The fear of the LORD leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble. -Proverbs 19:23 (NIV)
Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. -Luke 12:22 (NIV)
In my department, about 1/8 of our staff was laid off. Every one of them was given some cardboard boxes and accompanied by a company representative to pack their belongings, then leave the premises. It was a chilling day for them, and the ones left in the building. What next? Who was next?
Around my cubicle, every single cube is now empty, except for one. But throughout our massive work area, pockets of people were hit and left jobless after receiving a jarring phone call about what was happening. Each one of the people who left had a story. Some had ailing parents. Some were reeling from personal relationship issues. Some just secured a new house. Some just returned from maternity leave. Some had loyally served for decades.
The first visceral response in our hearts would be fear and worry. How will I pay my bills? What will I tell my loved ones? How will I take care of the ones who are dependent on me and my salary? The other visceral response might be anger. How dare they do this to me! I After all the work I’ve done for them, and the time I’ve served!
It’s these very situations and circumstances where our faith in the Lord is truly tested. The longer we cling to worry and anger, the less we are hanging onto–and looking at–God. In our very unstable and unpredictable world, He is really the only rock we have. We can count on Him 100% in all things, even when times are tough. As His children, we can trust that He will carry us through these hard times.
Jesus tells us to not worry about what to wear, and what to eat. These are the things unbelievers stress over. God will provide. That doesn’t mean that we may have materially tough seasons ahead. But we have a choice to trust that He has greater things He’s setting up for us ahead. In the meantime, we need to surrender control of the situation to Him in faith and obedience.
We all have our hardships in this world: financially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Jesus forewarned us that life would be this way. More than ever, keeping our eyes and hands skyward, on our knees in surrender and prayer, we can let Him work in our lives and have that incomprehensible peace and strength He has waiting for us.
Hang in there, true believers. Breathe. Live in this moment, and let God work ahead of you in the future. He’s already there. He has great plans for us.