All of us have been around people who constantly seem to complain about anything and everything. We typically respond in one of two ways: 1) excuse ourselves with reference to something we must attend to in the near future, or 2) engage and add fuel to their fire—misery loves company, right? At times it’s as if certain people cast their complaints wide, just waiting for the nearest prey to wrap up in their web of negativity. Beware! Webs are precarious! At a moment of weakness, you can become encompassed and devoured! However, there IS a third option: bring light to the situation and invite God in to guide you to help the person with whatever is pressing on their heart. Be a servant to others as Jesus has led us to be. “5 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. 6 He had equal status with God but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. 7 Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! 8 Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death - and the worst kind of death at that: a crucifixion. 9 Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything…” Philippians 2 (The Message).
At work, at home, during sporting and social events, weave not a web for dissenting company, but weave a beautiful tapestry for them. Help them and serve them and you will honor God.
God is with you.
So, I began writing this devotional five days ago. Since then, I have had deadlines, sick children, sickness myself, some relationship conflicts…all taking my time, energy, and just plain stressing me out.
I scrapped the previous devotional because in reflecting upon the message from last Sunday’s service, I realized that I was exactly in the position in which it was time for me to stop freaking out, breathe deeply and hand over my anxieties to God. So, here I am, whipping out this devotional like I am sitting in a comfy chair in your very own living room, just chatting about life.
We have now talked for hours about the pressures at work, about the latest household project that’s too expensive, about our relationship struggles, about time constraints, about the racket our car is making…and realized that we missed an appointment, or we didn’t call our significant other, or we forgot to pick up groceries for dinner…
Stop right now…relax…and take a deep breath. Ask God to help you with the unknown—with whatever is weighing you down. Ask Him into your heart so that you can show love the way He unconditionally loves you and sit peacefully in submission to His plan for you. Trust in Him; that’s all you need. (Romans 8)
This is perhaps, the shortest devotional I’ve written. But, who needs any further explanation than the words “stress” and “anxiety”? It’s called life. We all have to face it, but it can be much simpler if we can let go of our tendency to seek comfort in control. Instead, be deliberate in an effort to find comfort in God’s infinite love, for He is the author of your life.
God is with you.