Living the Anxious Life

There’s something about the healing journey that flies in the face of logic. Especially for folks that thrive on knowing. Those that research the heck out of everything before doing anything.

Trying to figure out what God is doing in any give situation can be a nightmare for some of us – but a sweet dream for others. If only I (Steve) could make it a sweet dream, day in and day out. Boy is that a tough assignment.

I’m deeply engaged in a 10-month program that Terry Wardle and Healing Care Ministries is hosting. It’s called ROOTED. This week we delved into the idea of Abiding in God’s Provision. One of the key points made during the video teaching was the ever-elusive concept of God’s provision being Himself. Yep, that’s right, Himself.

The way it was explained, in broad-ranging terms, was how we typically take a stance of waiting FOR God to do something instead of waiting WITH God. This concept requires a perspective shift. Waiting WITH God requires rest in God and a willingness to accept that He’s got it all worked out.

What came to mind for me was an often-used symbol of abiding in the cleft of a rock. Hunkering down in a posture of submission inside of His arms of protection. Waiting WITH Him. I’d prefer that the rock have about 6 inches of memory foam on top since we get a little sore waiting on “surfaces” and in circumstances that just don’t make sense – that’s the hard part.

How many times have we stepped into something with great intentions only to find out there were landmines waiting every step of the way? The concept of waiting WITH God not FOR Him requires us to be reminded that we’re never separated from His love. What that love looks like can be confusing at times. Let’s see what the Bible tells us. I love the imagery and wording here in the Passion Translation.

By constantly using our faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside us, and the resting place of His Love will become the very source and root of our lives.”  Eph. 3:17   The Passion Translation

Need I say more? Probably!

Waiting impatiently creates anxiety. Do you know somebody that is a master at Living the Anxious Life? If not, maybe that’s you. We MUST recognize that all the promises of Christ are ours – right now. Not at some time in the future. Waiting WITH God acknowledges that fact. Waiting FOR God (to act) sounds futuristic, even though it could be immediate. Abiding WITH God takes the pressure off.

I’ve been waiting FOR God to open the doors to an International food export business. One that stemmed from a 20-year manufacturing and retail food operation that closed in 2017. FOR has turned into WITH. There’s been no tangible movement toward launching ICC Global Trade – after returning from a successful trip to Panama in October of 2016. Now that’s called waiting. I was fully convinced that God would fund Embracing Brokenness Ministries and our book project through ICC Global Trade and that ministry would happen in each of the countries where God opened the door for us to do business. Is that still true? Stay tuned – we’ll find out. But waiting WITH God is the posture I’m now taking. He knows what’s coming, but I don’t, and I need to be Ok with that.

Think of it this way. Waiting FOR God implies future action by Him. Waiting WITH God implies an abiding – no matter what the future outcome may be. Another way to look at it is through the lens of expectation vs. expectancy. If we have a specific expectation around God’s answer to our prayers, hopes or dreams anxiety levels may increase depending on what that expectation “looks like”. If we wait with expectancy our posture becomes knowing, not expecting. Knowing Gods got it. With expectancy we place our trust in Him, completely. With no specific outcome required.

Are you struggling with abiding in God through His provision? Even if the provision is still unseen? Maybe a shift in perspective will help you understand and believe differently about His timing and our responsibility to snuggle into the cleft of the rock that sustains us – even without the memory foam. OR, you could choose to live the anxious life. That doesn’t seem nearly as exciting as waiting outside time and space for God to show Himself faithful, even if it never turns out the way we expect it to.

Sit with this question of waiting WITH God instead of FOR God. What does it mean for you today? Think about the peace that comes with expectancy not expectation. God works all things together for the good of all His children. What do you need to lay down that’s causing anxiety in your life? Get excited about the knowledge of waiting WITH God such that waiting FOR Him becomes a distant memory.

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