He knows where we’re going. He knows how we get there. He knows the plans He’s got for us, and He gives us opportunities to get there easily, although it’s rare that we take the easy way.

He’s got our backs. He protects us, mostly from ourselves and from the ramifications of our foolish choices.

He’s watching us whether we’re coming or going, and He knows what obstacles we will encounter either way.

It’s comforting to me. I mean, He’s God. He made everything. He keeps everything spinning. He (for some reason) keeps giving me breath to breathe every morning. And that by itself would be enough, but He doesn’t just leave us to our own devices. He cares enough to keep track of us. He loves us enough to make sure He knows where we are every moment of every day. He walks alongside us in the good times and in the bad times. He’s not some distant, uncaring, indifferent Being in the Sky who just created everything and then turned His back on us. He’s our Creator, our Father, our Friend. And He cares about what happens in our lives.

And I think that’s awfully cool.