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12 07 2011

Often I find myself worrying about things that I cannot control. Where will I live? Where will I be next year? How will I be able to afford going back to school? We like to think that we have control over these things, but the reality is that oftentimes life just…happens–often in ways we least expect.

For example, if I were answering those questions a little over a year ago, I would have said I’d be living in Atlanta at AMLI at Perimeter Gardens, I’d go to school at Dallas Theological Seminary’s Atlanta extension campus. I had no idea that instead I’d be here in Washington, DC contemplating moving to LA to go to Fuller.

My worry usually comes from the fact that I have some kind of pre-conceived notion about what is supposed to happen in my life. I worry about where my roommate and I will live because I have an idea of what my new apartment should look like, and when I have difficulty finding what’s in my head, I become worried. I worry about how I’m going to go to school because I have an idea in my head about when I should be going to school, what school I’m going to go to and how. And in my human mind, I just can’t see how all those things will add up.

But the other day while it was in church, it dawned on me that in this world, we all have so many options. Perhaps instead of focusing on all the hows and what ifs, I should focus on the absolutes. I know that I have to move out of my apartment by August 11. That is an absolute. Now the place I move to might not match the place that’s in my head, but if I’m open to the options, it can draw me to the apartment not in my head, but the apartment where ultimately God wants me to be. I know that I have a desire to go to seminary and get a PhD. That is an absolute. As much as I like Fuller and their program, if I open myself up to the fact that there are other schools besides Fuller, who knows, the answers to my questions about when and how will I go to seminary might be answered.

In the words of the old gospel singer, Kenneth Glover, “Let Go and Let God.” Maybe if I loosen my grip on the things I imagine in my head, I’d have less worry…

I’ve been greatly encouraged by these two scriptures the past couple days:

pRejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. qThe Lord is at hand; 6 rdo not be anxious about anything, sbut in everything by prayer and supplication twith thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And uthe peace of God, vwhich surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:4-8

and

11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be acontent. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and bhunger, abundance and cneed. 13 I can do all things dthrough him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13

For anyone who may be going through a rough time in life or who may be worrying about things–Don’t. Trust in God and rejoice in His goodness. Stop worrying, stop being anxious. Give your cares to God. Even the apostle Paul went through rough times. He went through seasons where he had a lot, and he went through seasons where he had little to nothing. These seasons happen to us all. But rest and be content in the strength of God. He’s the only one that will carry us through.

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