Matthew 6:25-27 ” For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?”
You probably think about such things a lot. We all desire some kind of predictability in our life. So far so good. It does not take long, though, until that good desire becomes toxic and ruins the joy we should be experiencing.
At 28 I packed up everything I had and moved me and the family to the Northwest. After about a year I wondered if I had made a mistake. I knew I was supposed to be there, but as in all things, faith works in the arena of doubt. I am in my study one day and saw this robin digging out a worm. I thought of this passage and made a few observations.
That bird is totally dependent upon what he finds on the ground. If he looks in the wrong place, or eats the wrong things, or is not careful of attacks from above and below, he will not make it. He seemed so helpless there. I felt so helpless there, in that moment. I still “feel” helpless an unattended to at times.
I made another observation. Have you ever seen a lazy bird? I mean one that hangs out on street corners, drinking a beer, pack of cigs rolled up on the sleeve of his James Dean t-shirt? Me neither. They seek and they find, yet, totally dependent on what God has provided. Don’t be lazy! But don’t think it is all up to you either! It is supposed to feel a little “iffy.”
That is how it is for us and it is a wonderful thing. If you do not think that it is a wonderful thing, go read about yourself in Deuteronomy 8. I will wait. Ok,you are back. Do you see why it must be this way?
I made another observation. Under my breath, I said to myself that day, “I cannot do this ; this is too much!” I expected some kind of correction from the Lord, but I get comfort instead. So how does that work? I don’t really know. Don’t care to get a lesson on the subject. Don’t need it explained- to- death to me. I just know, by a long experience now, that He is faithful.
If I want to “feel like” I am off- balanced all the time, and barely surviving, I can. But the truth is much different than my immediate feelings. On that day with that robin, doing exactly what he should be doing, I pondered, ” Am I doing what I should be doing?”
I read the verses again, asking a question, about me, at the end of every verse. “Lord, are you really going to take care of me?” “Do you really love me?” ” Am I trying to feel in control because I think I have a better plan for me than You have?”
And then I thought to myself, “Things probably would go better if I were more perfect right now, or if I were in a different place, or maybe I will never be good enough to serve the Lord.” Realizing there is no such thing as thinking “unto yourself,”( the Lord hears it all and wants to be part of the secret thought life we have), I said, ” Thank you Lord for hearing every thought I have!”
At that moment I realized that the Lord, (knowing it all, every thought,) is not a threat, but a comfort. Didn’t a man in Scripture say to Jesus, “help my unbelief?” 7/31/17 JWP
You don’t get zapped for being dead- on honest with God; with a view to seeking Him completely and obeying Him. He just wants the real you to meet the real Lord of all, time and time again. In those exchanges you begin to change. So finally, after all the self-inflicted torment, finally obey Him. I do not have words to express how great I felt when I left the office that day. I also was assured that I would be “cycled-through” more experiences in the future. I actually looked forward to the next one. Then when it came I fell about the place, but not quite the same. A bit more hope each time and certainly peace. That robin got nothing on me!
Well my hope for you is that you have such encounters, and you stay long enough in that pocket of struggle to come out the other side at peace and stronger in the Lord. He cares deeply and He cares about those “secret” thoughts. Through all of that, He is not ashamed to call you and me His own. How great is that God? JWP