Did you watch the Bachelor last night? I hadn’t watched it this season but since we were bracing for the big snowstorm that wasn’t (at least not where I am), I was home, cozy on my living room chair. Finally it was time for the rose ceremony and the girls were lined up and you could almost feel the tension coming off the television screen.
Each wondering if she would be the one picked or be blindsided like Sean was with Emily and not handed that expectant rose.
For rating purposes he is probably told to drag it out as long as possible, but last night the pause before naming the two girls seemed even longer than normal. During that intense moment (even though I really don’t even care about the show), I identified with those girls. Their anxiety, the unknown, the what’s next.
Only my anxiety, unknown and what’s next has been hinging on “late February”. That is when I was told I would hear back about something I am waiting on.
And so here it is late February, almost as late February as you can get. For the last week or so I have been ticking off the days, holding my breath every time I open my email inbox wondering if the hour had come. The suspense eating at me. And yet I know God wants me to cast all my anxieties on to Him.
Philippians 4:6-7 says: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
But why is it when you’ve made your requests to God that you still don’t feel at peace? And then how is it possible to muster up any thanksgiving?
I think this is where most of us find ourselves A LOT of the time.
We may pray about it or we may not, either way the worry remains and our imaginations can take over. And for many the anxieties are far more significant and life-altering than what I am waiting on. So you understand too a much greater degree the overwhelming emotion and stress when you are left hanging with no answers, just a pregnant pause.
But God calls us to the same thing no matter what our anxious heart is struggling or breaking over. He calls us to Himself. Because He understands. Because He too experienced a troubled heart. He was human and experienced all our same emotions.
In chapter 11 of the book of John we see Jesus weeping and troubled over his friend Lazarus’ death. And then with the Pharisees after Him and Jesus knowing his time on earth is nearly complete, He cries out to His Father saying:
“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? “Father, save me from this hour? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.” John 12:27
Later in John 13:21 we see that “Jesus was troubled in his spirit…” knowing that Judas was about to betray Him.
Jesus was troubled yet we know He was without sin, which makes me think being troubled is not the problem; it’s human. The problem comes in what we do with our troubled hearts, the anxiety and the unknown.
In John 14:1 Jesus says: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.”
And then in John 14:27 says: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
We are told to believe in Him. He is the giver of peace. The kind of peace that surpasses understanding. Peace that sets free and quiets an unsettled heart. And if you notice this wasn’t conditional on our situation changing. This is peace in the midst of the trouble, the conflict, the battle, the time of no answers.
The point is He is the Answer. And this is what He is telling me to believe and to trust in. Not that I will have answers, or that I will get the answers or outcome that I want, but even still He will give to me the same abundance of peace God gave to Him when He went to the cross.
Jesus had peace knowing it was all to God’s glory. This is the peace I want to fill me and He promises to do just that! In this I find reason for thanksgiving! Now, Dear Jesus, my Peace, guard my heart so that I would always believe this to be true.
To God Be the Glory!
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