Steady in the Storm, Chapter Nine: The Lavishness of God
“My worthiness was challenged so much during the planning of our wedding. I felt I needed to ask for less, be less, want less in order for the wedding to be at my level of worth and standards, but God exceeded my expectations at every turn.”
I’m a control freak. There I’ve said it, admitted it for all to read and be witness to. But it’s not my fault, my fear and anxiety demand that I try and control my surroundings. Fear has been such a manager of my life that my book opens up with talking about my relationship with fear, chapter one. It’s an out of control emotion that requires a straight jacket of controlled boundaries to keep it as a livable part of my life. Of course, we all know that it’s impossible to control most outcomes of life. Ok, all outcomes of life.
Imagining the worst case scenario and planning my way out of it is a standard part of my mental capacity, the straight jacket if you will. Through a friend, I had the self-revelation that I also don this straight jacket of thinking to the best case scenario in my life. I dream up, and I’m pretty imaginative, the best outcome possible and the put all my mental and physical strength into demanding it happen; then when things aren’t going to my imaginary plan, I get upset, stressed, fearful and anxious. I’m a real nightmare to live with.
This revelation lead to the topic of trusting God. I understand the topic of trust when it comes to the bad things in life. Trust that God’s plans for you are to prosper you, that his will is kind, and that his goodness never changes. Trusting God with the scary things is something I’ve been learning to do my whole life. Learning I also have to trust him with the goodness of my life was a whole new realm of understanding. Because I’ve developed a habit of day dreaming my life into bliss, and getting upset when it doesn’t happen, I think it’s going to be more of a struggle to trust God with the good outcomes of my life. Quit the day dreaming and trust God.
Ephesians 3 talks about how God can do Immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, so why am I limiting myself to only what I’m capable of dreaming up and then getting upset when that doesn’t happen? I feel like a child handing Michael Angelo my crayon drawing draft for the Sistine Chapel and then getting angry when they didn’t choose my drawing. Jesus loves my heart, he loves what I want for my life, but he can do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine, so why am I trying to control the outcome of my life when the God of the universe is drafting up a plan?
I started realizing that I not only limit my life when I try to control the negative things from happening, I’m limiting my life when I try and control the good things to happen. God is ok with us going through tough stuff, because it makes us better versions of ourselves. He is also much better at knowing what is best for us and allowing him to bring about that goodness is permitting him to have his will with us. If I stop the bad from happening, I stop the character development God has for me. If I demand my goodness happen, I miss out on his goodness.
I’ve changed my prayer life from “God please,” “Jesus I,” “Lord this,” to “I trust your immeasurably more.” That’s it. That’s all I’m praying lately. Having a hard day? I stop and pray, “God, I trust your immeasurably more.” Struggling with relationships? “I trust your immeasurably more.” Fearful and anxious about the world stage? “Jesus, I trust in your immeasurably more.” Prayer just got a whole lot easier for me. No more drafting up big thoughtful prayer plans. “I trust your immeasurably more.” That’s it. I just trust him.
I’m choosing to trust God’s immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine, because I have a pretty good imagination, and if God can do vastly better than my imaginative brain, it’s worth trusting in. Placing my trust in God places my trust in his authority. It releases his will to be done in my life. When I feel my fear and anxiety creep up, I stop in my tracks and reiterate, “Jesus, I trust your immeasurably more” and my anxiety subsides. I’m retraining my brain pathways to stop their tracks in fear and redirect to trust.
I recently posted about the cornerstones in life. Trusting in God’s immeasurably more is going to be one of my cornerstones, because no matter what I have or don’t have, trusting in God’s immeasurably more will always be something stable that I can build my life on.