So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. - 1 Corinthians 10:31
Recently, my coworker showed up with the audio book, Crazy Love. She handed it to me and said I could listen to it if I wanted to, as she had other things to do that day - the audiobook was on sale so she picked up a copy. I agreed to listen to it because I had seen it in the store in paperback several times, I just never splurged to make the purchase. The book cover alone struck my interest. It's simple, but so attention grabbing. And the red is perfect. Oh, and the audiobook is read by the author, which is so unbelievably awesome to really hear his passion come to life. Now, I have my own copy.
This book is about God's overwhelming love for us. Yes, all of us. It is also a difficult book in that it brings all of your fears, dreams, beliefs, and wants to the surface. Let me explain.
Francis Chan begins by saying, "Stop praying." Wait, what? He continues by asking what you would do if he were to tell you to stop praying to God? Prayer is essential in my life, but we must remember to not only pray about our struggles and what we need (or think we need). We must remember to also pray for the things that we have been blessed with. Pray to God and thank Him! Take a few minutes to look at The Awe Factor of God that Francis Chan discusses in the first chapter. It's only 3 minutes, and it's just a reminder of how awesome our God truly is!
There are hundreds of things that distract us from God. Man, is that an understatement or what?! But with those things in our daily lives, we have to intentionally and consistently remind ourselves of Him. Yes, every single day. "But I don't have time." I'm so over that statement - it's ridiculous! It is true that you have time for whatever is important for your life. Your priorities will always outshine anything else on your agenda. Always. So, make your relationship with God a priority. Even if you only take 15 minutes or half an hour every morning or at a point throughout your day, you're showing everyone, including yourself, that God is a priority in your life.
We question God:
- Why did you make me with this body instead of that one?
- Why are so many people dying of starvation?
- Why are there so many planets with nothing living on them?
- Why is my family so messed up?
- Why don't you make yourself more obvious to the people that need you?
The answer to each of these questions is simple: because he's God. He has more of a right to ask us why so many people are starving. As much as we want God to explain Himself to us, His creation, we are in no place to demand that He give an account to us. Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation? God is fair and just.
Worrying implies that we don't quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what's happening in our lives. Stress says the things we're involved in are more important to merit our impatience, our lack of patience towards others, or our tight grip of control. These two behaviors communicate that it's okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in our lives are somehow exceptional. I, for one, am dumb enough to forget that this life is all about God and not about me at all. I am constantly learning this lesson over and over again. And that's okay. God forgives me for my sins, and He knows that I am diligently working to strengthen my relationship with Him and follow His ways. God is good. Recently, I've been dealing with anxiety. I know I'm not alone in this, but I recently read another blogger's challenges with this culprit. Casey was so sweet as to offer this advice: The thoughts that I'm a 'wuss' or that I should be able to handle life in general (re: anxiety) - those are all words from the devil. The devil wants me to feel alone, but we have to remember that we are NEVER alone. We always have someone to turn to, most importantly God. He is always listening. We also have our spiritual partners - no matter how close you truly are, you know they are there for you in those desperate times. How true that is! And such a great reminder. Thank you, Casey.