On the way to the gym this morning (yeah, I actually made it today after yesterday’s epic fail), another driver needed to merge into my lane. Due to my speed and another car in the left lane, I was unable to immediately move over to make room for the driver on my right. I was trapped in the middle. A decision had to be made. I either had to slow down or speed up to make room for the driver who wanted to merge in. I slowed down and let the driver move in and go ahead of me.
Later while I was walking on the greenway with a friend, another walker and her dog needed to pass us. As is customary with walkers and runners, she let us know that she was on the left. This statement was her way of politely saying that she needed to get around us and move ahead. We had a decision to make. We could ignore her and keep taking up the width of the greenway, or we could yield our space to let her move ahead. We chose to move aside.
Why is it so easy for us to move out of the way and make room in these types of situations where the consequences are pretty much null? But when it comes to moving out of the way to make room for Jesus when the situation’s circumstances are much critical? Isn’t that crazy? We willingly surrender the easy stuff. But we struggle to surrender the hard stuff. What kind of warped logic is that?
On this journey to joy the past few days, we know who the giver of joy is. He’s told us how to get it…by simply asking. However, we block our breakthrough by not allowing God to do what only God can do. A common slang phrase is “let it do what it do baby.” As I think about situations in my own life, I wonder how many times that God must have thought “I would have handled that for you already if you’d just give it to me.” Praying about it and still keeping it is not surrendering. Philippians 4:6 tells us to present all of it to God. But we sometimes overlook the promise in verse 7. There’s a formula. Verse 6 tells us what to do. Verse 7 tells what God will do. That’s when it hit me that God can’t do what only God can do (step 2) if I don’t first surrender (step 1).
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
My prayer for us today dear friends is that we bundle up everything that is keeping us bound up, tied up, and trapped in the middle lane. Present it right at the feet of God and then move over to make room. From Isaiah 6:3, we know that God is holy, and because He is holy, His holiness will not allow Him to lie for if he did He could not be the eternal God. I’m a believer, and thus, I believe what God says.
17 God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. 18 So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.
Starting today, I am challenging myself to take God at His word and present it all. Then I’m going to go about my joyful life trusting that He is working on step 2.