At Rest

My mom was a nurse for many years. Now, in her retirement, she works at Kmart a few hours each week. She enjoys the contact with her customers and would much rather be out interacting with people than sitting home with nothing to do.

Mom once told me of a time when a young couple came through her checkout line. The mother was pushing the cart, and the couple’s young son rode inside. The father held their daughter in his arms. She was sound asleep with her head on his shoulder.

Mom said she thought about how we who are Christians can do the same thing with God that the little girl was doing with her father: be completely at rest, knowing that God loves us and will take care of us.

Indeed. God’s promised over and over in His word that He will meet our needs. His willingness and ability to take care of us are boundless. The only problem is that our trust has definite limits. We don’t see Him providing the way we think we should, so we think He’s falling down on the job.

But sometimes we have a very different idea of what our needs are than God does. We think our needs are anything we deem essential for living the way we think we’re supposed to live—or the way we want to live. God defines our needs differently. He says the only thing that constitutes a need is something that is necessary in order for our lives to fulfill His purpose. In other words, maybe we don’t need a good night’s sleep like we think we do. Maybe what really need is to be awakened by our baby enough times in the middle of the night, enough nights in a row so that we’re driven to our knees in prayer. Or maybe we don’t need the smooth sailing we think we need; perhaps our greater need is to show forth God’s glory by allowing others to see how we make it through stressful circumstances on His strength alone.

I’ll always meet your needs, God promises. Not the ones you think you have, but the ones I know you have. And not necessarily in the way you think, but in the way I know is best.

It’s easy to say, but hard to live. I’ve heard it said that the longest 18 inches in the world is the distance between a person’s head and heart. It’s easy to give intellectual assent to things like God’s goodness and provision, but much harder to rest emotionally in the things we know to be true.

How do you know if you really believe in God’s provision? If you really trust Him? By your reaction when hard times come. Put simply: if you’re not at peace, you’re not trusting. I don’t mean that you’ll be happy all the time. God doesn’t expect you to like every circumstance that comes your way. But He does expect you to continue to trust Him.

Don’t let temporary circumstances cause you to doubt the eternal God and the truth of His unchanging word. When the wind is blowing and the waves are threatening to knock you down, keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. Don’t look to your circumstances; look to Him. Circumstances can look pretty bad, and emotions can change. But God’s promised you many times and in many ways that He’ll take care of you. And He’s kept every one of His promises to you. Every single one.

Matthew 14:29-31—Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

Joshua 23:14—You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.

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