And again, "I will put my trust in Him." Hebrews 2:13
As a kid I never had fingernails. I was a worrier. I tried to figure things out for myself to avoid trouble. Sometimes I made myself sick with worry. I thought God wouldn’t help those who didn’t help themselves by doing most of the heavy lifting. I was a grown man before I learned to lean on Jesus. I had sung those songs for years before I actually began to practice trusting God. Eventually, I discovered that He is equal to every difficulty that I might encounter. It was such a relief to relinquish personal responsibility for every outcome that my nails grew out and I had to buy my first set of clippers.
Practicing deliberate trust in God helps when urgent circumstances divert my attention. Hard times and unexpected challenges make me revert to self-reliance, but my own efforts in dealing with problems are often unreliable. There is a crazy panic of sorts that overwhelms me; a desperate grasping for straws.
The whining of frustrated resentment should trigger in me a renewed reliance on God. This I can practice. There are and have been so many opportunities.
Oh my God, will you help me turn to you first?
When I recognize the familiar rising panic, I try to subdue it while I pray. Someone once said; “Whatever you think and whatever you do, first wait five minutes.”
I mean to give God the opportunity to work in me. He deserves my patient submission. How do I know what he means to do with me? If I panic and thrash around in a frenzy I impede or entirely disrupt the way God has planned for me.
I like to pray in the morning for wisdom and insight for the day, since I always know I’m going to need it. The expectant prayer helps me focus on God’s work in me all day.
I pray for an abundance of grace so that I may be a dispenser––not only a recipient of God’s grace, not that I need any less––but because others may need grace from me. We think of God’s grace in terms of our own sin, but I want to apply the spirit of grace toward the people around me, my family, at church, at work or even toward other drivers on the road.
I also pray at the end of the day thanking God for the ways he has blessed me since morning.
If I have a complaint, I want to examine it carefully and consider whether it’s better to voice my complaint or to shine the light of God on my concern. This usually reveals any fault in my logic.
This particular practice has led me to doubt whether it is ever appropriate to complain. What right do I have to an expectation, other than God’s loving care for me? Surely, none at all, and what could possibly be better? Nothing at all could surpass the comfort of that promised love.
Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe. I Timothy 4:7-10