Life’s challenges can easily throw us into panic mode. If anxiousness is allowed to visit too long, reacting in haste seems to be the tempting answer—but it’s not. I do not want to make decisions based on fear. Nor do I want to live the consequences of making a wrong decision either. Here is where faith kicks in. Do I take matters into my own hands, or do I patiently trust God to intervene on my behalf?
These past couple of years have been a learning experience as I trust God to provide. You are welcome to read some of my experiences in Overcoming Fear – Sneak Peek Chapter 30. Today, I am at another crossroad. In a few short months, logically my finances won’t work. Anxious thoughts go back and forth of possible options. Human nature wants to panic and make rash decisions. Another part of me, deep inside of me, is calm and says wait for God.
I don’t know about you, but I need God’s guidance when it comes to big decisions. I don’t want to venture on my own, I want God to lead me. He knows what is best for me and has my best interest at heart. Plus, God promises to give us wisdom when we ask, “For the Lord grants wisdom…and you will know how to find the right course of action every time.” (Proverbs 2:6, 9b NLT) He also encourages us to, “Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)
I finally quieted myself down and asked God for wisdom. What should my husband and I do? He answered me so interestingly. I sensed He was leading me to read Psalm 1 for encouragement, then to Psalm 78. Psalm 78 shows us several miracles, provision, protection, and guidance God gave to the people He so loved. “In the daytime He led them by a cloud, and at night by a pillar of fire…He split open the rocks in the wilderness to give them plenty of water…He rained down manna for them to eat…He rained down meat as thick as dust…He gave them what they wanted…He kept them safe so they were not afraid…”
Without pointing a finger, I can easily forget God’s loving provision for me and allow thoughts of worry to creep in. God provided for His people in ways that are not humanly logical—but He always provided. God gave them provision and soon after their response was, “Yes, He can strike a rock so water gushes out, but He can’t give His people bread and meat.” “For they did not believe God or trust Him to care for them” (or meet their needs). Too quickly, they spoke doubt and unbelief. How easy we can do that too. My prayer is that I will never forget what God does for me, so my faith stays strong. That is one reason I keep a journal.
“They forgot about His power and how He rescued them from their enemies. They forgot His miraculous signs in Egypt, His wonders on the plain of Zoan.” All these things God did for the people He loved, and their thoughts and words kept returning to doubt, fear, and complaining. How did that make God feel? His heart grieved and it was frustrating to Him (vs 40, 41). I can imagine when a person’s actions display consistent integrity, how frustrating it must be when they are frequently met with doubt and mistrust.
The keyword that stood out to me when I was asking God for direction was “grieve.” Grieve means to cause great distress to (someone). God was telling me, when I was contemplating rash decisions, it grieved His heart, because hadn’t He proved over and over His provision on my behalf and that of my family? Then He gently reminded me of a recent “aha” moment.
In Overcoming Fear, I shared an example of minor daily provisions. Well this was a similar situation. I was going to need shampoo in a few weeks. I was trying to be prepared ahead of time and ordered shampoo from my hairdresser. Mind you, I had a few weeks before I needed some more. A day or two before my shampoo ran out, my daughter sent me a bottle of Wen as a birthday gift. So, technically I didn’t need the shampoo I bought. Because “all good gifts come from our Father above,” He used my daughter to provide me with a gift that I needed at just the right time.
Now some of you may think, there is nothing wrong with buying things ahead of time and being prepared. It is not wrong to be prepared. My mom was like that. Her basement storage room was proof. However, I see that God is dealing with me differently. He is training me for a deeper level of trust. One source of encouragement I feed on is a message from Dale Crall. Pastor Dale Crall gave a wonderful, personal testimony of God’s provision, healing, and miracles, that continues to strengthen my faith. Strengthen your faith with me, click on his name and you can hear the same testimony, free of charge.
So in the end, the message God was lovingly sending me was, “Haven’t I proved myself to you before. I have always been faithful to provide. Please don’t grieve my heart and choose to doubt me and take matters into your own hand. Wait patiently. I won’t fail you.” And that is where I rest. I wait for God to do His thing and lead me for the things that are my responsibility. It will all work out in His perfect timing, and that peace that passes all understanding calms my heart.