"There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears. There will be a day when the burdens of this place will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face. But until that day we'll hold onto You always." Jeremy Camp
Really struggling with anxiety and concern over my family's current financial situation, which is, to put it bluntly, quite bleak. :p
What do you say to your children when the money is all gone, and your small savings has been exhausted? How do you purchase groceries? fuel? insurance? medicine? To whom do you turn?
In this instance, it is easy to fear. So easy.
On the other hand, however, it is much harder to have faith. To completely trust that God's promises are not just empty words, but are actually full of life, hope and peace.
"Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:4-7
Paul isn't just suggesting that we try not to fear or worry; no, rather he is giving us a simple command: Do not be anxious about anything!
Notice the "formula," if you will, for presenting my petitions to God:
Prayer + Supplication + Thanksgiving = the correct way to approach God with a request.
Instead of lying there in a heap, complaining about how "bad" my situation is, when I am feeling discontentment creeping into my heart, I think of all the blessings I do have, and I recount them to myself. Because, when we offer up thanksgiving to our Great and all powerful Provider, we ourselves receive a blessing. We might be skeptical when we first start listing our blessings, but it always works to be a wonderful time of praise, to God.
And, God does answer our prayers. Though it can seem an eternity before we receive an answer. As if the "I'm in the hallway, waiting on God to show me which door to step through" phase will never end.
I've been there. Let me restate that, I am there.
In the hallway.
Clinging to the person of Christ as portrayed in the powerful words of Holy Scripture.
And praying. A LOT.
Sometimes at the oddest hours, I'll awaken, and feel this urge to just dialogue with my Abba. Thankfully He is, as Psalm 121 describes, a God who neither slumbers nor sleeps. And my sleeplessness comes as no surprise to my Father. Many times, I've discovered, He awakens me to pray, when something serious is happening and I'm not even aware of it.
But that's okay. It is my job to simply obey. I don't have to know why I was awakened. I just have to pray for whomever, or whatever has been placed on my mind. Obedience is definitely key, especially when it seems God isn't listening to our prayers. That is when we should press into Jesus all the more. When He seems far away or unconcerned. Just press into Him, and He will prove that He is there, and has been all along!
"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;" Philippians 1:3-6
Press on, even if you're in the hallway. And don't lose heart. His promises are not in vain.
"For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding..." Colossians 1:9-14
He is there
He is not silent.