Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you. - Psalm 55:22
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. - Philippians 4:6
Two-year reading texts: Psalm 115:9-18; 1 Samuel 23; John 5:1-15
This morning's texts came at a good time for me. It's a busy season; there are several church projects going on that I'm involved with; I keep pondering about some possible big new steps for church life; we added another "New Beginnings" course as some people have expressed interested in membership ... You get the idea. It was a relief to read "cast your burden on the Lord" and "let your requests be made known to God." Thank you, God!
Then I realized that I didn't know exactly what "requests" I would make of God this morning. Help the projects go well? Give me some insights into what I should do about the big new steps? Line things up so that the New Beginnings course goes well? Again, you get the idea. I was hanging on to the burdens. Instead of "casting them on the Lord," I was just ready to ask for a hand so I could get the load steadied on my shoulders a little better.
So this morning, I spent more time than usual just resting in God's presence, listening, absorbing. My mind came around to a question that's often been helpful for me in prayer: "What would you have me focus on, God?" I was reminded that the work I've been pondering is God's work, not mine. The goal is not to get God to help out a bit with my plans, but to allow God to work through me - and many others! - so that God's plans unfold as God sees fit.
I remembered a day, years ago, when I was visiting a church member who was going through some serious challenges in the hospital, and I was anxious because I wasn't sure what to say. But it turned out to be totally unnecessary anxiety, because she had been reading and praying about Philippians 4:4-7, which includes the verse above, plus "rejoice always," "the Lord is near," and "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding." We talked about that passage, and her situation, and we both spoke a prayer. Clearly, she ministered to me that day!
Today, I think I've made a little progress at casting burdens on God, and God has gotten through to me a little further about the joy and peace of God's presence and God's power to handle all situations. I'm grateful for this time with God, and today's word. I hope it sticks, and I hope more people will be able to see God's presence and power in their lives, working out God's plans in the world. You get the idea!