Lots of day-to-day conversations revolve around two things: decisions and the future. What do you want to be when you grow up? What are you doing next year? What subjects have you chosen? Which universities have you applied to? This incessant thinking-ahead can often lead to us worrying, which leads to us forgetting that we have a Father God who is in control of our every moment.
Rachael is writing for us today about trusting God; on how to refocus your mind and rest in His sovereignty. This is a post perfect for girls who are planning their next steps, panicking about the future – or simply for those prone to a little worrying!
I don’t know about you but I’m someone who can tend towards being anxious! As I prepare for a time of change after I graduate, there is potential for anxiety to dominate my thought life.
Questions spin around in my head: What job will I get? Where will I live? Will I earn enough money? Will I cope in the working world after being a student? These are regular thoughts which run through my mind!
Throughout the past few days and weeks God has been challenging me with the question of ‘do you trust me?’
As I begin the daily, repetitive cycle of looking through job websites, I can often find myself becoming more and more anxious. Anxious that I won’t find any employment, anxious that I’m under-qualified for any of the positions I see advertised, anxious that I will be the only one of my peers without a job in months to come. God has slowly been teaching me that being anxious is something which reflects a misunderstanding of, or blindness to His sovereign character and caring involvement in every day of our lives.
Here are some passages from the Bible for you to meditate on in times of anxiety or worry – because even when we don’t know what our next steps might look like, we do know who God is. For the truth is this:
Our Father God goes before us in all we do.
‘The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you;
He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid: do not be discouraged.’
Deuteronomy 31: 8
He knows our yesterday, today and tomorrow.
‘You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me’
‘Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book’
Jesus tells us not to be anxious about your life. In the verses following, he reminds us that we are his valuable children whom he knows intimately and loves extravagantly, and so – worrying is wasted time and energy. He sees and provides us with all we need.
Quite aptly at over the past few weeks I have been reading the book ‘Calm My Anxious Heart’ by Linda Dillow. Whilst reading, God has been graciously reminding me of His control and showing me that I can trust in his timing, sovereignty and involvement in every month, week, day and hour of my life. One section of the book which I found particularly challenging is titled ‘Playing Ball With God’.
‘We find ourselves playing catch with God… Our trust level must be higher if we are to learn the secret of contentment. We must give the ball to God and leave it there. No more games of catch. Are you going to judge God by the circumstances you don’t understand or judge the circumstances in the light of the character of God?’
I can see how this analogy of playing catch has been true with my worries about the future. It’s all too easy to give over your worries to God before breakfast and have taken them back to wrestle with on your own by lunch time. It’s often in this place that I then hear the whisper, ‘do you trust me?’
God has been bringing me to a place of surrender, to a place of putting the unknowns of my future into his hands trusting He is who he says He is and is a faithful Father to us, His children. He is (patiently!) teaching me to judge my circumstances in light of His character. If I haven’t been short listed for a job or if I’m given a ‘no’ after an interview I must choose to trust that this is God in his faithful character working out His best for me.
This same faithful, loving God knows all the worries of your mind as well as mine. So if you aren’t doing well at school, if you are struggling with friends, if you are panicking about which ‘next steps’ to take, or anxious about illness or family relationships – God goes before you and is sovereign over every situation you will ever face.
Whatever your anxieties might be today, take time to remind yourself of who God is, and ask the Holy Spirit to help you put each anxious thought into God’s all sufficient hands.
Hello! I’m Rachael, 23 and have just graduated from the University of Nottingham with a Sociology degree. I grew up in Essex, spent a few months living in Australia and am now living in Devon near the sea. My favourite things are chatting with people, food, exploring new places and laughing ‘til my belly hurts. I love that there is something more of God for us to discover every day!