I needed to drive in some heavy snow, and I wasn’t excited about it. Looking online at the road conditions, I was concerned. Was it worth the risk?
I decided I could always turn back. I’d take it slow. I prayed a lot and asked for God’s help. He gave me peace.
Peace doesn’t take away all the risks and concerns. It doesn’t assure things will turn out the way I want or expect. It simply provides a firm foundation to accept the process and outcome. It’s trust that God is bigger, more powerful, wiser.
As I drove through the snow, I soon realized the roads weren’t as bad as I thought. I still had to be careful. But my thoughts began to shift. My full reliance and trust in God through my prayers subsided, ebbed out by my thoughts of “This isn’t so bad. I’m doing fine. I’ve got this.”
How often do we cry out to God to help, then pat ourselves on the back when the stress eases and we can see a positive outcome? How often do we encourage others to do the same as we affirm them for the way they handled something?
The only confidence we can truly rely on is God-confidence. Self-confidence might seem solid, but it will crumble. We can’t rely on ourselves, no matter what the world tells us. We’re not the same today as we were yesterday. Our lives are like shifting sand. Only God is unchanging. Only He is completely trustworthy. Only He has the power, wisdom, and perspective to guide best. Sure, we might choose well at times, but “best”? That’s reserved for God.
You can ask Him for help. You can trust Him to give it…in His timing and His way.
Just because something looks precarious doesn’t mean it is. Just because it looks strong doesn’t mean it has a lasting, dependable strength.
We’re usually taught to rely on our own strength. If we have to rely on anyone else, we’re seen as weak. At least, that’s been the predominant cultural message for quite a while. “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” “Stand on your own two feet.” “Make sure you can provide for yourself.” Responsibility is a good thing, but self-reliance isn’t. It will get us into trouble, because we’ll begin to believe that we’re in charge, that we control what will happen next because of our own efforts. But, think about it, how much do you truly do with absolutely no influence or assistance from anyone else? People are interdependent. We need each other.
And we need God.
If we believe we have the strength to withstand everyday pressures, what happens when one day’s pressures become too much? We think the ledge beneath our feet will hold us up, because it has, day after day. But one day, we don’t realize how the ledge has been weakened over time, and a large chunk falls beneath us. On the other hand, if we believe we have no strength, we don’t step onto the ground that gives us the best perspective. We don’t fully enjoy what God has planned for us. We let fear and insecurity guide our steps instead of God’s assurance.
Strength isn’t ours to muster. We get it from somewhere. And that means we have to go to the source of it.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.Therefore my heart rejoices,and I praise Him with my song. (Psalm 29:7)