Life is indeed challenging, but when the theology of our faith meets the bumpy roads of our lives, we will be reminded that God will make all things work for the good of those who love him in God’s good time.
Our Lord is sovereign, all powerful, omnipresent, omniscient, eternal, all knowing, all loving, and you know what? God loves you – at every time and in all seasons, good and bad. So, we don’t need to walk alone, and we were never meant to do so. Our lives are not meant to be about pressure or time crunches, although those do happen. The fate of the world doesn’t rely on us even if it sometimes feels that way. Our God is, well, our God. We need to trust rather than work and worry.
True, we were created to share in God’s creative, redemptive work, but we are not God. We never will be. So, God provides us with a call to Sabbath, a time for rest, worship, and reconnecting to God and one another as a community. God provides us with people to love, care for and walk with us called family, friends and church. And if these should ever fail you as humans sometimes do? God in his Word directs us to cast all our cares upon Christ, for he cares for us.
We aren’t to shirk our responsibilities. We aren’t to hang back when called to act. We are not to forsake the assembly as some are prone to do. (Consider Hebrews 10:19-25, for example.) Yet we can let go, and let God do the heavy lifting in our lives through the grace and forgiveness offered us. The refreshing Fruit of the Spirit is always at our disposal: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. We don’t have to work for them. Yet, we need to slow ourselves down and savor their taste. We need to seek them out even when they seem most far off.
As the world seemingly goes crazy, we are called to discernment. Rather than asking what God is doing, we ask, “What should we be doing to help?” Sometimes there will be lots to do. Many more times the answer is “ do nothing” due to our powerlessness…nothing other than watch and wait in hope…nothing other than pray for God’s will to be done in our lives and the courage to live it out…nothing other than trusting that God’s Spirit is at work in the craziness around us and battling for our welfare just as promised.
What good does worrying do? In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said it does no good at all. The wisdom of God isn’t as hard to live out as we might at first think. Do what you can as you discern that you are called to do. Seek to love God and neighbor as yourself. Yet also recognize God’s authority and love reigning over your life. You don’t have to be in control of everything. You don’t have to be your own savior. You can let God and others seek to love you, even as you seek to love them. Trust God to do what we cannot. The pressure is off.
At work or on vacation, rest in the Spirit that is reaching out to you. Attend to the Spirit and let it direct your path. Trust God in all things. Those who have God’s love have enough. This is the true wisdom of God.
As one saying goes, “Growing closer to God isn’t the result of working harder, but of surrendering more.” So, relax, and let Christ complete his work in you. The Spirit will make our paths clear and is there to catch us when we fall.
Wishing you a joyful summer with spiritual growth,
This post originally appeared as a pastoral letter in Messiah Lutheran‘s newsletter, The Messenger (July 2015).
Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations for this article are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) translation.
© 2015 The Rev. Louis Florio. All content not held under another’s copyright may not be used without permission of the author.