Friday, May 9, 2014

All things

I write from my back porch. The day is breathtakingly gorgeous. I have walked my dog, I've been to the hairdresser, and I now sport a new 'do. I bought groceries and my pantry and fridge are full. I am headache free, yes and amen. My men are well and happy and my college student has been home all week.

Life is good.

Praise comes easy on days like today and I am grateful. All these, and more, are gifts from the Father's hand. As I enjoy His blessings, I enjoy Him, yes and amen.

Maybe it's my inner melancholy, but when life is good and thanksgiving flows free and easy, I can't help but wonder who and what I would be apart from the good things the Father has bestowed. If I lost it all, what then? Would I still believe? What if I were hungry? Or homeless? Would my faith stand strong? Could I praise Him? How much of my faith depends on my stuff and my circumstances?

In Matthew 6 Jesus instructs His followers to not be anxious about what they will wear and what they will eat. Just today I spent an agonizing amount of time making out next week's menu before I grocery shopped and I won't even tell you how many times I changed tee shirts before going to the hairdresser's. Somehow I don't think these are the sorts of anxieties Jesus is addressing.

Our #firstworldprobs blind us to the true necessities of life and to the provision the Lord promises. We worry over what flatters and what fattens and yet Jesus has promised that our Father knows what we need. He not only knows but He will meet them all according to His riches in Christ Jesus!

I wear on my wrist a bracelet that reminds me to pray for my friend who has brain cancer. Not that I require reminding as she and her family are never very far from my thoughts but it's nice to have the visual. The bracelet also references Philippians 4:13, Paul's bold assertion that he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him.

All things! As I think of my friend and her very real fight for her life I realize how little I know of true need. And what of my sisters and brothers in Christ around the world who face persecution, even martyrdom? The call to not be anxious and to trust the Lord's provision is no sentimental catchphrase for these believers. It is life. It is hope. It is strength to persevere.

And for me too, even on gorgeous days when life is good and thanksgiving flows free and easy.

My friend can persevere through this illness--regardless of outcome--because of Christ's strength and sufficiency. Same for you and me. Whatever trials come your way or mine, we too can face them without anxiety or worry. A sure confidence in our Lord no matter our circumstance is our privilege as His children.

Are you facing opposition? Maybe you struggle with depression. Or maybe, like my friend, you suffer physically from cancer or some other debilitating illness. Perhaps your heart is broken over a wayward child. Or maybe your fight is more subtle as you struggle to choose gratitude and contentment in the midst of materialistic abundance.

No matter our present circumstance, we can be confident that He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all will also in Him freely--freely!--give us all things. The all things He gives He gives for Christ's sake. In loss, in gain, in deprivation, in abundance, in sickness, in health, our Lord provides and in His provision we find that Christ is enough and He is everything.

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