When Hope Slips

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”  -Jesus in Matthew 6:30-34, MSG

1929372_186104520440_3963154_nAre you a “champion” worrier like me? More than “happy” to borrow tomorrows’ (imagined) problems for the present day? Do or did you spend your day trying to anticipate what the next bomb would be from your cheater? Do you struggle with living in the present trusting God with tomorrow?

Discovering adultery is especially hard on a worrier. They are exposed to how little control he or she has over events. Being reminded of one’s finite nature is both humbling and frightening. We feel exposed and vulnerable. The world is not a safe place! It’s not under our control. Our best laid plans have come to nil. Then this lack of control is rubbed in our faces as life continues throwing the curve balls all faithful spouses experience as the truth comes out in trickles or gushes (depending on the adulterer’s/adulteress’s choices or the faithful spouse’s “success” in snooping).

From this side of things, I can tell you that this can be a gift. I know it sounds strange. But it is true, nevertheless.

We are given an opportunity to develop the spiritual discipline of relying on God. I can look back upon my life and realize I survived a lot. Now, looking forward, I have a testimony that God’s Word is true. He does provide for our needs and sees us through even the darkest of valleys.

God is a good bet.

He’s the good Father.

I don’t need to worry about tomorrow.

Neither do you.

Our good God will provide.

A quote from a pastor who survived brain cancer comes to mind. One of my good friends gave me this quote, and it ministered to my heart as my career was being rebuilt while my marriage disintegrated. I provide it here so that it may remind you in another way of the truth Jesus shares in Matthew 6:31-34 quoted above:

 

When I feel hope kind of slipping, I have to remind myself “he brought me to this place and the Spirit does not lead where the Spirit does not empower.” And usually if I’m weary, I’ve tried to own something, or carry something, or take care of something that God has not asked me to own, or to carry, but rather to trust him with and faithfully day after day walk in the right direction.

– Pastor Matt Chandler, from his sermon at T4G 2012