“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6 NIV).
I've just turned 40, and recently, I sat reflecting on the guest bed in my parent's house, where I live with my husband and four of my five children. It isn't easy to believe how quickly everything I once had and thought was necessary has completely shifted over the last few days. While not something most 40-somethings strive for, I am technically homeless. . Without the prestigious position I once held in the military, the beautiful home, and most of my possessions, I'm content.
A few short months ago, I could be found in my lovely home in a quiet community, chasing a small child or cleaning. Then we went on a trip to visit family, and on our way back, we asked, "What if we sold everything and lived full-time in an RV, spending more time learning together and being outdoors? What if we give our children the best instead of what’s left of us?"
Twenty-four hours later, we sat in my parent's living room and pitched our idea. They smiled at our ideas, offered encouragement, and graciously agreed to let us stay with them in their 3-bedroom home during our transition from our home to an RV. We closed the home sale forty days later and were together under their roof.
We spent the last month determining what RV arrangement seems best suited to our family and defined our ideal budget. With four small children, these seem a tad mismatched. Sometimes anxiety threatens to creep in. The doubt and questions plagued us. We asked each other, "What if we don’t find what we want in our price range? What if…”
And then I recognize it. That old ‘what-if’ trick Satan likes to pull. See, the story I’m telling has been recorded from my perspective. However, I’ve learned to reorient stories from His perspective. Remember when Nebuchadnezzar II set up that ridiculous statue for people to worship? Imagine God’s sadness! “You are lying to the people. You can’t do anything for them. I love them; I made them; I alone know what they need. I must glorify Myself, so people turn to Me—so people can be whole again”(Daniel 3).
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego reaffirmed God's truth, three men who refused Nebuchadnezzar’s order to worship. They knew God, and worshipping anything else was contrary.
As I have been training our children this week, I am retraining myself – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" (Philippians 4:6 (NIV). We tell our children of His greatness so they may know and love Him and learn to live correctly in dependence upon Him. We talk about our needs and pray over them together. And if we live through some curious and stressful moments waiting for direction, that’s His right. He deserves to be noticed.
God is the only thing in this world worthy of glory (Revelations 4). When we are more attached to how our story plays out in the minds of others or for our comfort, we will be anxious.
What in your life needs prayer and petition this season? Our challenges are the opportunities for God to make Himself known to those around us. He is the peace, love, joy, and hope the world desperately needs. Lean into the struggle and watch God turn a what-if into a promise fulfilled.
Prayer: Dear Lord, continue to guide and lead me and help me not to be sucked in by Satan’s what-if-trick. Thank you for your provision and your guidance. Please help me to look to you for direction. Amen.
Your turn: Has the enemy ever used the "what-if -trick" on you? Please share! We would love to hear from y