We lingered at the café, my friend and I, talking about how her life had fallen apart with her marriage and how she was learning, slowly, to trust God again. It hadn’t been easy. After all the rejection and shame and horrors of her husband’s unfaithfulness, to believe that God cared seemed a stretch. After all, hadn’t she prayed and obeyed and done everything she could to get it right?
And hadn’t God failed to do His part?
Nothing had worked out. Not the marriage, not the man, not the vice grip of addiction to sin that had strangled the life out of the once well-intentioned husband.
Who could blame her for worrying now? For hesitating to trust a God who hadn’t done what she’d been so sure He could and would and certainly should.
And that, my dear girls, is at the heart of all our worry.
That underlying knowing that God does not always do our bidding. That the platitudes aren’t true. That everything does not work out. That sometimes awful stuff happens and people don’t get healed and marriages do fall apart and we can’t do a thing to stop it.
In honest moments we wonder…
How are we supposed to trust God with the truth?
You’ve heard the platitudes too, maybe spilled them on a hurting friend, that if we’ll…
only trust… let go and God let God… drum up enough belief… then God promises to work it all out for us.
A happy ending. Amen.
But life doesn’t work that way and neither does God.
Ask Paul. And Peter and John and James… their stories tell of a different kind of worry-free faith. Before pop-theology painted a gaudy façade over the truth.
Every one of those men discovered a secret. Paul dubbed it The Secret.
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
I know what it is to be in need,
and I know what it is to have plenty.
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,
whether well fed or hungry,
whether living in plenty or in want.
I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Lesson #2 about Worry:
It’s not what I do that matters, it’s what Jesus has already done.
Here’s what I mean:
On that day a month or so ago when I melted down in a grand display of run-a-muk anxiety, at it’s root was worry.
- Worry that I would fail
- Worry that I wasn’t organized enough or good enough or able enough to do what I expected myself to do.
- Worry that others would think less of me
But I’d forgotten something vital. I’d forgotten The Secret.
That whether I do right or do wrong…
Whether I am a shining example of organizational skills and stellar hard work, or a pathetic failure at anything admirable…
I am not the point.
My perfect performance is not the point. Whether my family is perfect or my job stellar or my bank balance growing, is not the point.
Because Jesus took me in all my inadequacy and placed me in His beauty. Its not about me anymore, its about Jesus. I, in all my brokenness, am hidden in Him, all tucked into His perfection.
As long as I remember that, my own less-than-perfect performance won’t destroy me.
And as long as I remember that, I don’t have to demand that God work everything out all hunky dory the way I wish it would be.
And that, my dear friends is the reason Paul and Peter and James and John and all those others whose stories weren’t perfect could be content and at rest and filled with peace and joy and hope in the midst of the messiness of real life.
But see that lovely word again, dear friends, Paul learned.
And that’s what you’re doing.
Slowly but surely you and I are learning the how-to’s of being women at rest in Him. We are learning the Secret.
From my heart,