Jul 19, 2008

His Hand is Open

Anxiety - a displacement of my daily confidence in the wrong things. (statement made by Father Stephen, Glory to God for All Things)

Anxiety has followed me throughout my life. I naturally gravitate toward those things I can touch and see that give me the illusion of security and confidence. I like to know that I have enough money in the bank. I like to have my pantry full. I like a choice of clothes that all fit. I like to have a house that is comfortable and affordable. All these things make me feel good and take away temporary anxiety. I know I have a backup plan or "extras" or "more than enough". I don't want to worry about shelter, clothing or food.

But what situation does God prefer for me? A life where I am continually, hour by hour, dependent on his hand for all things - food, shelter and clothing. It is not because he is selfish and wants me as a slave in his kingdom. He desires this for me because only then can I truly know his infinite love and care for me! He cannot truly reveal these things through just providing me with a monthly paycheck. He desires to restore to me the relationship for which I was created in the beginning - a relationship with him. He is my heavenly Father and desires to care for me as a Father does a daughter. He wants to show his love for me and reveal glorious and mighty things which I cannot fathom in the small and controlled world which I have created.

I do have a choice: 1) a controlled environment, created by me, where I will know what to expect and how I can survive day by day, or 2) an uncontrolled (in the respect that it is not controlled by me!) environment, sustained by God, where He delights in caring for me and showing his might and power to me and through me by providing for my every need. One is very predictable and inevitably boring. The other is completely unpredictable and a treasure chest of surprises. One requires very little of me. The other requires everything. One is dependent on my intellectual and material resources. The other is dependent on the riches and power and wealth of the God of the universe. One requires no one outside of myself. The other requires a relationship with the Creator and Redeemer of my soul.

When the options are put in words, the choice seems obvious. And yet...we are afraid. Afraid that God will not pull through for us. Afraid that he will take us where we don't want to go. Afraid that he will abandon us and then we will have nothing and no one. Afraid that he will require too much of us - more than we can bear. Afraid that we will fail - in our eyes and the eyes of others.

What assurance would convince us? He has done everything possible to prove his love for us - including becoming incarnate and dying a horrible death in order to conquer death and restore us and all creation to its original purpose. What more would we ask of him? He has gone more than the second mile. He has gone to hell and back for us. And we cannot trust him. What could we possibly possess that is of greater assurance and promise than what He has to offer?

We pride ourselves in our rationality and logic, but our behavior defies both. If we weigh the choices in the balance, there will be no doubt as to which is made of true gold.

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