“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
And can any of you by worrying add a single day to your life?
Indeed, your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.
So, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
Matthew 6: 25-34 (paraphrased)
As a constant planner and worrier, this scripture reaches right to the core of my struggle to trust, to know that the Lord will take care of us, not only spiritually in prayer, but physically down to the clothes we wear and the food we eat.
Here I am, an average Jane, usually worrying and fretting over the ever-mounting load of work, family life and chores that pile up – driving like a crazy lady to daycare to pick up my daughter with so many things on my mind, when I see the gas light come on, and I think to myself “Is that metaphor for life, or what?”. Like a wake-up call, I began reflecting on the thousands of ways that God provides for me, for my family and for others, right down to every green light that got my car to a gas station just before it ran out of gas.
Fully relying on God has been for me, a constant battle. Doesn’t it sound so easy, “Just, rely on God!” but isn’t it such a hard practice? Since becoming involved with Biking for Babies, I have seen so much growth in my willingness and ability to rely more on Christ, and less on myself – and I see the more I let go and turn things over to Him, my work is magnified by His grace, and my heart is settled by his loving support.
So, with such beautiful results, why is fully relying on God so hard to do? I’ve been pondering some reasons with an open heart and I’ve got three for you:
1. We doubt God will take care of us.
Who are we, that God will reach down from the Heavens themselves to intervene in our lives? Sometimes I catch myself saying, “Really, is it really that important to pray about (such and such) with (so and so) going on in the world right now?” But Matthew reassures us in 6:26, and 6:28: “Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?”
The more I pray, the more I understand that ours is a loving God who asks for our prayers, and wants to hear out loud the desires of the heart, be them large or small. Check out this awesome reflection from my friend Abby, who is a missionary, sent around the world to spread the good news of Christ. Her story of reliance on God and the good things he brings to her are so beautiful, and her gratitude and understanding of His love for her are profound.
When we doubt less, and trust more, God enters in and shows us how truly well he will provide for our lives, spiritually, physically and beyond.
2. Our pride tells us we can do it all ourselves.
How many times have you had to say in your life “I’ll just do it myself.” Sometimes that stems from our impatience, our I-need-it-now culture, and we begin to distrust Christ’s intentions for us when things don’t come about right away.
I have this great example from Biking for Babies at SEEK 2017. We have these bikes and trainers and visitors are loving hopping up on them to ride a mile for us while we talk about our mission to support PRCs and witness across America as we bike the 4 routes in 2017.
Here I am thinking, “This is INCREDIBLE! These students are so pumped! I can’t wait to do this again tomorrow!” When one of the team members suggests a bigger, tougher challenge for our last day at SEEK at our nightly meeting. I told myself, “Keep it the same! It’s going so well and visitors feel so engaged,” but, reconsidering, I open up my heart to Christ and He says, “Ashley, you’ve gotta go for this!”
The whole team feels the same way and we begin to embrace this crazy, fun idea. We start up our Ultimate Bike Challenge on our last day of SEEK, and what can I say – it was amazing! Ladies and gents alike were hopping on the bike and giving it their ALL, and our conversations that day were deeper, more fun and more powerful than the previously awesome days.
It’s a lesson in pride for me, and one that I experience each time the Biking for Babies leadership team meets. I am in awe of the Biking for Babies team’s collaborative efforts, the respect for each other’s new ideas – even when they seem crazy – and their unfailing trust in the Lord to carry through our work in His perfect will. Each day I open myself up to replacing “I’ll just do it myself,” to “Lord, complete the good work you’ve begun in me,” I see more amazing work pass through my fingers, magnified by His glory.
3. We become afraid, that if we entrust Christ with everything, we or He may fail.
I’ll be honest, at the core, it is nerve wracking to begin handing the good works and plans you have over to The Lord. We experience failure from time-to-time, and we know how it affects our self-confidence and our willingness to jump back up and try again. So, if you hand this next big thing you’re doing over to God, what if it falls flat and you feel that sting of failure?
Well, I can’t say that if you hand over your works to Christ, they won’t fail. But the beauty of handing your plans, worries, work, hopes, anxieties and goals over to Him is that failure no longer has the sting it once did. In Christ’s plans for us, there is only a better way – that reveals itself through understanding the heart of God.
I was responsible for an awesome Biking for Babies project back in the fall, and honestly – it just didn’t work out the way I planned. I felt like a failure, I had put all this trust in my plans and put them into near-perfect action, to come to a result that didn’t hit the bullseye. I brought that to prayer recently, and understood the lesson here. They were my plans. Had I brought my plans to God’s desk for edits before moving forward? Not that time, but what a great lesson to learn – that God’s plans are always perfect, and that he will perfect my plans too, if handed over to Him.
I’m pretty convinced that’s why our SEEK 2017 experience was so incredibly laden with Grace. Christ’s presence in every visitor who came to hear about our mission, in every water bottle and bracelet we gave out, in all our competitions and interactions – it was awe-inspiring. He truly gave us the “daily grace” we ask for in prayer to sustain and carry us through amazing conversations, excitement about our mission, and new partnerships and opportunities to collaborate with other pro-life organizations. I had high expectations for SEEK, and Christ topped every single one, I can only believe that’s because Biking for Babies hands our work over to Him every day.
What about you?
Are you ready to take a step forward, into fully relying on God to take care of your needs and desires? I encourage you this week, to just try it. Pick one thing each day and hand it over to the God who cares for us more deeply than the birds of the sky or the flowers of the field. Give to him your anxiety, a big decision you need to make, a personal “want” that you know is getting in the way of what you really need. Offer to remove from your life one thing that God sees holding you back from His love. That may be frightening to commit to, but I believe that God will prove to you, even in the small things, how well He cares for you, and how willing He is to return to you tenfold of what you’ve given Him.
And if you’re someone who enjoys a physical challenge, and is looking for a way to build our Culture of Life, consider applying to be a rider or support crew member for our 2017 National Ride. Bring the thought to Our Mother with a rosary, or grab an Adoration hour at your local parish and spend some real time praying on this! Is God calling you to do something big this summer? Are you willing to turn over a week in July to Him and the good work He’s calling you to be a part of? Is he calling you down a different path? You might be surprised to learn His plans for you!
“For I know the thoughts you have for me, Oh Lord, plans for my welfare and not my woe. Plans to give me a future and a hope.”
Latest posts by Ashley Wiskirchen (see all)
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