Manchester bombing, London terrorist attacks, local crime, fear about insurance, fear about my ability to lead the church, worry about low numbers in church. There are so many things to worry about. There are so many mountains that need to be moved. And some days whether it is sitting in church or scanning my Facebook feed it’s easy to get worried.
The questions in my head are, “How do I respond to these things? How do I address these huge problems? How do I fix?”
Many of the problems I see around me look as big as mountains. And I do not have the capacity to just walk out the door and climb Mount Everest.
Yet as I think on this tonight I realize that I’m asking the wrong question. that cost me anxiety all circle around one premise:
The question that costs me anxiety is, “How can I move this mountain?”
I think that’s the wrong question to ask.
No I know that with planning and purpose and hard work Mount Everest can be conquered. Some mountains just take a lot of discipline on my part and a lot of commitment and I can tackle them. I know God has given me many tasks to work on that I need to commit to with all my heart to get them done.
But some mountains simply can’t be moved short of God’s working
I remember when God asked a tough question to a prophet.:
“The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” Ezekiel 37:1-3
God was asking an impossible question of Ezekiel. Obviously, dry bones cannot live. I love Ezekiel’s answer here and I hope to copy his honesty:
“I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.” Ezekiel 37:3
The most honest answer that you and I can give to some of the impossible questions in life is this. We must be willing to say that somethings only God knows if they will be fixed. I’m not saying that we stop trying in any area. But for Christians our attention should be fixated on the capability God has to solve problems.
“4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’” Ezekiel 37:4 (NIV)
God showed the prophet Ezekiel how he could work to do something only God can do.
I think the question I should be asking is “What can God do and how does He want me to participate in that work?”
So when I read about violence in London I should pray and then ask God what is called me to do. And then I should act. An when I feel worried about problems at church or with my insurance I should look to God and say “God what will you do here and how can I participate in what you are doing ?”
For too often the great Christian mistake is to offer a simplistic answer to a complex problem. “Just read your Bible and pray more and everything will be OK.” Somethings won’t be OK unless God does a miraculous work. And some things will turn out bad as far as we can see unless we trust in God.
Maybe the better question is this: “How can I trust God today and live out of that trust?”
I know God is called me to work hard to serve my family and my church. I must be faithful in working hard yet the middle of living I need to be looking up. When I see mountains that need to be moved I should look to see what God can do and then participate in what he is doing already