At times, we may feel frustrated when the person we are speaking with misunderstands the intent of our words. One of the gifts I treasure most in my relationship with God is being understood. As we pour our hearts out to Him in prayer, He understands. In fact, He understands us better than we understand ourselves.
At this particular time in history, I think COVID-19 may cause us to wonder if it is okay to speak the truth of how we feel. The virus may be working to keep us quiet. I think it is vital, as Christ-followers, we take time to sit alone with God and pour our hearts out to Him in honest confession. As we share our deepest fears, anxieties, and worries with Him, we can be certain He understands our words.
I used to be afraid to pour my heart out to God. Part of the reason rose from fear God would judge me. The other part came from a deep fear of being misunderstood. If we come to Him in honesty, with a heart to know Him more, He welcomes our prayers. He is safe. He does not sit in judgment when we come with questions. He listens. We may not receive answers, but we become aware of His Presence and learn of His love. He works to guide us toward peace and away from all that is capturing our attention.
1 Peter 5:6-7 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
My Bible study note for verse 6 says, “In their suffering, God’s people are to give themselves entirely to Him, submitting to His wise ordering of their lives.” The note for verse 7 goes on to say, “The participle ‘casting’ modifies the main verbal phrase ‘humble yourselves’ from verse 6. Worry is a form of pride because it involves taking concerns upon oneself instead of entrusting them to God. Believers can trust God because, as their Father, He cares for them.”
Approaching God in humility, casting all our anxieties on Him in prayer can be a difficult task. Sometimes we believe ignoring our struggles or hiding what we feel inside will lead us in a healthy direction. However, this is the opposite of what is best. We need to name what is going on inside, put words to the truth of how we feel, and tell God everything.
In fellowship with Him, we learn we are not a bother. We discover we are not a disappointment. We realize God is not judging us for lack of faith. Instead, we recognize He is waiting to exchange our worry for His Presence. Hear the invitation… Notice the trade…
Matthew 11:28-29 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Cast your fear…come to God…receive His rest.
Cast your anxiety….take His yoke…find His peace.
Cast your worry…learn from Him…experience calm in your soul.
We may have to continually return in prayer, especially in times such as these, but our relationship with Him grows every time we do.
During our lunch hour today, my husband and I took our dog for a walk. As we progressed down the block, I noticed buds blooming on some of the trees. Honestly, I almost missed them. The buds are just beginning, but I noticed the small red blossoms on the branches as I slowed down to look.
The crisis of COVID-19 is forcing us to slow down.
What if, during this time of uncertainty, our relationship with God became a priority? What if instead of growing in fear, anxiety, and worry, we grew closer to Him in love? What if we grasped how much He cares for us because we cast our anxieties on Him as we genuinely disclose our heart with Him in prayer?
Just as the cold, hard winter turns to spring, this challenging time offers an opportunity to blossom a richer relationship with God.