As we studied in church this morning, the cares of the world can frequently overwhelm us. Day to day, we are bombarded with those uncomfortable issues that demand our time and attention: finances, relationship issues, job stresses, health problems, the current economy... and the list goes on. More than worried, many Americans are confused, terrified, and feeling alone as we struggle to get by, to simply survive from day to day. The concept of peace can be far from us.
As Christians, unless we set all these issues, these "cares of the world", aside and invite God in, we cannot know peace, and we cannot overcome the issues that are working to upset our lives. It is important for us to remember that Jesus told us to seek God first. God wants us to come to Him first, to receive the best first, because "our Father knows what things we need before we ask", and He is waiting to give it to us.
If we put away our thoughts and concerns, our worries and anxieties about "things," then there is room for God to come into our thoughts, and into our hearts. If our hearts are available, God, who provides for all living creatures who have no cares, can show us that He can and will provide for us, who are burdened with cares. When this message enters deep into our hearts, then we can release our cares to God, and we can begin to know peace.
I know this probably sounds simplistic but isn't the message of Christ a simple one? Trust and obey. Believe and receive. If we do what God asks us to do, then we enable Him to operate more fully in our lives, giving us all that we need, and more, so that we have enough to share with others, which is the goal after all.
Trust doesn't come overnight. Even in a relationship with God, the harsh experiences of our past can make it difficult for us to expose our hearts to the possibility of disappointment, hurt, and even betrayal. But as we study and learn more about God, and exercise faith, our confidence in Christ is that God is all about healing, not hurting, about meeting our every need, not denying or punishing us; and Christ, who was Himself betrayed, wants us to know that His love and His promises are real, and that God will never, never betray us.
So then, if we can find it in ourselves to trust God completely, releasing our cares and concerns to Him, then He is faithful to honor His word to provide for us. In the confidence of trust we can find peace. In peace, we can find rest.
In rest, we can relax, and enjoy the company of our families and friends. We can enjoy those activities that help relieve stress, and encourage happiness, encourage peace.
Today, after church, and after a good meal with my husband and my father, I rested. Specifically, I got off of my computer and sat down on the couch. My new puppy, Samantha, a mini-dachshund, quickly joined me. Curled up in my arms, she rested peacefully. Samantha trusts me. When she climbs into my arms, she knows she is safe. She knows she can trust me to protect her, to feed her, to meet her every need. This trust is evidence of her love for me, and her love is evidence of her trust. The two go hand in hand.
Because of Samantha's love for me, and her trust in me, I will do my best to never let her down, to never give her reason to shy away from me or not trust me.
God, who is perfect, and flawless, and who has a perfect plan for each one of us, loves us so much more than we know. He desires only what is good for us. If we let Him, He will not only provide everything we need, He will show us all the other wonderful and incredible things He has ready and waiting for us to receive. He will reveal Himself to us at an intimate level, and share with us the deep secrets of His kingdom. It begins with us trusting Him with every care and concern we have.
Samantha, who makes me happy.
3 months old. Mini-dachshund.