And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
I grew up in church. I have been in church nearly every Sunday of my life. I know this verse. I also know that this verse, among others, teaches us that we are supposed to trust God to take care of all our needs (and this means “needs”, as in food, shelter, and clothing, not “I need a new iPad”), and problems. What I haven’t been able to work out, is how to do that while still living in the day-to-day of those problems, though.
I do believe that God will meet all our needs, in theory at least. The challenge comes when in a good month the paycheck doesn’t stretch far enough but then in a bad month, the car breaks down, the rent is past due and the landlord is threatening eviction. I pray about these issues, but I don’t see the car miraculously healed or money fall from the sky to appease the landlord.
Now, I can look back at that month and see that we got through it. Barely. We came up with enough money so that we didn’t get thrown out of our home and the car eventually got fixed. It was hard, though. Really hard. And scary. I didn’t know how I was going to get to work, some days. This is how my thoughts go in a time like that, “If I can’t get to work, I won’t be able to earn any money. And if I can’t earn any money, I can’t pay for the car to get fixed. If we can’t get the car fixed, I can’t get to work. If I can’t get to work, I can’t pay the rent. If I can’t pay the rent, we have nowhere to live. If I have nowhere to live, the kids will get taken away. . . .” And on and on it goes. If I go down this path, I’m living in panic instead of peace.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Peace of God, which passes all understanding. It sounds so wonderful. I have experienced it before, but that was in a very difficult crisis situation. I don’t think that this peace is meant to be only for crisis situations, though. I’d like to think that God means for us to have it all the time.
Recently, I realized that I think myself out of being peaceful. I can’t let myself just be. I don’t know how to be content with how things are and where I am. I’m trying to trust God to direct my steps and answer my prayers, but I can’t help trying to figure out when He’s going to move and what he’s going to do. If left unchecked, my mind will go through endless “what if” scenarios, which I know will never happen, because:
"My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. Isaiah 55:8
I know that I’m relying too much on my own knowledge, which I’m not supposed to do because:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverb 3:5
Besides, when I can’t figure out how things will ever work out, I get discouraged and depressed, which only perpetuates the cycle. The thing is, God has reasons for doing things when and how He wants, and I should be able to trust that He has everything well in hand.
I should be able to. I’m working on it.