Would you do me a favor? Would you please raise your hand if you’ve ever had one of those nights when worrisome thoughts woke you and wouldn’t let you fall back to sleep? I just want to know that I’m not the only woman in the world who’s experienced this.
It happened to me last night. At 3:41, to be exact. The moment I woke, anxious thoughts about someone I love popped into my head. It’s no wonder; they were there when I fell asleep a few hours prior.
As I lay there, those thoughts grew bigger and more intimidating. I tried to calm them through prayer. “God, I need You to fix this person before he self-destructs and hurts others in the process. I need You to…..”
That’s when I caught myself falling into an old habit. There I was, telling God what to do in this situation. I meant well, but my efforts only strengthened anxiety’s grip.
“Give it up, Grace,” the Holy Spirit whispered. “I love this person more than you do. I am working in ways you cannot see. Trust Me.”
Trusting God means yielding our desire for control to the One who is in control.
It means admitting that our understanding of a troubling situation is incomplete, therefore, our way of fixing it might only make things worse. It means acknowledging that victory comes not from our own clever ideas or strategies or manipulative tactics but from allowing God to be God.
Sometimes God puts us on the frontlines in a particular battle. Other times, He posts us behind-the-scenes and asks us to be quiet. Whatever role He assigns, He always expects us to pray. And to trust.
Perhaps you’ve raised your hand to show that you relate to what I’m experiencing. If so, here’s a little love gift from me to you. I found it encouraging this morning; I pray you’ll find it helpful, too. It’s an excerpt from my latest devotional, Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions for Calm in Chaos.
This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 2 Chronicles 20:15 (NLT)
King Jehoshaphat knew his army was no match for the approaching enemy. He called his people to fast and pray, and he led them in seeking God’s help. He probably expected God to tell him where to post his soldiers and when to attack, but the Lord took a different approach. God told the people to take up their positions and then stand still. This battle belonged to him, and he would accomplish the victory.
Sometimes God calls us to action. Other times he calls us to be still. We might find the latter strategy difficult, especially if we’re prone to want to fix people and circumstances. We’d rather defend ourselves or rush to rescue someone in trouble. But he will give us the ability to stand down if he says we must let him fight the battle on our behalf. Our role is not to question his strategy but to trust his wisdom and his ways even if they don’t make sense to us.
What is God telling you to do in response to the battle you face?
God, help me learn to get out of the way and let you fight for me.
“God calls His people to celebrate Him with singing and playing, and then He promises to do a little drumming of His own, on the back of the enemy!” –Terry Law with Jim Gilbert, The Power of Praise and Worship
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