“Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, 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 comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Oh, she didn't draw that picture with the purpose of the meaning that it had for me. All she knew was that she had drawn a kitten, in profile, including the brain. From the brain she drew lines that led to cat concerns like food, water, and people to love on. It was a powerful reminder of how much God cares about each and every thought that comes to mind.
You see, a few months ago my husband retired from the U.S. Navy.
The last few months we've had the opportunity to either be anxious, or have a gentle spirit.
In this time I have felt God's presence very near to me. I have come to God with many questions and I have known his care for each and every thing that crossed my mind.
Provision after provision. Money and food came from unexpected places. A neighbor called and said, “A friend is moving and needed to clean out her pantry and fridge today. She asked me to come pick up the food. Not until after I got into the car did I realize that God meant this for you.”
We knew we heard God's voice clearly one Saturday morning when God asked me to go to a local church and receive from a food pantry.
I am thankful for this reminder to me, that when things are well, I should be sure to tithe to God's house for the provision of his people.
Still another time I was reminded that God said,
“Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24 (NIV)
As we were going over our budget binder, we realized that somehow we had been paying two different insurance companies at the same time! We have no idea how that happened, but it began months before he retired and we were owed a refund.
Still another friend sent a check and humbly referenced Matthew 6:1-14 with, “God thought you could use some loaves and fishes.”
Finally, yet quickly, came a timely job offer to a job that will bless my husband with the opportunity to exercise his gifts and skills; a job that he will enjoy.
Look again at verse six with me, though. He says, “in everything by prayer let your requests by made known to God”. What concerns do you have today?
Maybe we can explore one thought together: Do we ask God about everything? If not, then why not?
Is he so small or his power so limited that our “little request” will be the proverbial straw that breaks his back?
Or could it be that we don't trust him to care about, or to provide, for our request?
Matthew 6 talks to us about being anxious for food, drink, and clothes. In verse 30 (NASB), the writer says, “If God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will he not much more clothe you? You of little faith!”
You of little faith!
Those words jump off the paper and sting my eyes, drawing tears, every time I read them. How many prayers have I left unsaid because I doubted—read did not trust—God's care, love, willingness, or ability to answer my request?
Have you considered that our unwillingness to pray over things like which church to attend, or what ministry service requests to accept, or what to cook for dinner, or even how to manage the day's needs and tasks, may be that we are frozen in fear?
Could it be that we are of so little faith that we would think our Heavenly Father would be too busy for the cares of his beloved child?
Is there a chance that we aren't trusting him to care about what we care about and provide, not just what we need but, what would delight us?
Speaking of delights, God even provided my daughter's birthday gifts. Even though we did not plan her a party, the neighborhood children came together to celebrate her spontaneously. One neighbor even loved on her with costly fireworks that brought the neighborhood together in the middle of June.
God still cares and delights in talking with us dear friend. I believe that he encourages us to pray because he knows the result it will have in our life.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NASB) says, “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.”
God's will is for you to trust him and talk to him about everything.
All the time. Without ceasing.
You aren't bothering him. He knows that our prayers will bring reason to give thanks; to rejoice; and to see our faith, our trust in him, grow. It's a cycle.
Whether or not we feel our trust lacking, he will give us times of need that drive us to prayer and dependency in order to provide for us in a way that grows our faith; our trust. Trust is built. Faith is based on evidence.
What do you need to trust him for today?
Talk to him. Trust him. He may answer as you ask. He may answer in a way that surprises you. He will answer. And his answer will bring reason to trust him even more!
MaryLee Heller is an author and a Bible study teacher. Currently a member of the Board of Directors with Christian Military Fellowship (www.cmf.com), she also helps with the ministry Christian Military Wives Fellowship (www.cmwives.org). She has been selected to serve as President for the 2015-2016 season of Protestant Women of the Chapel (www.thehubpwoc.net) at Fort George G Meade, outside of Baltimore, Maryland. She also previously served as a District Leader with Precept Ministries, International (www.precept.org) and still loves teaching people how to get into the Word, themselves. Of course she devotes herself most to her primary mission as the mom of four children ranging in age from 7 to 22, while home educating her youngest two. She and her husband have enjoyed 22 years of marriage, so far. In her copious amount of free time, she enjoys stamping, digital scrapbooking, and creative journaling.