Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Great Expectations

Don't be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:6-7

Yeah, that's who I want to be. I want to be the guy who isn't anxious about anything, because that's the Jesus-y thing to do, right?

This is one of the great perks of being a Jesus follower - this whole "peace that transcends all understanding" thing - but sometimes, it seems hard to access. How do I take hold of this?

I know it's true. I believe it. I do. And I'm trying to live it out. But sometimes I'm still anxious. Sometimes, like right now, for instance, I am worried about the future.

I have great expectations for what God will do through Quest. I know he has great plans for us. And I know he means to make it happen in his time. But, in the meantime, I sweat and fret and pace and worry. I'm anxious. 

I bring my petitions and requests to God with thanksgiving, and I mean it. Every word. But still...

So, maybe the guarding of hearts and minds springs from the knowing. The four words that immediately precede this passage are these "The Lord is near." So maybe the guarding is on God; he's near, and he's on it. 

But maybe the knowing's on me. Maybe I'm still called to do my part. Maybe, in order to receive that supernatural peace of God, I need to quit pacing and fretting and sweating and worrying. Maybe that's MY part. Maybe I need to stop and make room in order for him to start.

Except, no. 

That's not what this is about.

This ties right in with what we've been talking about the last couple weeks at Quest - maybe this is a pride issue. 

Like Paul, who said he delights in God's law, but then finds his pride and his submission are at war, it seems that war is alive in me. One side of my heart wants to stop being anxious because God is in control, and the other side of my heart thinks I can actually make that happen through sheer force of will.

If my trust is just lip service, and I really think that everything's up to ME, how will I ever find peace? And before I can truly leave it all at God's feet, I have to let go of it. 

There's this great scene in the series "Arrested Development" where Lindsay is feeling guilty because she's received a wad of bills that were clearly ill-gotten. And she has this moment of conscience where she decides to throw it away, but she just can't. She physically can't release her fingers; she keeps flicking her hand, yet continues to hold the bills. Lindsay wants to feel better about herself, but she wants the money more. It was hilarious and a little sad

This is me with my worries. This is me, thinking that my great expectations for Quest are all about me. This is me, unable to let go and let God.

I want the peace, but maybe I also want the credit. God help me.

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