Devotional Thursdays- Worry

Worry

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

I’m not a fan on change. As much as I think I can adapt to change and I go with the flow, the truth is that I don’t. I struggle to go with the flow. Going with the flow goes against every natural instinct I have. I can adapt to change. I’m actually really good at that. However, I try to control the change, plan the change, make back up plans for the change and even have back up plans for the back up plans. I like rules, order, lists and plans. Oh gosh plans make me happy. This is why change is hard for me. You rarely get to plan change. Even if I see the change coming, I try to plan out all the details. 

All of this causes a large amount of stress and worry. What about this? How about if we tried this? How about I do this and that and maybe we can make this work? Instead, I should be praying to the author of the change and the knower of the details. While I’m stressing and trying to plan, He already knows exactly what is going to happen and when it is going to happen. I think in my plans I try to do things on my time. If you’ve been a christian for five seconds you have already heard the God works in his own timing. I seem to constantly forget that and forget that I know who to go to when I worry. I know who to talk to about my fears and worries when it comes to change. I know the author of the change and somehow still manage to make it appear as if I don’t trust him. EVEN WHEN I PRAYED FOR THE CHANGE AND HE IS MAKING IT HAPPEN. 

I wanted to emphasize that point. Even when I pray for a particular change, even when I beg God for it, when he says yes to those prayers I still try to control the following details. Details that He has already figured out. Things that he already knows. I just don’t see it in my finite brain and I try to make sure I have ALL the plans.

For example, my family is about to undergo change. A huge change. A change we have fervently prayed for and asked everybody to pray along with us for. God said yes. We got the yes today. I’ve barely been celebrating this yes and this awesome change in my family’s life. I’ve been too worried about some details because the yes looked different than we thought it would. We had to change some things. We needed a different kind of help to allow this yes into our lives. The crazy part is, as much as I spent worrying today, God already knew the answer and knew that it would work out. I just wasted time worrying about it. I wasted time during my date night. I wasted time during conversations trying to plan and back up plan. God already had the details in place and all I had to do was be still and wait. 

Instead of waiting, I worried. I stressed and wasted time. The beautiful thing about seeing all things in my life as blessings from God is that I also see how he works in the small details of my life. So I write this today, because I need this reminder as much as anybody else might. God is in the details. He created each one of us so different and unique and detailed, that I forget that power lies in our every day lives.

Write it Out

  1. Where are you worrying and need to allow God to work?
  2. How can you remind yourself of who God is?

Devotional Thursdays- Newness

Newness

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

The idea of new is amazing. As a society we get excited for the new iPhone or Samsung device. We use new as a marketing tool and companies everywhere are committing to the idea of new. We get new products and technology every year because they are so good at selling us “new”. Every season gets a new style of clothes. Every computer, phone, tablet, gets an upgraded device branded as new every year. There are even conventions for all the newness to be dropped. 

We never think about the old products because we’re too busy focused on the new. We upgrade and replace our things because new is cool. New is awesome. New is better. 

However, we only have that mindset when it comes to products. We might ignore the old products, even if they are still in great condition and can do all the things the new ones can, they are discarded like they never existed. We grab onto the new product and the old is gone. We do this with things. We hold people to a different standard. There is no such thing as new with people. There is no change. There are some people that can hold grudges for something that happened to them in high school. They’ve forgotten most of everything else about high school but this grudge is still holding a torch, living in their mind as if it just happened. We leave no room for improvement and growth with people. Our one perception, situation, incident with them will be what defines them for eternity. 

Imagine if God saw us the way we hold people to their past mistakes. He knows about our mistakes. He has walked through us in our mistakes. He forgives us though. Once we ask for forgiveness, the mistake is gone, as if it it never happened. (Hebrews 10:17). He chooses to not remember the mistakes we have made and instead allows us to be new. We are made new. 

Are you the same person you were in high school? I’m not. There are parts of me that are still the same. I’m loud, obnoxious and I’ll talk your ear off. On the other hand, I’m not as sarcastic. I’m not as mean as I used to be. I don’t look to tear people down or put myself above people. I don’t look for attention from boys. I am definitely a better student now than I was in high school. A lot of factors went into who I was in high school. My home life, situations, the people I surrounded myself with, all of these things; the good and bad, made me who I was. Since high school, I’ve lost friends and gained new ones. I’ve gained family, I’ve made colossal mistakes that I’ve had to climb myself out of. If someone I only knew in high school were to talk to one of my friends today, I bet they would describe completely different people, who have a few things in common. 

When you step into a relationship with Jesus, things start to change. You start to see the world through God’s eyes. I know I’ve changed, I’m still changing and growing. It’s part of the transformation Romans talks about. However, this transformation that is talked about in Romans, is the transformation God promised in Ezekiel. Transformation isn’t a new testament concept, it’s an old testament promise. 

Write it Out:

  • Think about yourself in high school and yourself today. List ways the you in high school would be described and list the ways you today would be described. 
  • What is different?
  • How else have you grown/changed? Sometimes our growth isn’t evident in characteristics, sometimes, it is in how we think.