How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings. Psalms 36:7 NLT
Two nights ago I spent a mostly sleepless night alternately praying and worrying about our two daughters in law. On the same day one was going through major cancer surgery while the other was diagnosed with Covid-19. I know, because I have taught about prayer, faith and trust in God that He has them in His hands. Yet the human side of me struggles and silently repeats over and over the same requests.
So last night when I woke at 2:30 gripped again with fears and anxiety I prayed not just for them but for God to help my faith to grow. Of course the answer did not immediately jump out at me like toast popping up. But I followed my dad’s advice on sleeplessness and got up and changed the subject. I grabbed a bowl of cereal, put my earbuds in and listened to the Bible. Then as I relaxed my mental grip on the situation (partly from exhaustion partly faith) I could feel God’s heavenly wings around me and I knew that He can handle this. His plan- and unfailingly love is enough no matter what my fears. In the words of the song, I stopped all negotiations with the God of all creation” and I found my rest in the Father’s hands. If some nights you are also caught in that anxious crossfire between worry and faith then stop and take a deep breath. Change the subject just long enough for those mighty yet gentle wings of God to cover you and then find your rest in the unfailing love of our Father’s hands!
Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. Luke 23:46 ESV
I have a small confession to make – there are some days that I love to complain! I complain about the weather, my church, my kids and even my wife. Some nights as I lay my head on the pillow and replay the whiny remarks which I made, I wonder how I could have been so unkind and wish I had kept my lips sealed. Jesus on the other hand had no shortage of things to complain about. Think about it; on the worst day of his life, Jesus encouraged a thief; made sure His mother was taken care, forgave His enemies, and with his last breath trusted his life into the Father’s hands. How did He do that? What was His secret?
Some years ago, I was bringing a truckload of branches to our local landfill. As I pulled up to the entrance of the one-story weigh-in station I noticed a small sign by the side of the operator’s window that had an arrow pointed up stating, “Complaint department upstairs!”
But how can we be patient like Jesus when others mistreat or abuse us physically or verbally? The answer is in knowing where the complaint department is located. Telling our neighbors, our family or our enemies the way we feel doesn’t help. Remember those WWJD bracelets we used to wear in Sunday school? They asked the question; “What would Jesus do?” Well today’s verse reminds us of what Jesus did – He gave His life trusting God would work all things together for good. So maybe, just maybe if we stopped looking for the complaint department and started looking to invest in God’s trust fund, we might be amazed at what He could do today!